nurseries in DC area?

dcolilla(z6 PA)February 25, 2005

Hi, I was wondering if anybody could direct me to some good

local nurseries around the Washington, DC area (I live in Silver Spring). I've been to Behnkes and American Plant Food in Bethesda/Potomac, and I found a website called Has anyone been there? They seem to have a huge plant listing.


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I put this together because every Spring I seem to hear of Gardening sales, swaps, shows, and garden tours, the day after they happen.
So this year, I have put together a gardening event calendar. And if anyone knows of other events between Baltimore and Richmond,please let me know. I'm sure I've missed a few.

Now if time and money were no object (HA!!) Well realistically, maybe I will get to one or two.

Some Gardening Event Dates for Spring 2005

Feb 24-27 - Richmond VA Maymont Garden show
Feb 27 - Behnke's Lecture Evergreens for Screening
March 4-6 - MD Garden Show Timonium Fairgrounds
March 11-13 MD Garden Show Timonium Fairgrounds
March 12 - Residential Landscaping Workshop - College of Southern MD
March 6-13 - PHILLY Flower Show
March 17-20 - DC Flower Show - Convention Center
March 20 - Behnke's Lecture Gardening for Hummingbirds
April 9 - Behnke's Lecture Hostas
April 16 - Alexandria Garden Tour
April 16 - 23 - Historic Garden Week VA
April 20 - Northern Neck House and Garden Tour
April 22-23 - National Hort Society Plant Sale - River Farm
April 23 - Brookside Gardens - Wildflower appreciation and Plant Sale
April 30 - Londontown Flower Sale
April 30 - National Arboretum Plant Sale
May 7 - Clyburn Arboretum Spring Market Day
May 7 - Paca House Plant Sale - Annapolis
May 14 - Midatlantic Garden Forum Plant Swap Burtonsville*
May 14 - Green Springs Plant Sale (Arlington)
May 14 - Beltsville Garden Club Sale



    Bookmark   February 25, 2005 at 6:14PM
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Les, that is a great list you've put together. Thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2005 at 10:44AM
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gardenpaws_VA(z7 NoVA)

By and large, Meadows gets in the basics, and a few teasers. If you get there when the plants come off the truck, they're the same quality as you'd find anywhere else, and you'll do fine. If you get there past the prime planting season, you'll find that the plants are either not there, or not particularly well cared for, at least at the branches I've visited. If you want something special, or have to plant outside the main season advertised for that particular plant, you'll have more consistent luck at the smaller nurseries. (Behnke's is sort of in the middle - big operation, but tries to go beyond mass market. I've bought there, and like them, but they're too far away for me to visit routinely. I like Windy Hill for perennials, but it's a hike for me and a real hike for you - in Aldie VA.)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2005 at 5:26PM
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Meadows Farms is VERY expensive - for everything & anything. I guarantee you can find anything they have somewhere else for much less.

A wonderful nursery to check out: Betty's Azalea Ranch in - I think - Fairfax. They're right off a main drag. There's a website with directions. FABULOUS trees & shrubs, literally hundreds & hundreds of azaleas & much, much, more. I love touring (& buying) at that place.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2005 at 7:21PM
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dcolilla(z6 PA)

Actually I meant, not Has anybody been to Merrifield?
Thanks for all the info!


    Bookmark   February 26, 2005 at 9:26PM
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From thre East side of the Beltway going East out Central avenue toward Annapolis you will find a number of nursaries and other gardening type places

1. just past 301 - Hoyle Stone
2. a little further on Meadows - see description earlier.
3. a little further on - Tildens - some plants and all kinds of stone and sculptures
4. Homestead Gardens - Huge nursary, greeat displays, not inexpensive
5. Just past homestead on left - ? something bay (halfheimers setting in today) - a pond place with water plants
6. Continue one to Riva Road and turn left for two more nursaries.
7. Continue on to Annapolis for lunch!!!

And if you were to turn north on 301 from Central avenue there is another large new nursary.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2005 at 10:01AM
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lvmygrdn(z7 MD)

Merryfield is worth the trip. If you are looking for specialty annuals try Snells Greenhouses in Mt. Airy off of Runkles Rd. Not the one on 27 even though they are good. D.R. Snell and Snells Greenhouses are related but not afiliated. Snell's Greenhouses grow their own and have 10 large greenhouses
stocked to the brim in spring. They do wholesale as well as retail. (They sell to Merryfield and Johnsons to name a few).
I am NOT related nor work for them. Just giving my .02.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2005 at 11:11AM
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diannesh(z7 DC)

I love merrifields, it's my main garden center. I skip the places in DC, and really enjoy the treck out to merrifield especially if I have a lot of time to spare. They really have great shrub selection, as well as everything else. I also enjoy going to homestead when i have the time. Behnkes for me has been hit or miss.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2005 at 9:13PM
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reginak(z7 Maryland)

Are there any good ones for edibles?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2005 at 8:21AM
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ewepoor(Maryland 6a)

Do not forget the Baltimore Area....McCleans for hollies...and other stuff....definitely nothing there you would find in the usual large volume nurseries.
As to rhododendrons and azaleas...keep you eyes open for dates of the Regional Amer Rodo Soc meeting this spring and a National Amer Rhodo Soc meeting in 06....both in DC/Balto area and both will have large plant sales of rhodo azaleas and companion plants. Assume details will appear in other parts of these fora. On larger commercial urseries...Valley View in Cockeysville, MD..a little N or the Balto beltway...does have a huge selection of shrubs and perenials and annuals etc....not inexpensive. There is an Japanese Maple place up N of Balto also.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2005 at 9:07AM
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Filbert(7 VA)

My 2 cents.

Home Depot. Don't laugh. Quality varies greatly from store to store. The store at Merrifield (VA) actaully takes good care of their plants and you can sometimes find a variety of virburnum. Best return policy.

Meadow Farms. They have lots of stores. The quality of their plants and service varies significantly from store to store. I generally don't mind since I know what I want and they are likely to have it cheaper than other nurseries. Fairly good selection for the basics. They frequently have coupons in Thursday's Home Section of the Washington Post.

Betty's Azaleas. Great selection of azaleas and moderate selection of woody shrubs and trees. Prices are higher than MF.

Merrifields. Great selection of shrubs and trees, especially at the Fairfax store. Knowledgeable staff--although I still prefer to rely on Dirr's manual. Don't expect any discounts however. Maintaining a good selection and informative staff year round isn't cheap.

Sun Nurseries. Great selction, reasonable prices, intelligent staff, and good care for their plants. Just wish they weren't located way out near Olney, Md.

Costco. My favorite place for the basics. They sometimes have interesting stuff (even contorted filberts!) and since the stock usually flies off the lot, the plants don't have time to dry out. As for staff, you'd be lucky to find someone. The plants are good sized for the price. Best return policy.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 2:24PM
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Brent_In_NoVA(z7/6 VA)

My experiences line up pretty close to Filbert's. Though instead of Home Depot, I have had very good luck with the Lowes in Sterling. They have a mediocre selection but seem to take good care of what they do stock.

I am surprised somebody would label Meadows Farms as "very expensive". I look at them as them in between the big boxes and the "good nurseries" in selection, price, knowledge, quality, etc. They are very convenient for me so a lot of my plants have come from them.

I was drooling over a number of plants at Costco last spring, but I did not have any planting areas ready.

- Brent

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 3:32PM
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gardengranma(6a/6b MD)

I buy trees and bushes at Meadowfarms late in the season when they are half price (I bought them near Damascus) and have had great success.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 3:42PM
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lynnt(Z7 MD)

Likewise -- I bought nine trees on sale at various branches of Meadows Farms last fall, all apparently in good shape, none costing more than $40. I'll find out their true status in another month. I can't imagine getting any tree from Merrifield for less than $150 -- and if it was on sale, it would have no guarantees, which the Meadows Farms stuff does.

Another good cheap place is Eddies Plant World on Rt 301 south of DC, near Brandywine. I got a Briotia horse chestnut tree there for $30; they have lots of crepe myrtles and shade trees for cheap.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 4:06PM
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Brent_In_NoVA(z7/6 VA)

Ramping up for the spring purchasing binges might not be a good time to talk about fall sales, but I will chime in as well. Last fall I purchased 5 Viburnums from Meadows Farms for around $7 each (4 b&b, 1 five gallon). I am kicking myself for passing on a variegated dogwood shrub that was under $4. At the same time Merrifield's stock was all regular price (though I could not resist a Fosters Holly for $40).
- Brent

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 5:49PM
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reginak(z7 Maryland)

I like a little place called Sam's Farms in Falls Church. I think that's what it's called. It's right on Rt. 7.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2005 at 8:30AM
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azaleaphile(z7 MD)

The Brookside Gardens chapter of the Azalea Society of America has 3 spring sales in the DC-MD area. In addition to azaleas you won't find anywhere else (and at good prices), we have companion perennials and woody plants. The dates are:
May 7, 8am-noon, Tilden School (Old Geo'town Rd. in Bethesda)
May 8, 9:30-2:30pm, National Arboretum (NY Ave, DC)
May 15, 9:30am-2:30pm, Brookside Gardens Visitor Center (Wheaton, MD)

Full disclosure: I acquire the plants and run the sales for the Chapter table; local vendors bring and sell their own plants. I get nothing from the sales except lost weekends and aggravation ;^>, but the chapter uses the funds to support programs, give donations to the Arb and Brookside Gardens., fund internships, etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: Brookside Gardens chapter ASA webpage

    Bookmark   March 3, 2005 at 3:39PM
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LynT wrote
Another good cheap place is Eddies Plant World on Rt 301 south of DC, near Brandywine.

CORRRECTION - Don't look for them on 301!
Its Ed's Plant World and they are on RT 5 about a mile before it joins 301 south. This a rather large nursery that is frequented by landscape contractors.
BTW if you are in the area give me a shout I'm about a mile from there.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2005 at 6:19PM
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emme-dc(7b DC)

Has anyone compiled a similar list for this year? I have some major garden rehabilitation to do after construction on my house, and am wondering what the most economical way is to bring in a lot of new plants.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 2:32PM
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You might want to check out River Hill garden center in Clarksville on 108. They also have some educational programs I think.

I found Betty's Azalea last year and was very impressed with the care. In each section there were people deadheading and refreshing the annuals,etc.

Filbert: you mentioned Sun nurseries in Olney but when I looked them up they are up north in Catonsville Is that the place or were you thinking of another?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 8:47PM
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Sun Nurseries is in Woodbine MD (not in Catonsville), so a little north of Olney.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 7:38PM
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