Pleasant Run Nursery

A little while ago TheGardenLady had the opportunity to shop at Pleasant Run Nursery – a strictly wholesale nursery in Allentown, NJ that opens one day a year for the Allentown Garden Club who then invites other plant related people to join them to buy plants wholesale. If you are part of a garden club see if you can find out when this event will take place next year and then see if you can get invited.

Pleasant Run Nursery is a nursery for the best retail nurseries and landscapers in the tristate area to buy their plants. Wow. With 70 greenhouses this is a plant lover’s paradise. TheGardenLady was able to buy two fragrant Korean spice bushes (see here). Viburnum carlessii and Viburnum carlessii ‘Diana’- shrubs that will grow under black walnut trees. Walnut trees exude a toxin that kills many other shrubs and plants. (I will write more about this toxin in another post.)

When I parked my car, I met John Brandauer who was there as a volunteer to help the nursery with all the plant lovers who were taking advantage of this great opportunity. John has a website called Weeds for Wildlife whose mission is to enhance backyard habitats for wildlife and to make the world a better place. It seems like a noble mission so I want to share this website with my readers for all the information on it and for the wonderful photos and links.  See here.

Where To Buy Sansevieria, also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue

Sansevieria – Mother-in-law tongue or Snake Plant by Green Acres Nursery

TheGardenLady received this question from Glen.

Where can I find a mother-in-law’s tongue to buy?

Generally you should be able to buy Sansevieria – common name is Mother-in-Law’s Tongue – at your local nurseries or garden centers that sell indoor plants. If you cannot find the plants locally, there are numerous sites online where you can order them in the US and abroad. You might also contact or join the International Sansevieria Organization or a local Cactus Society to see which nurseries they recommend.

There is a website called Cactus Mall that lists places to buy Sansevieria.  See here.  This site has interesting information about Sansevieria.

Untitled by *n*o*o*r*

You can buy Sansevieria on eBay.

Though TheGardenLady cannot recommend any specific online nursery, a short list of online nurseries where you can order Sansevieria are:

Bob Smoley’s Gardenworld

Brookside Nursery

Glasshouse Works

Succulent Garden website

Hope this helps.

Planting Native Trees and Shrubs

new green ash 3 by withrow

Are readers of TheGardenLady thinking of planting native trees and shrubs in your yards? Are you willing to plant them as seedlings? Especially now, after the terrible storm that blew so many trees down, you might be considering replanting your property.

A place to get them is a nursery in Jackson, NJ that has been in business for 100 years- so they know their native trees and shrubs. This is the only state run nursery in NJ. See here. This nursery raises native trees and shrubs from seeds. If you have a large enough property, this is a place to get your planting done quickly and cheaply. The NJ State Forest Nursery (732) 928-0029 will sell you a bundle of thirty tree seedlings- 3 or 4 different kinds in each bundle depending on where you want to plant these seedlings.

There is a:

Watershed Packet: These species like moist soils and prevent runoff.

Wildlife Packet: These species provide food and habitat for wildlife.

Beautification Packet: These species are aesthetically pleasing.

The trees in the groups include:

Green ash by Fr Antunes

Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) – Fast growing tree to 50-60 ft tall

Pin Oak Leaves – Quercus palustris by maxi millipede

Pin Oak (Quercus palustris) – Grows to 60-70 ft, 25-40ft ft wide, red fall color

Silky Dogwood (Cornus amomum) – Grows 6-10 ft, 6-10 ft wide. Creamy white flowers in spring

Cephalanthus occidentalis, Common buttonbush, Roanoke, Virginia by shyzaboy

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) – Shrub grows to 12 ft. Small, white flower clusters in late summer

Pitch Pine by Jim Frazier

Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida) – Grows to 60ft. Hardy and fire tolerant

White Pine (Pinus strobus) – Grows to 50-80 ft, 20-40 ft wide. Fast growing

Silky Dogwood (Cornus amomum) – Grows 6-10 ft, 6-10 ft wide. Creamy white flowers in spring

Oak Alley by Lake Fred

Oak (Quercus spp.)

White Pine (Pinus strobus) – Grows to 50-80 ft, 20-40 ft wide. Fast growing

Picea abies ‘Acrocona’ 031012-063 by Tony Rodd

Norway Spruce (Picea abies) – Hardy, aromatic, and fast-growing to 60 ft tall

The seedlings have to be ordered no later than March for an April or May delivery or you will have to wait for next spring for delivery. Though this is basically for NJ residents, when I called them to see if they would sell these bundles to people in other midAtlantic states, they seemed to say they would. Tell them that TheGardenLady recommended them. Out-of-staters have to phone or visit the nursery. If you live in NJ you can order on line here.

This nursery also offers all sorts of interesting classes about trees such as how to identify trees and tree care. Classes are for children and adults. And if you drive to their nursery, they have miles of hiking trails. Make this a day’s outing.

Stark Brothers Nurseries and Orchards

TheGardenLady received this question from Wanita:

Can you provide some nurseries that sell espaliered apple trees?  I live in
southern Michigan and would like to plant in the spring.  I have a small yard and
would like a couple apple trees and a peach tree if possible in my space.

One of the really good places to get espaliered apple and peach trees in the United States (they ship everywhere in the US except Hawaii) is from Stark Brothers Nurseries and Orchards.  See here.  After  200 years this company knows their business. They have a number of espaliered tree choices that they sell.

There are many English orchards or nurseries that sell espaliered trees but Stark Bros. told me that espaliered fruit trees is becoming more popular in the US.

You do know that you need at least 6 hours of sun for the trees to bear fruit. Stark Bros. will send you free planting instructions that should include pruning techniques. You will have to prune espaliered trees yearly.  Because fruit trees often need lots of pesticides, ask for the most disease resistant trees when you buy. If you have any problems with the trees, they will be able to help solve them.

I do not know your temperature zone- I guess it is zone 5- but you should ascertain what it is before ordering. When buying trees, tell the nursery your temperature zone to get the best trees for your area.

Fall is the best time to plant espaliered trees and Stark Bros. is presently shipping orders of espaliered and other fruit trees. They may also giving a discount if you order online.

So call and order your trees immediately if you are serious about wanting espaliered trees in your yard next spring.  If you order through Stark Bros. you can get their cataogue online or call for it at 800.325.4180

Next spring you will enjoy your garden.  TheGardenLady and her readers would love to have you share photos of your espaliered trees with any comments you have to tell about your experience with them.

Fall is a Great Time to Buy and Plant Plants, Shrubs and Trees

Colorful Fall Planting by Don3rdSE
Colorful Fall Planting by Don3rdSE

The GardenLady just returned home from another buying spree of perennials and shrubs. This is TheGardenLady’s favorite time to buy plants. At Russell Gardens Wholesale, I got the Jackmanii Clematis that I wanted to plant next to my new arbor. I also bought 9 good sized hosta plants plus 6 other perennial plants. The price for everything came to just a little over $50. I couldn’t fit another plant in the car. Today I bought the Buddleia davidii Pink Delight that I decided I needed when I saw the wonderful long pink spikes it has. This buddleia looked magnificent in the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden. I bought it in a gallon pot at half price.

When you are driving around this fall, I hope the readers of this blog notice the huge signs at most nurseries that say SALE. And like TheGardenLady, I do hope that you are taking advantage of these sales. Unless you are shopping for a new plant that is being featured in the spring or you are looking for a plant that absolutely must be planted in the spring, FALL is the time of the year to buy and plant your garden. Why? Because this is the time of year that nurseries and gardens are having sales. The nurseries want to get rid of inventory so that they don’t have to keep all those plants in pots over the winter. And they want to make room for new plants that will be coming to them in the spring. And it is not just nurseries that are having the sales, plant catalogs and websites are having their sales. So you, the gardener will reap the benefit of these sales. Fall is a buyers market for perennial plants, shrubs and trees.

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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.

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Cricket Hill Garden and Peony Heaven an Outstanding Peony Nursery

Spring River Flowers Moon Night

The river is smooth and calm this evening.
The peony flowers bloom.
The moon floats on the current.
The tide carries the stars.

by Ch’ien Ch’i (date unknown) Sent to me by David Furman

TheGardenLady’s herbaceous peonies (these are the typical peonies most people grow) are just opening but her tree peonies which are woody or shrublike, that are still relatively young, have no buds nor flowers. I learned that tree peonies can take 3 or more years to start flowering- some as long as 8 years to start flowering. But then the plant can live for at least 100 years-tree peonies have been documented to have lived as long as 400 years.

Peonies -Paeonia are one of the oldest cultivated flowers in the world, being mentioned in early Chinese writings 2800 years ago. They are China’s National Flower. Then they were taken to Japan where they started to be raised about 1000 years ago. And in the 1700’s English botanical explorers in China first saw the “tree” peonies and brought them to England.

TheGardenLady loves to tell her readers of excellent nurseries. What designates an excellent nursery for TheGardenLady? The nursery owners have to be PASSIONATE about their flowers. They have to be knowledgeable about their plants and willing to share that knowledge and help people who are interested in the flowers the nursery sells. And the nursery has to sell an extensive number of quality plants. Having a show garden is an added bonus. To this end, TheGardenLady wants to tell her readers about Cricket Hill Garden in Thomaston, Ct.

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Searching for Espaliered Quince Trees

Beautifully espaliered quince by andrea_hall (on flickr)
Beautifully espaliered quince by andrea_hall (on flickr)

TheGardenLady received this question from Elizabeth.

Can you tell me where I might be able to find a nursery/source for an espalier? I’ve been trying for years, to no avail, to espalier a quince. I would like to buy one that flowers.

Until you asked for a nursery to buy an espaliered tree, TheGardenLady
always thought that one had to create one own’s espaliered tree by training it yourself. Trying to check out your request, TheGardenLady discovered nurseries that sell already espaliered trees. But unfortunately, none that she called have espaliered quince trees for sale.

Espalier is when a tree, shrub or vine is trained to grow on a single plane and not allowed to deviate from it, that is known as the “espalier” style. Espalier stems from a 16th-century European practice.

Most people choose apple or pear trees to espalier not only to save space but to get more fruit in a small space. And there are nurseries that do sell espaliered apple and pear trees.

Quince can be espaliered but it can be trickier because many of the
shrubs have thorns.  See here.

There are many excellent sites on espaliering so that you might be
willing to try making your own espaliered quince tree.  See e.g. here.

TheGardenLady will continue to ask if there are nurseries that sell
flowering quince that is already espaliered and if she ever finds a place will post it on the blog; but thus far, she has not been able to find any nursery in the states that sell it already espaliered. Because Europe seems to do more with espaliered trees perhaps you can find a European nursery that sells

Russell Wholesale Gardens

In 2007 TheGardenLady had written an article entitled “Tip: A Great Nursery to Buy Perennial Plants and Herbs.” Now there is an update on this excellent nursery. Russell Wholesale Gardens has just put out their own website. Many of their plant descriptions are online so that “current customers can now submit orders online if they want.” There is an excellent Reference section so that gardeners can choose plants for specific locations. There are lists of perennials and herbs. Russells give you their phone number so that you can contact them and get directions to go there.  If you want to email them go here.

Stony Brook Orchids – A great place for orchids


TheGardenLady loves to let her readers know about excellent nurseries she thinks her readers would like to know about as well as flower shows that her readers would enjoy.

One such nursery is Stony Brook Orchids,  an orchid business in Pennington, NJ, that specializes in Phalaenopsis orchid plants of all colors and sizes, including the more unusual yellows, art shades, stripes, spots and more.  The nursery also sells miniature Cattleyas, one of the small treasures of the orchid world with plant height generally under 6 inches (flower spikes taller on some varieties) as well as Oncidium orchids.  And the nursery sells orchid-growing supplies, such as potting mix, fertilizer, etc.

The owner of Stony Brook Orchids is Susan Gange who says that she bought her first orchid in 1978 and promptly killed it, having relied on the rather sketchy orchid-growing information available to the hobby grower at that time. A couple of years later, she tried again, with much better success. So much success that this hobby resulted in a business.

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