interesting nurseries to visit this Spring?

cyngardensJanuary 21, 2010

Hey ya'll - I am a recent transplant to Northern Virginia and am starting a garden from scratch this spring, on a builders lot. I'm an experienced gardener but need help locating interesting plants/seeds/supplies at reasonable prices. We have a Merrifields locally (holy cow those prices!)and a Meadows Farms right down the street but I'm looking for a more down to earth locally owned nursery where I can find interesting annuals and backbone perennials. Of course I am willing to travel some distance for the right place - please help me find my new go-to plant places! Thank you.

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Well, if you want to travel a LONGGGGG way, you can come to our greenhouse operation in southwestern Virginia.




    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 7:36AM
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DWA in AZ Sunset zone 12(9a Tucson AZ)

If you're near Merrifield, check frequently for the sale areas. These sales are not necessarily advertised. June is a good time to find perennials on sale everywhere, as well as spring-blooming shrubs.

Have you run across this one yet? It's a Fairfax County park. In addition to their garden shop, in the past there have been plant exchange events on weekends. (You can buy plants even if you don't have any to exchange.) Greenspring has a native plant sale in May by the Virginia Native Plant Society.

Another thing to consider is Freecycle, once you know what you want. I've given away plants through it, either through responding to WANTED posts or posting an OFFER. Successful plants do tend to multiply!

And check the Mid-Atlantic forum here. It seems to be a little more lively, and they have an enormous plant swap at least once a year.

Here is a link that might be useful: Greenspring Gardens Park

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 9:53AM
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Hi Tom! Want to give us more details? I'm not sure I could find you with the directions you have so far provided - LOL!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 6:06PM
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graywings----if you are in MD it might be a rather LONG drive for you too. If you look on a map, we live close to where I-77 and I-81 intersect in Wytheville, VA. If you want detailed directions, email me :-)

Both my kids live in the Baltimore area, btw.



    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 9:01AM
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Edible Landscaping near Charlottesville is an interesting place to buy plants that will surely grow. That's where I plan to go next year when I'm putting in berries. This year we're getting chickens :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Edible Landscaping

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 1:52PM
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Where are you getting them? We ordered 50 from McMurray's which is a great place to get 'em. Ours will be coming in May.

Link below.



Here is a link that might be useful: McMurray Hatchery

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 11:36AM
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I'm going to second Edible Landscaping in Afton. While you're in the area, Pollak and Blenheim are some great wineries. I always try to mix business with pleasure!

Also, if you pass through Culpeper on your way down 29, take a detour to Morningside Farm. Karen and George are the best, and they grow a lot of their annuals and perennials themselves. The quality is pretty phenomenal, they're super knowledgeable, and they have a really cute puppy. They get a fair bit of my money every year.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 12:30PM
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Check out the Amish owned Milmont Greenhouse in Stuarts Draft. We get a lot of stuff from them.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 5:29AM
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kimka(Zone 6B)

While it is very expensive, Cravens in Fairfax should be visited once a year just as a pilgrimage. They have the most incredible diversity of plants--perennials and annuals. Their website is at

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 11:05AM
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There is a little place in Richmond area, friendly staff, lots to choose from, good prices...and they carry "course" vermiculite for all the square foot gardeners!
Azalea Garden center
4800 Azalea Mall

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 8:47PM
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With land prices in No VA sky high very unlikely to find moderately priced garden centers. Once place to visit is Campbell & Ferrara off of RT 236 just west of Braddock Rd. Another place to visit is Betty's Azalea Ranch in Fairfax off of Lee Highway just west of the Fx County Parkway.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 10:34AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

I know I am late, but one of my favorite places is Behnke's. Just went to the one on River Road near Potomac this morning. Although I usually go to Merrifield or Campbell and Ferrara, Behnke's has good variety and much better prices. I find C&F to be the most expensive (they say it is because they aren't a "chain", but the others aren't either-they just have a couple of stores as opposed to only one, so I found that comment to be a little disingenuous. I was there several weeks ago and found a tree I loved-$500, but on sale-yippee, I thought. With the delivery fee and planting fee, it would still cost me $500, but I was willing to pay that. Then, they hit me with a "dig fee" which they said they charged since the tree was in the ground, not B&B or in a pot. They wouldn't waive it at all. The whole thing stank-they had it on sale, but they certainly were going to make that up by charging the extra fee. Felt like a bait-and-switch scam. I walked and may not return-not sure yet.

I was at Merrifield last weekend to price some things which ended up being twice the price of the same plants at Behnke's. I am going to their store near College Park, MD tomorrow morning-bigger and there were a couple things I couldn't find today. I'd say Merrifield and Benke's are the two best. Very nice people at both, healthy plants, and marvelous variety.

Although Craven's does have decent variety, we had four trees we bought there die which was a huge disappointment and Mr. Craven said he had no idea why they died. We have never lost trees from any of the other nurseries mentioned. I am not a big fan of the owner, either-just my opinion, though.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 2:41PM
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I second Milmont's on Rt 340 south---very clean and fair prices, also.

There is also Waynesboro Garden Center on W. Main St. in Waynesboro----very fair prices, ask ANYone ANYthing and they can answer it for you, or will find someone who can, pretty quickly.

#1:They're never too busy to help customers.

#2They are friendly.

#3 They have good mulch---I watch EVERY PU-load I see, like a hawk---prettiest I've seen so far is from Churchville.

#4 If you walk in there 5 minutes before closing, they are still just as patient as they were when they first opened that morning!

#5They have a great tree selection.

#6---They've had nice displays over time----even in the dead of winter.....

If they ask who sent you, tell them 'The crazy gardener with the grandson who loves to collect the little stuffed toy birds! (He's bought one of every variety they've had!)

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 12:36PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Quick question-do those of you who recommended places in Waynesboro, Charlottesville, etc. live in NORTHERN VA like the op? It seems like a very long way to travel from up here, especially with gas prices and traffic getting down that way. Any savings would be minimal, it seems to me-unless the op lives out near Gainesville or some place like that which is outside our awful traffic on 66 or 95 south.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 5:34PM
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Morning side in the Culpeper/Boston area is a very nice nursery. They have a very diverse selection and seem to like to grow all the plants that I am interested in and have at my house plus more. I find everything from Plumeria to Brugmansia to Gingers to Epiphytes. They also carry the usual annuals and perenials that we are used to seeing around here.

Roxbury Farms in Fredericksburg is a little expensive(not compared to Merrifield) but they have a good selection. While in Fredericksburg you could stop by a few of the local Nurseries within a few miles.

Also driving through the Winchester area a few days ago I noticed a lot of Nurseries along the road that looked pretty interesting. I don't recall any names in particular but you would not miss them.


    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 9:10AM
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One of my favorites, DeBaggio's Herb Farm. They carry veggies and flowers as well. Interesting place.

Here is a link that might be useful: DeBaggio's Herb Farm

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 2:54PM
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lynnt(Z7 MD)

Holly, Woods & Vines on Rt 1 near Hybla Valley is a wonderful place for tropicals, shrubs and solid perennials, plus a huge selection of glazed pots. There are a couple mom & pop places just north of that on the same side of Rt 1 good for annuals.

And if you care to venture to the S Maryland side of the Wilson Bridge, Denison's Nursery in Indian Head and Ed's Plant World in Waldorf are great for cheap trees -- Denison's primary business is as a landscaper, so you can pick through 20 chionanthus to get exactly the one you want, and Ed's has a back-40 stash of larger trees you have to see to believe.


Here is a link that might be useful: Holly Woods & Vines website

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 11:25AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

I second both rcfranz and lynnt above. Denison's is a great place for trees and now I guess I'll be heading to Ed's this fall! Thanks for the suggestion!

Cyngardens, did you ever try any of these places? If so, any feedback? We are always looking for new places and it is nice to hear back when we get/give suggestions. :)

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 3:21PM
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If in Williamsburg ulster-
american Homestead Garden Center is a must-great product and prices!!!!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 9:16PM
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I know the OP is in northern Virginia, but a trip toward Richmond to visit Little Five Azaleas is well worth the effort. Hostas, evergreens, Camellias, and (of course) azaleas and rhodendrons, along with other interesting annuals and perennials. They don't take credit cards, so plan accordingly.

If you're down this way on a Saturday and want to stop in Fredericksburg to visit to Hartwood Roses, I won't object. :)


    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 8:32AM
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beigestonehill(z 6 /7VA)

I like Greenworks on Rt 50 in Chantilly. Nice people cheaper prices than Merrifield good selection of plants. If you go to the new Merrifield in Gainsville they have a very knowlegable tree and shrub man, Robert, he has turned me on to many new shrubs.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 8:36AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

ooh, thanks for the tip beigestonehill. I may ride on out to Chantilly this week or next.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 1:10PM
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