Sunday, May 13, 2012

Let the Plant Buying Begin!

May is container garden plant buying month.  Through the internet I have managed to find friends scattered throughout the country who are as extreme about their gardens as I am-you know, normal people.  Once a year we get together for a long weekend somewhere in the country and just visit gardens and each other.  A few of us are fortunate to live close enough to hang out (and nursery crawl) on a fairly regular basis-and we do.  Today we took our first plant buying trip of the season to Walker Farm in Dummerston, VT-just north of Brattleboro.

Walker Farm offers a fabulous collection of unusual annuals and tropicals-many they grow from seed.  A few years ago they built a large new greenhouse just for the annuals.  As you can see the selection is extensive.  The prices are also reasonable.

When it comes to plant shopping we are the ultimate enablers.  No feeling guilty about spending next week's grocery money on plants when you're with this crowd.  For me today is only the beginning.  IMO the best is yet to come.  For the more common plants I frequent a few local farm stands and garden centers.  At the destination nurseries I go for plants that are more difficult or impossible to find elsewhere.  When in doubt though I always buy.  And so do my friends.

Of course no nursery trek would be complete without a side trip to a local eatery for lunch.  We like to eat almost, or maybe even more so than we like to garden so naturally we have favorites when it comes to food too.  In Brattleboro it's Top of the Hill Grill.

Barbecue is the theme but the menu offers many choices including vegetarian dishes.  You order at a window and sit outdoors picnic table style or in a screen house which is heated with a gas stove in cooler weather.  The view is worth the price of admission.

On the way home we stopped at Bay State Perennial Farm in Whately, MA-a new nursery to us.  No annuals here but they had a decent selection of perennials, shrubs and trees.  We managed to find a just a few things we couldn't live without-mostly plants with variegated or colored foliage-our weakness.  It may be great to be green but it's better to be burgundy.  Right?

I got home just in time to plant a few things and organize the inventory and staging area.  By the end of next weekend this area of my patio will look like a high end nursery.  Today I also got the last of the wintered over plants out of the basement and started moving all the terra cotta and glazed containers out of the garage.  They will need to be cleaned and then situated.  Every year I wonder how I'm going to get all the garden work done but somehow it always seems to come together. 

Oh and Happy Mother's Day to those of you who are mothers to someone or some thing!


  1. Your Walker Farm photos remind me of Ferguson's Fragrant Nursery in St Paul Oregon, which I am trying to fit into the schedule..they have a display garden , and a really interesting container plant operation. Food. I need to think about the food.

  2. Next weekend is the shopping AND eating extravaganza-my favorite nursery and my favorite restaurant. Forget Christmas-this is the most wonderful time of the year!