Departments - Nursery
Our nursery philosophy is to grow unusual and hard-to-find garden perennials that also make great garden subjects. Many of these plants take extra time or effort to grow and you should expect this to be reflected in the price. We also dedicate 15% of our yearly gross nursery revenues to fund our research and testing program, plant expeditions, and our display gardens. You will find that our descriptions, hardiness zones, and mature plant dimensions often differ from other books or mail order plant catalogs. For example, the difference between an East Coast zone 7a and 7b is huge. There are hundreds of plants that will survive in 7a and not in 7b. Most catalogs make no distinction between "a" and "b". We are constantly refining our list, so you will see changes as we get information back from our customers and trial sites. These are some of the benefits of having an extensive trial and display garden along with a full-time garden and research staff.
We do not ship bagged perennials from coolers, but instead grow all of our plants in containers. We actually see what the plant looks like before it goes into a box. Since many of us have been burned by poor mail order nurseries, we thought you might like to see our operation to better know what to expect when you order. Obviously, the size of plants shipped will depend on the shipping date that you request. Early shipping will find many plants still emerging from dormancy. Our average last frost date is April 10. After this date, we remove the plastic covers on our growing greenhouses and open the plants to the outside environment.
We strongly encourage customers (and prospective new ones) to visit during one of our open house and garden days. For those of you who think nurseries make money on shipping charges, please drive or fly down and pick up your plants in person. That being said, you are also welcome to visit and hand pick your plants, then have us pack and ship them to your door.
Most plants are grown in 1qt. pots, with only the larger growing ones potted into 2 and 3qt. size containers. We pot using a high quality disease suppressive potting mix from Biocomp Inc. in Edenton, NC. Many of our customers tell us that the survivability rate on our plants is far superior to most other nurseries from which they have ordered in the past. For more details on our shipping and ordering, click on Ordering Information.