Favorite central VA nurseries

bellefleurs(z7 VA)March 8, 2005

I've lived in the C-ville area for 1 1/2 yrs and need to expand my nursery horizons. Any suggestions (esp in the Richmond area) from long time/newbie gardeners. I haven't found nearly the selection that I am used to as far as new introductions, miniatures - annuals/hosta/etc, large container clematis, varieties of roses. Please help me spend my hard earned $$, I prefer to buy locally vs mail order.

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creatrix(z7 VA)

Check out Sandy's Plants in Mechanicsville (the far side of Richmond from The Hook). It's mostly a wholesale operation, but they have retail hours (along with retail prices) on Saturdays. They sell to most of the local garden centers, and don't want to undercut them. They have acres of perennials, golf carts to get around in, just don't expect great customer service- no hand holding. Much of their catalogue is on-line, so you can browse before you go. They have a huge variety of hostas, and a lot of unusual perennials. No roses though.

Strange's Florist & Garden Center in Short Pump is big, and they carry some cool stuff, but it changes week to week. They do grow a lot of their own annuals. The Great Big Greenhouse in Chesterfield is rather much like Strange's- just on the southside. You may run into something interesting in either one. Both have pretty knowledgable staff.

Also on the southside is Sneed's Nursery. They're small, but they've got great heart- I like going there. (you need the ' in Sneed's to google them)

North to Ashland (just off 95) is Colesville nursery- best for trees and shrubs. They also cater to the contractor types, but have retail pricing as well. Their staff can be helpful. They also have their catalogue on-line.

I used to live in the Hook, and would go back in a heartbeat! Or at least a bit closer- don't know if I could afford anything there now-
(Contact me if you need help with directions)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2005 at 7:54PM
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Mandyvilla(7a No.VA)

By C'ville, you mean Charlottesville, right? Have you checked out Daylilies by Benzinger? One of my favorites for daylilies. Email me if not, I have an article I can mail you.

I also heard about Sandy's Plants on this forum and hope to make the trip this Spring. Will probably head down there when I make the annual trek to the Williamsburg Pottery factory for their cement garden (real cheap! take a truck) and what ever vines and specialty annuals they have in stock.

Will keep an eye on this thread....Richmond area is about an hour south for me. Suz

    Bookmark   March 8, 2005 at 8:32PM
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artrageous(z7 Central VA)

::Have you checked out Daylilies by Benzinger? One of my favorites for daylilies.::

Is this the place out 29N of Charlottesville, near Ruckersville? Do they have a nice variety? Decent prices?

I'd thought I'd make it over to Viette's in the Fishersville area last spring but it didn't happen.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2005 at 10:21PM
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Mandyvilla(7a No.VA)

Artrageous, yes, that's the place. Fred Benzinger, (now 81) won several blue ribbons back in the '60s. One year he came away with 12 in the same competition. If it's a good day for him, he will spend a lot of time with you and share his knowledge and love of daylilies. You get there, and he gives you utility flags of one color. You place the flags by the daylilies you want and he digs them up and bags them for you. Most of my plants had 3 or 4 fans. Each clump was $4.95, he had every color imaginable.

His place is not the place to go for named varieties. We also got the storey of how political the process has become and it's obvious he no longer has the patience for the politics (if you go, don't bring that up! you may hear more than you want about the process).

If you are looking for a particular color and want a good size plant for a more than fair price, this is the place to go. I would highly recommend calling before heading out, the man is 81! Last year I spent about $60 there and came away with plants that filled up the back of my Explorer. I divided most and shared with a gardening buddy. Suz

    Bookmark   March 9, 2005 at 7:37AM
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artrageous(z7 Central VA)

Suz--thanks for the information! Definitely sounds like a trip out there is in order!

Last summer I just had one bed with a few daylilies in it, and they did so well that I was thinking about adding more. Last fall a friend sent me 4 daylilies that she dug up when she was moving and I realized that I didn't really have room for them in the bed with the others, so....(as is typical--lol) I expanded another bed and planted them there. There's room for even more expansion, so I'm thinking of adding even more daylilies. :-)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2005 at 8:32AM
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trburton(z7 C'Ville, VA)

Buffalo Springs Herb Farm in Raphine, Va. is a lot of fun to visit. Go to their website to get directions. They also have special events and workshops. It is about an hour drive from Charlottesville and worth the visit. There is also a very large garden center near Stuarts Draft run by Menonites. If you follow the signs for the Moss Museum and continue about 2 miles it will be on the left side (route 11?) Fairly standard annuals but lots and lots and lots.

Another interesting one is in Gordonsville, The gentle Gardner. Virginia, the owner, has interesting ideas and although small, a good variety of perinneals and annuals. There is also a great Orchid vendor in Gordonsville on the way to Orange. It may actually have an Orange address.

Another fun, small nursery Is on the way to Lake Sherando and I believe it is call Sherando Roses. Hard to find!! If you are interested, you may have to look on the web and then get good diretions. He is an independent grower with tons of unusual roses, not your Jackson and Perkins. These take attention and care! I have had some good luck with my purchases from him.

A good day trip from here is to start on I64 West and begin with a visit to Sharando Roses, Andre Viette, Buffalo Springs Herb Garden and then travel back on Route 11 to Stuarts Draft. If you are not exhausted and your car is not fully loaded (which by this point would be a miracle) then don't forget about our two local and wonderful full sevice garden centers on 250 west: the Ivy Garden Center in Ivy, and The Ivy Nursery in Charlottesville which is truly the most comprehensive and beautiful Nursery in Central Virgina. Ivy Nursery has the healthiest plants and most wonderful staff of any of these centers. (Buffalo Springs is great, too!)

Have you checked out the little Nursery just past the Airport? It has changed hands. It used to be Folklore's Nursery and I do not know the new name. They share a driveway with a Music Center. It is on the way to Chris Green Lake Their prices are good and you can find some different items there, occasionally.

Lastly, Garden Structures. On 29 north in Madison are the the most beautiful stone garden statuary, bird baths, benches, etc. Just fun to see. Almost everything is from England and they have new and old pieces.

I would love to hear from you if you found anything new! My therapy is to visit fun garden centers!! Many thanks, Trish

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 9:53AM
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artrageous(z7 Central VA)

Milmont nursery in Stuarts Draft is definitely worth a visit. I was there yesterday and had to show incredible restraint! I like the way they have their perennials set up--all alphabetical--and I was there for close to 2 hours just reading descriptions and trying to learn more. I couldn't believe how many cars were pulling in to the place!!

As tburton said, it's run by Mennonites, so they're closed on Sundays. Keep that in mind if you're planning a day trip!

BTW, you mentioned the garden statuary place out near Madison on 29N. How are their prices?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 5:32PM
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Milmont is The place to go!
For statuary, there is a little place called "Mamma Gus's" on route 11 S. just past Greenville that has nice things and he is really cheap on prices too. also has a little shop with all kinds of stuff inside.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 6:34AM
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trburton(z7 C'Ville, VA)

I believe the name of the statuary place is Country Gardens in Madison., Their prices reflect their character and quality so, yes, they are pricey. Most pieces are shipped from England and many are very old. As I said, it is fun to visit! I have a couple of pieces that are centerpieces in my garden. They draw your eye to and around the garden. It is on the way to the Plow and Hearth outlet so it is jjust part of another day trip!! Including the following....

I thought of another garden center I like that is somewhat new, a couple of years old, right in Ruckersville on 29. I purchased some Annabelles there last year that out-performed a couple I bought at the more costly nurseries in C'Ville. Also, they had Virginia Bluebells and I could not find them anywhere in town!

The nursery between Skeets and Benzingers Daylilies is nothing outstanding, by the way. Their prices are standard to high and their quality is mediocre. Just FIY and in my opinion.

I was at Elzroth and Thompson, yesterday, and found some beautiful Lady's Mantle and it looked like their prices were back in line, meaning they are sometimes high for their quality. Also, their Arp Rosemary looked very good. The best Rosemary for our area.

Are there anymore finds that you all have found? I sure would like to know!! Thank you!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 7:59AM
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WhiteLilacs(Northern VA)

I lived in Connecticut my entire life and have just moved to northern Virginia. I found this site today while trying to find what varieties of holly would thrive here. I couldn't believe my luck in finding a discussion of nurseries in my area because I really needed to go plant shopping *TODAY*! I bought a (cut) Christmas tree at the WoldTrap Nursery, but that was the only nursery I had even entered since we moved here. It is great to have all of you experienced Virginia gardeners as a resource!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 10:59AM
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shadygrove(z7 VA)

Don't forget Lazy S's nursery between Ruckersville and Barboursville. They're a real nursery (i.e. growers) with a superlative collection of perennials and small woodies. Consult their website for directions. I was there a few days ago and staff told me that they're just starting to bring things out for the benches; be that as it may, a great selection of material is already available.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 8:38AM
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susanargus(z7 NoVA)

Margaret Thomas' iris garden in Herndon/Reston sold me some "Benzinger's Gold Barn" daylillies a few years back. I figured he was a neighbor. Never until this thread did I piece the big picture together. How wonderful that these two octagenarians traded plants so long ago, and still pass them out to us!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 11:55AM
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Actually, "Country Gardens" is different from the concrete statuary place that is also right on Route 29 in Madison.

Unfortunately, I think the concrete statuary place (they make their own concrete statuary) is going out of business, as I passed by there last week & not only did they have a 50%-off sale sign, but also a smaller sign advertising "molds" for sale.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 12:27PM
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myloki(7 Va)

This is a great thread. I'm going to print it to plan some garden adventures since I will probably skip my annual trek to the open house at Tufton/Monticello Center for Historic Plants.
Another great nursery near Richmond is Dirty Hands. The are out on Midlothian Turnpike and have some nice perennials and a very creative display. That's what I like about Sneed's too - very garden like in the display.
I prefer the smaller east end Stranges to the big west end one. For me, it is a lot closer, they seem to have better sales, and the people are always really freindly and helpful. One guy even followed me around with a flat and held my annual selection for me while I carried my weary toddler - now that's customer service!
Andre Viettes is gorgeous and pleasant to visit. I've been meaning to go to Sherando's too - rose buff that I am.
Personally, I find the new Great Big Greenhouse to be a bit overwelming. It is so big and rather pricey.
For water gardens, the Ashland Berry Farm is nice.
Is the statuary place ya'll are talking about Harpers? I bought stuff from them at the Maymont F&G show and wanted to go out to their place.
I bought a few plants from Lazy S at the recent Ginter sale and they really do have an extraordinary selection.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 2:36PM
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This is a great listing of VA nurseries


Here is a link that might be useful: VA Nurseries

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 12:48PM
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If you want to travel in the other direction, RainFrost nursery is located in the Lynchburg/New London area. They have a great selection, especially plants that are harder to find...they are a bit pricey though...

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 6:46PM
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It is such a shame that Sunny Boy Gardens closed. They were expensive but felt less commercial than lot of places! I at least liked to browse there because I drive by it every day!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 2:31PM
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Don't forget "Little Five Azalea Farm" in Hanover County north of Richmond on Rt 1 across from Virginia Center Commons shopping mall, down a dirt road - there is a small sign on Rt 1. It's been there forever, getting crowded out by development, and they have much, much more than azaleas, and their plants are always healthy. They are extremely knowledgeable about plants and this area. No telephone! (The last I knew). Open the usual days and hours. A wonderful old-fashioned nursery.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 9:15PM
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yankee_in_va(z7 VA)

I had a good experience at the Gardener's Nursery in the far west end of Henrico, near the intersection of West Broad Street and 288. Lots of selection and friendly people.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2006 at 8:44AM
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Is anyone aware of/familiar with a nursery near Lovingston/Arrington Virginia...supposed to be at the intersection of 29 and 56, but we can't seem to find it online or on any map.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 8:55PM
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