nurseries/gardens in Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex Co?

birdgardner(NJ/ 6b)February 16, 2008

This spring and summer I'll be commuting to or through Monmouth, southern Middlesex, northern Ocean counties, finishing early some days. I really don't know the area at all, except for Rare Find. So what should I check out?

Looking for places that are different, not real expensive, natives, hummingbird plants...I love scruffy backyard nurseries as well as the places with gorgeous displays.

How about the pick-your-owns?

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When you say "commuting" I assume you're talking about week days? Otherwise, I'd highly recommend the annual spring plant sale at Rutgers University in New Brunswick; it's held on Mothers' Day weekend and has a wonderful selection of plants, native and non-native, well suited for this area. Another is our Monmouth County Master Gardeners Spring Garden Day on May 16 & 17 in Freehold. We'll have plenty of native plants, as well as some others. In both cases, proceeds will benefit good causes.

I love Rare Find Nursery; great people, nice selection, and they have a great sale in late summer. If you're not alrady on their e-mail list, sign up for that now so you don't miss anything. Just now I'm drawing a blank as to any others that meet the criteria you listed above, but if any come to mind I'll be back to post them.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 11:45PM
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Oh, boy. . .you're talking to a nursery junkie here, and I
garden in Monmouth County, right in the middle of your commute! It would be enormously helpful if you could outline your specific commuting route, so my first batch of
suggestions would be right along your path - then, if
you're finding my info helpful, we can pinpoint nurseries
a little further off your route, and so on until we're
covering the whole state of New Jersey and beyond !!!
Yes, I am so nursery-addicted that I actually make an annual Spring trip to a series of phenominal nurseries in
North Carolina and Virginia. . .

For starters, just a few miles from Rare Find (didn't you
say "not real expensive" ?) is one of my backbone nurseries
called Cicconi Farms. . .although they've gone a little more "upscale" in recent years, they have retained one of their long-time treasures: quart-sized starters for about
$2.75 each (less in quantity) of virtually hundreds of
different perennials - and those smaller starters are full-sized plants by the end of the season without you're having
to pay full-sized prices! Interesting tidbit: these folks
also sell wholesale, and I know a LOT of area nurseries
that buy the quart sizes from them and then pot-them-up into gallons so you can pay four and five times as much!

If you check their web-site (below) and click on "Availability", you'll find an exhaustive PDF listing of
everything they have (NOTE: their much larger Spring listing isn't there yet, but at least looking now you'll see the various sizes and the range of their offerings).
And those quart-sized plants are all out in the hoop-houses
where you have to wander about collecting them on your own
(don't worry, it's "roughly" alphabetical) - the staff can be very helpful in the retail operation up front, but the
most fun is trolling the hoop-houses at your leisure and
unearthing relatively cheap tresures. . . Full directions
to the nursery are available on their web site. . .


P.S. What exactly do you mean by "pick-your-own"? For
fruits and vegetables? 'Cause I also belong to an
organic farm co-op (in Mercer County) and can
probably give you every farm stand/pick-your own
with-in 50 miles ! Told you I was certifiable. . .

Here is a link that might be useful: Cicconi Farms

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 4:46PM
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birdgardner(NJ/ 6b)

I'm in nursing school, so I'm driving from the Princeton area to various places for classes and clinicals, Lakewood, Long Branch, Asbury Park, Red Bank - go through West and East Windsor, S. Brunswick, Monroe, Manalapan, Freehold, Holmdel, Jackson, Wall, using 33, 522, 520, 527, 537, 195, 9, 571...I like to explore and get off the beaten path...not sure where I'll be going this summer...New Brunswick and Neptune, maybe? I was always a North Jersey girl before this, never went to the beach in 16 years.

The program is accelerated and insanely paced, so I'll have a 7 to 10 day window between semesters to do all my planting in early May... can't afford to get too much, though, it'll die in the pots for lack of care.

Pick your own - fruits and vegetables, sure. I'd pick raspberries last fall at Van Thuns, I think it was, in S. Brunswick. Very relaxing. And there was a little farmstand on 522 just north of Jamesburg that was fun, but not for lingering.

I'm probably just going to LOOK at Rare Find this year ;)

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 10:16PM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

Well, not inexpensive, but:

Sickles Market in Little Silver
Dearborn Market in Holmdel
Colonial Nursery in Lincroft
Barlow's in Sea Girt
Middletown Garden Center in Middletown
Guaranteed Plants and Florist in Locust (Middletown township)
Forcellati's in Wall
Brock Farms in Colts Neck and Freehold
Littlebrook Farm Herbs in Howell Township
Dutch and Olga's on Rt 36 in Hazlet (haven't been)
Capelli's in Middletown (off of Rt. 35)
Gasko's in Monroe.

There are small nurseries up and down Rt. 35 south of Belmar and also some north of Middletown, I always mean to stop in, but I haven't.

There is a u-pick berry (raspberries and blackberries) farm behind Delicious Orchards on Rt. 34 in Colts Neck. Eastmont Orchards on Rt. 537 in Colts Neck has u-pick apples and peaches, ususlly starting in July.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nursery suggestions

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 11:10AM
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Diane's link (above) will give you TONS of material,
including a "few" words from yours truly - someone had
asked a similar question about nurseries last season and
I didn't hesitate to spill my guts !


    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 5:49PM
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birdgardner(NJ/ 6b)

Thanks! I've gone by some of them, like Gasko's and Forcellati's. Gasko's is so huge I thought it was wholesale.

My husband got me a county atlas for my birthday, so I can explore! Little did he know it would lead to him having to dig holes in May ;)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 2:09PM
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Just a little south of Forcellati's, on the southbound side of Route 35 is one of my favorites: Hollybrook Nursery. I've watched them grow significantly over the years and it's no surprise - I've always found an excellent selection, of good size/quality and well cared for; staff is friendly, knowledgable and very helpful and, very importantly, they stand behind the plants they sell. While not inexpensive, I believe their prices are a little better than at many other places.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 3:42PM
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I'm very close to both Forcelatti and Holly Brook. They each have excellent quality plants, but as mentioned, are not inexpensive. If you have the time, take a walk through the tropical greenhouse at Forcelatti. Amazing assortment of large palms, cacti, and tropicals. Like a steambath in there, even in the Winter. Just south of both of these, going east towards the beach on Warren Ave. I believe (PJ's Car Wash is at the intersection), there is a hidden small nursery that sells flats of annuals at ridiculously low prices. Can't think of the name, but it's on the north side of the road.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 7:51PM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

There is a small farm stand near Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, on Sylvania Ave., near the intersection with Corlies Ave (Rt. 33) they have a lot of annuals and potting soils and mulches. Continuing down Sylvania going towards Rt 35, there is a small place on the left, also annuals and produce.

There is another one on Sunset Ave, just east of Rt. 35 in Ocean Township.

A lot of the smaller places are only open during the summer months, most open by Mother's Day.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 3:01PM
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