What gets you to a certain nursery?

Cathy Craig batlette@cox.net
Wed, 21 May 2003 20:46:42 PDT
Dear John and all interested,

For myself, I go to different nurseries depending on what I am looking for.
One has more trees than all the others so when I am looking for trees I go
there. Another has more unusual shade plants and Oz/NZ shrubs. A different
one sort of specializes in roses and alstromeria and begonias. One or two
have perennials not available at the other nurseries such as Monkshoods,
Mulleins, Veronicas, named Campanulas, Excelsior Foxgloves, etc. I don't
frequent any of the Armstrongs on a regular basis because they have mostly
'fast food' plants, a much-reduced bulb selection, and a lot of what my
husband would call 'artsy-fartsy' stuff - most of which seems to me to be
too much of a 'prop' to look natural in a garden. For the same reason, I
don't go to Rogers Gardens much anymore either.

I'm afraid that without the benefit of large-scale buying, you'd have to
make it on your looks and charming personality - always possible! Even The
Bat likes you and she doesn't like anyone! And of course barring perhaps Jim
Duggan, you would have more personal expertise than everyone working at any
one nursery all put together - perhaps more than all of them put together.
That might do it. When you consider who your competition is and that
virtually all nurseries sell a six pack for about $2.99 and a gallon plant
for $6.99 - there's not much room for a big profit from just selling plants.

Personally my favorite nursery was Heard's Country Gardens in Westminster.
Unfortunately Mary Heard could not continue so it is gone, alas! But it was
really and genuinely charming. The whole nursery was 'planted' with plants.
Every piece of ground - the whole thing was a garden. The plants for sale
were tucked here and there within the plants that were growing there. She
had lots of vines on trellises, arbors, growing up the drainpipes. There
were real chickens. Many mini-gardens. Wonderful fresh (but commercial)
seeds. A very few but very beautiful garden books and gifts - somehow they
never seemed pretentious to me. And the ladies who worked there were sort of
housewives working part time. They never intimidated you but did know
something about plants - some more than others. They were very friendly and
nice and did not wear the uniform one sees everywhere nowadays. I miss her
and her nursery very much.

Cathy Craig President PBS
Maritime zone 9b

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