Monday, September 7th, 2009...12:00 am

Ambleside Garden & Nursery

By now readers know that TheGardenLady loves to recommend what she considers outstanding nurseries.

There is an excellent nursery in central NJ called Ambleside Gardens & Nursery,  located in Hillsborough, NJ, that TheGardenLady wants her readers to know about. This is a pretty garden as well as a nursery, a place to visit as a destination.  It’s a place that TheGardenLady takes out of state visitors. It is a garden with lots of gorgeous plants to see that are all for sale and in the center is a charming building with lots of interesting items to buy- items from around the world, not necessarily just for gardens.

It is simply a great nursery to go to if you want to buy excellent plants and/or gifts for yourself or a friend. For example, if you love to give Poinsettias for Christmas, they have some of the most beautiful and unusual colored ones as well as magnificent pots of the red varieties. But if you are looking for something more unusual as a Christmas gift, like Christmas decorations, this is the place to shop. For example, if you like creches for Christmas, they have them from around the world. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, these items are works of art. Whoever is their buyer knows how to find some of the most fascinating decorations.

But they are really a nursery. So if you want to see and buy the newest plants on the market, they are probably at Ambleside. If you want to get some idea of how to decorate your garden, Ambleside Gardens is the place to go. If you want help, they have friendly people there to help- including the owner David Scudder and his mother who originally founded the nursery. If you want to be left alone, they are happy that you have come to visit and will leave you alone.

And though you don’t have to buy anything, I can feel sure that once you visit you will not want to leave empty handed. I know this GardenLady never can leave without buying something. The last time I visited I bought a fragrant Echinacea called Fragrant Angel.  Maybe Fragrant Angel will appear in another nursery next year, but if you want to be the first in your neighborhood with a new plant that you read about, this is usually the nursery to visit. That is not to say that they might not have older, tried and true plants for sale. TheGardenLady was looking for a pink Buddleia- Pink Delight. This is a fragrant Buddleia with long spikes. It is not a new Buddleia so that I thought it would be easy to find in other local nurseries. It wasn’t. But Ambleside had it. TheGardenLady loves her verbena- grown as an annual. She saw a peachy coloroed one in a Botanical Garden in Maine that she coveted. She learned that Ambleside Garden & Nursery had carried it.

You might get ideas of what to plant in your garden just from walking around their gardens, but Ambleside has LANDSCAPING SERVICES that are tailored to meet the customers’ needs. They can help you choose the right plant for your location and arrange to have it delivered and installed. Or they can consult with you at the garden center and help you make selections to take home and plant yourself. Their popular ‘in house’ consultation is free of charge but you must make an appointment and bring photographs of your garden, a scaled drawing of the area to be treated (graph paper is best for this scaled drawing), and note sun and wind directions.

Ambleside Gardens and Nurseries is not the largest nursery TheGardenLady has visited, but it is a nursery with quality plants where one can always find so many truly wonderful plants. And you might even find something better than what you were looking for when you went there. And if Ambleside Nursery knows that customers want something, they will make an effort to get it. For example, Japanese maples are popular with their customers so they may have one of the largest selections of Japanese maples in the area.

If you are a gardener and are looking for plants, or if you want something really special for your garden – this is a Nursery to check out. This nursery always has one of the most extensive selections of plant material in New Jersey with many unusual and hard to find varieties. If you are in the area, stop to visit Ambleside Garden & Nursery. Tell them TheGardenLady sent you.

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