Nurseries 2011: updates

mrtulinMay 22, 2011

Time up to update New England nurseries. Some have closed, some have changed. Please report on quality; variety of plants; prices; helpfulness, knowledge and availability of staff.

I visited several over the last couple of days;

Weston Nurseries, Chelmsford MA: Their main nursery of many many years is still in Hopkinton; this is their only 'satellite.'As soon as I arrived, I signed up as a "member" in order to get their "specials." These were indeed special. Enkiathus were huge, well grown, though more common white and not redvein. Got ones with intense pink buds. $25 instead of $67. Ditto viburnum burkwoodii: big, healthy, full $25. Specials only last a week; notice by email.

Employees: plenty; young woman who hauled and loaded plants very knowledgeable about pruning

inventory: not much out of ordinary, though they say they can order anything from Hopkinton. Not as much a Manhoney's, but on principle I'm glad to give another nursery my business. I spend much time in the greenhouse, but I saw the usual "proven winners."

New England Nurseries: Bedford MA. A favorite of mine. I shop their mostly for perennials and annuals.They sell smaller containers of perennials, so you don't have to pay $10 or $12 dollars each. Their prices are very competitive on gallon pots. Well grown. Outdoor help can be hard to find, but knowledgeable and helpful when you do find someone. They have occasional advertised sales that are worth going for. I.e. well grown new england native wildflowers makred down to $3 before they are actually dead or pot bound.

To be continued: Blanchette's; Seasons Four; Mahoney's Winchester; Wagon Wheel in Lexington

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

I've been to Brigg's in North Attleboro. Pricey, but they have a good selection. Usually plenty of staff, and many are knowledgeable. There are some unusual things from time to time and worth looking for.

The Farmer's Daughter in South Kingstown, RI never disappoints. Helpful and friendly staff, and a really nice selection, with many unusual items.

I wanted to go back to Haskell's in New Bedford, but when I had the time, the weather was terrible. Last year's visit there was really rewarding and I can't wait to get back.

Logee's in Danielson, CT has some interesting things, although they mainly sell tropicals. But they have been featuring some that make good summer shows, or the "hardy
tropicals" like Musa basjoo. However, I think they are VERY expensive. Even tiny 2" pots are in the $5-$10 range as a rule. Things such as the hardy banana are in larger pots, but will usually cost $20 or more, unless you catch a sale.

Forest Hills in Cranston, RI has a nice selection and a helpful staff. Average pricing on typical sizes, and they also have some good sizes if you want some larger plants.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 3:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
arbo_retum(z5 ,WinchstrMA)

Katsura Gardens in Plymouth today. Great selection of some of the more unusual, new and special J Maples and very unusual conifers plus some special rhodos and shrubs, and excellent assortment of annual container plants that are harder to find all in one place. Very knowledgeable staff And it's so well organized! Their website has lots of exc. photos too.

Here is a link that might be useful: katsura gardens

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 8:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I buy quite a few seedlings at Natick Community Organic Farm. They have a seedling sale every spring. All the seedlings are organic and locally raised - the same stock that they grow on the farm. Vegetables, annuals, herbs and perennials are available. I will admit that when I pick them up in mid-May, many of them are more like sprouts than seedlings. And occasionally they have run out of stock, and you end up with a credit as opposed to a refund. But I like the variety, and I like supporting a local organic farm.

I like Brigham Farm on Rt. 117 in Concord. Great variety of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Nice selection of herbs - the only place I have ever found cutting celery, aka smallage. Lots of annuals and perennials. Very healthy stock. Staff is very knowledgeable and helpful. When I asked about pumpkin seedlings this year, I was told they weren't ready yet. But they still sold me one and gave me a little lecture on how to take care of it - I had to promise to properly harden it off before I attempted to plant it in my garden!

My stand by is Russell's on Rt. 20 in Wayland. Pros include huge variety and knowledgeable staff. If a staff member doesn't have the answer, they find the appropriate staff member who has the answer. They have everything (except smallage!) I also like that they let you return empty pots, and they have staff available to load the mulch type stuff into your car. Downside is price. They have great quality merchandise, and you pay for it.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 8:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lake Street Garden Center in Salem, N.H.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 7:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Any suggestions around Concord NH? I moved here last year and am not really having much luck finding a good nursery. TIA

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 7:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

rafor, what are you looking for? Brochu in Concord by Horseshoe Pond has wonderful shrubs.
Black Forest Nursery in Boscawen (exit 17, Rt 93) has field grown shrubs, potted hostas, annuals and perennials. Selection tends to be typical although they have quite a few hosta varieties including some miniatures.
Fleece and Flower Farm in Webster (Long St near intersection of Rt 127) has a fair selection of annuals, potted perennials and shrubs. They've got some interesting tomato varieties. Sometimes I find a great bargain like a few weeks ago they had large potted scented geraniums for $4. they were getting rid of some "mother plants".
Really best selection of field grown perennials and shrubs plus some potted things is Mt Uncanoonuc Perennials in Goffstown NH. Worth the trip. They've got some nicely landscaped areas you can walk thru, too. Sign up for their emails and see their website.
Just visited Rolling Green Nursery in Greenland, NH - probably one of the nicest in southern NH but a little on the pricey side. Worth the trip or detour if you are headed to the coast.
I go to Agway in Concord and Blue Seal in Bow for basic things.
Tanglewood Gardens on Rt 101, Bedford (almost to Amherst) has a large variety of annuals and herbs. The Agway near there (Bedford Fields?) has a good selection of potted perennials and shrubs. They tend to have a large selection of garden tools and supplies that you might not find elsewhere such as red plastic mulch and fancy pots.
I haven't been to Ledgeview Gardens in Loudon or Cole's in Concord this season but don't generally buy much from them. They have more annuals.
Spring Ledge in New London NH has a large variety of potted annuals, herbs, perennials and shrubs. They tend to have a better selection of annuals if you want something besides the usual petunias, marigolds and impatiens.
If feel like a drive, Stone Fall Gardens in Henniker has a good variety of potted shrubs and a decent choice of annuals and perennials. Then you can continue west on Rt 202 to the Agway in Hillsborough if you need some basics.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 11:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks defrost94. I'll give some of those a try when I'm out exploring. Been to Cole's and Agway in Concord. I'm usually looking for unusuals!! Everyone seems to carry the same annuals and perennials. I'm bored with them. I moved here last year from OR and there was a great nursery, Portland Nursery, that always had lots of new and interesting varieties. Well at least here I save a lot of money after just looking and not buying anything :)

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 12:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Frans Flowers - in Natick, at Rts. 9/27, behind Stop and Shop. I seem to always remember this place this time of year - when I need to fill in empty spots in my garden. Yesterday I bought 2 new hanging baskets - for $10 each. To replace my baskets (that I paid $35 a piece for at Russells back in May) that were really looking sad. There stock is a bit limited, but everything looks healthy and fresh, and there prices are great. They don't grow anything themselves - lots of Proven Winners stock, and some other brand name I see a lot.

I've realized that I tend to ignore the place in the spring - though there plants are healthy and there prices are reasonable, there selection tends to be mundane. Fine if you just want some tomato plants. But not the place to find heirloom varieties, or tomatillos or husk cherries.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 11:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

My favorite new nursery is Cochato Nursery in Holbrook. They have the best selection of Hosta and rare plants I've seen. Their plants are very large sized and fairly priced. They have great conifers and other shade plants as well. They also have the most spectacular display garden I've ever seen. They're only open Thursday through Sunday. Here's an example of a recent Hosta I purchased there.

H. Neat and Tidy

And here's a couple of pics from the display garden.

Pitcher Plant (yes, that's the actual color)

H. On Stage with Astilbe


    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 7:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ejr2005(Eastern MA)

I hate to say it but my new fav is Home Depot. I seem to always find something interesting - and well-priced - when I go there. I went Tuesday and they had just gotten a shipment of Hydrangea Pinky Winky (Proven Winners) that looked really good - $20. I also bought a Hydrangea Bombshell - $17 - haven't seen them elsewhere. They had some Rhodies that also looked good, and a Limelight tree for $40. They're return policy is great. I returned a Hens and Chicks where all the hens and chicks flowered and the plant died - that's not supposed to happen!

I had just been to Weston's in Chelmsford looking at hydrangeas and most of what I saw had some amount of leaf spot. The ones at HD had none that I could find. Having just gone through a case of leaf spot with a Hydrangea I bought at Weston's last year, I was really sensitive to it. It seems that you can treat leaf spot, but not get rid of it. It gets in the soil, etc.

I've been happy with purchases from Mahoney's, New England Nurseries in Bedford, McCues in Woburn, Russell's, Avant Gardens, Wilson Farms. I've found that the return policies are really important. I returned a dead plant to NE Nurseries last year and they gave me another. Couldn't find one of the same size, so gave me a bigger one that is doing quite well. I've returned things at Westons, but they have often given me a bit of a hard time. McCue's doesn't let you return. I just realized I bought a Euphorbia from Mahoney's that I don't think is hardy in their (and my) zone. I suspect they'll let me return it, but not sure.

Last year I had hostas from both Blanchettes and Seawrights (in Carlisle) that had foliar nematodes - another thing you don't want in your garden. Blanchettes recognized it, said they were having a problem and would treat for it, and readily let me return the plants. Seawrights denied there was a problem, only very reluctantly refunded my money, and said he (I think the owner) would put it back in the nursery and sell it to someone else. I stopped there last week to look at (not buy) their hostas, and many of them had the very distinct signs of foliar nematodes.

I'm really careful now about where I buy hostas. One place I would highly recommend is New Hampshire hostas (just off 95 in southern NH). I think they're open Thurs thru Saturday, and do a big mail order business. They put more and more things on sale as the season progresses, and have additional discounts when you buy more plants. They are very careful about foliar nematodes and diseases.

Steve - thanks for the info on the nursery in Holbrook. If I can figure out where that is, I may have to make a visit.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 9:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

great report. I'm very disappointed to hear about Blanchettes, and especially about Seawrights.
Which HD did go to?


    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 11:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ejr2005(Eastern MA)

Blanchettes did the right thing. They were going to treat - not sure of the outcome as I haven't been there recently. I think some things were taken off the market that could deal with foliar nematodes at the nursery. I think they had a plan though. This is probably a good time to shop for hostas as the nem problems tend to show up late in the summer/fall.

I've only detected nems on specific plants and have so far been able to deal with it. It may be a losing battle though as they apparently affect lots of different plants, not just hostas.

The HD is the one in Waltham. If you're interested in Pinky Winky you may want to go there soon - the plants looked great, but that may not last long. They also said they should be getting in their new plants for the fall now. Don't know what is coming in - depends on the growers.

I was at Lowe's in Woburn a couple of weeks ago looking for Hydrangeas. Their stock was very low. When I asked if they would be getting more in, they said not until fall. That seemed odd so may be worth a trip back.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 5:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is a bit forward, but since you seem to go to Home Depot far more often than I do, would you continue posting if you see some good plants at good prices? I can't "stop" by during the day, but I can make a deliberate detour if Ihave a purpose. If I weren't so tired I go right now....but it is closer to bedtime than plant purchasing time.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 8:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Locally my favorite is Pearson's Nursery. Don't expect anything new or exciting, but their strong point is selling perennials in 6-packs. They don't heat greenhouses in the winter, thus they don't sell anything from cuttings. Also don't do newest and very expensive seed varieties, but I can get lots of beautiful and still very popular perennials for practically nothing. They sell some things in 4" pots for under $4. All these plants are typically in 1 gallon containers at other nuseries. Nothing new to the garden world, but they've got a lot more than "golden oldies" (like purple coneflowers) and they're the next best thing to a swap!

For selection and variety in my area and in the NH seacoast area I think Wentworth in Dover, NH, is still the strong man. I got real French tarragon there, finally. Big selection, many house plants, as well, very well kepts, the closest place to us that would have harder to find things. I don't get there often because Pearson's and my local nursery, Cameron's, meet all my needs. But, if Cameron's didn't have something I'd try Wentworth. If Wentworth doesn't have it I'd probably have to go to Boston.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 8:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's been awhile since I logged in here and was happy to see this update on garden nurseries.

I'm still a big fan of Rainbow Mums in Carlisle. They used to open mid July, but now they open in May. They have expanded their hosta offerings tremendously and what's interesting about them is they have only two prices for all their hostas. It doesn't matter what variety. Very substantial and healthy plants. Their perennial collection is amazing too. Lots of different things for sun and shade. They have the cutest variety of hydrangea called "Pia". It stays small, no larger than maybe 3' x 3' at the most. Haven't seen that variety in very many places. I planted it in Mansfield and it did great. I just wish they would get themselves on the "map" better. Great plants, great prices. Everyone mentions Seawright's and Blanchette's, but not many people seem to know about Rainbow Mum's. Maybe it's their name. People don't realize they sell much more than mums!

Since I recently moved from Mansfield, MA to Acton, MA, I have been looking for nurseries in my new area. I found Cataldo's in Littleton to have a good selection and prices, especially for shrubs.

Briggs in North Attleboro was always a favorite when living in Mansfield. Good to get on their newsletter mailing list.

And Tranquil Lake in Rehobeth was another favorite daylily field. Definitely worth the trip.

Although selection was small, I found Agway in Chelmsford had some interesting things and decent prices. I just bought an interesting arborvitae variety there that I had never seen before called "Mr Bowling Ball". Loved the round shape, bluish green color, and juniper-like foliage. And was 33% off. And healthy.

I agree with info on Cochato's Nursery in Holbrook. Very interesting place.

Well, that's my two cents on nurseries at the moment.

Tomorrow I will be heading to New England Nurseries in Bedford and Weston Nurseries location in Chelmsford to see what they have going on.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 6:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

blueview in Norton is by far my favorite- their selection is huge.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 6:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey guys, there used to be a nursery outside of Farmington, CT that had daylillies. I used to love driving there to get plants. Is it still around? I forgot the name of the place. It's too bad that a lot of nurseries are closing and a lot has to do with the economy and not finding good help.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 2:19PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Is your past content on GW missing?
Yesterday, I went looking for my old comments, to see...
prairiemoon2 z6 MA
Show Us Your Gardens - A Photo Thread -February 2015
Happy Snow Days New England Gardeners! Welcome to the...
2015 Camellia Show at Tower Hill Botanic Garden This weekend,...
claireplymouth z6b coastal MA
Philadelphia Flower Show photos
Stoney Bank Nurseries / The perspective here is phenomenal:...
when do your daffodils bloom?
When do your daffodils bloom? I can't wait for them...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™