nursery recommendations

hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)June 5, 2013

Morning everyone!

IâÂÂm looking to find some nursery recommendations. IâÂÂm not opposed to mail-order, but find that if IâÂÂm buying a plant, esp. a tree or shrub, that A-IâÂÂd rather see it and B-I want something bigger than mail order usually sells.

What are some good nurseries in the DC/Baltimore area or within a 2-3 hoursâ drive? IâÂÂm looking for somewhere that has a decent selection of trees especially & doesnâÂÂt just sell the super-common stuff (not that thereâÂÂs anything wrong with that but I like some variety!

If itâÂÂs a âÂÂspecialtyâ nursery (i.e., Jap maples, conifers, etc) thatâÂÂs fine, just let me know what they specialize in. My needs are ultimately pretty diverse so IâÂÂm not going to marry myself to one nursery!

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Two of the best around DC are Behnkes in Beltsville, MD and Craven's in Arlington, VA. The Behnkes in Beltsville is the original and has a larger selection, but they also have a branch in Potomac.Craven's is a little expensive, but they carry more unusual plants.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 9:09AM
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frontiercc(MD Zone 6)

I can vouch for Sun Nursery in Woodbine MD (especially for trees).

Also like Boyer nursery in Biglerville PA. It would make a nice day trip for you. It's in the apple orchard country outside of Gettysburg PA. They have a good website you could check out before committing to the drive:

If you want some unique evergreens: Kinda small, but a neat place to visit!

This post was edited by frontiercc on Fri, Jun 7, 13 at 15:21

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 3:19PM
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Another vote for Behnkes. One of my favorite spots.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 7:43PM
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philipw2(7 MD/DC)

I'd second Behnke's. a very good selection.

Merrifield's near Tyson's corner is phenomenal for shrubs. I have never seen any other place come even close.

Both are on the web

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 11:34PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

"Merrifield's near Tyson's corner is phenomenal for shrubs. I have never seen any other place come even close."

The old Styers in Pennsylvania - pre 2007, did so easily. Alas, they were bought by Urban Outfitters, the size of the sales yard greatly reduced for parking, and the focus put on ridiculously expensive "housewares", and the cafe...which now appears more popular than the nursery. They still do some nice sales displays in the garden but the selection isn't what it used to be. It's kind of sad because they were the last of the once legendary Delaware Valley nurseries are either gone, or also no longer what they used to be. OTOH, perhaps what's happened is the dominance of the internet has meant that truly specialized mail order retailers like Rarefind are picking up the "I want something different or unique" crowd. A visit to Rarefind is simply out of this world, compared to Merrifield it's like getting a hot dog at a 7-11 vs. a dinner at a 5 star restaurant. (prices are much closer though! Merrified ain't cheap, last time I was there) Where else can you get a golf cart tour, see what a bunch of mature rhododendrons will look like in 15 years, then go buy them?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 5:37AM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

NB hairmetal & I had a recent discussion about this topic:

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 5:43AM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

Also topical, the once excellent mail order Dilworth Nursery, in Oxford about 25 minutes west of Longwood Gardens...has closed. Not only closed, but all of their stock plants, many over 25 years old, are completely gone and the field plowed. As though someone is going to plant corn there. I can only hope they managed to sell their rarities to other wholesalers or collectors. They were one of the few places to order Forestfarm-type material on the east coast...rare beech, oak and conifer cultivars for example, in gallon pots. Too esoteric for most. They went wholesale only in the mid 2000s, but it must have been hard to compete with the various huge operations in southern NJ or the Delmarva like Angelica et al, especially when the housing crash came. They had maybe 10 acres or so.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 6:05AM
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