The Spring Tour

Every spring I must do a driving tour of all my favorite nurseries to get the materials for spring planting. They all have different little specialties and styles, and each one is more fun than the next. It’s imperative that the tour be scheduled before the insane Mother’s Day shoppers, so I went last weekend.

My first stop is 30 miles south to Story’s Nursery in Freehold. With the price of gas being what it is I almost crossed it off my list, but it’s a tradition and I can’t start my garden without a visit. They had a massive fire that leveled the place a couple of years ago, but the rebuilt store is just lovely and worth the trip. It’s the only place I can find the giant nicotianas I like, and their rose selection is usually pretty good. A lot of my David Austin roses have come from there.

The next stop on my trek is Pigliavento’s Greenhouse in Guilderland. They always seem to be my best source for specialty annuals and the only place I have ever seen the Black Magic geraniums I like so much. They are a red so dark as to be nearly black, and do really well in containers.

Not far from Pigliavento’s is the Gade Farm which is probably my hands-down favorite all purpose nursery. It’s a family owned place and the people are super nice. If you are looking for small perennials this is the place, and their prices are fabulous. The bulk of my annuals come from them, heartily supplemented by the Gade Farm gift certificate I get every year from my sweetheart.

Finally, no spring tour would be complete without a trip to the Shaker Shed in Colonie. I discovered this nursery a couple of years ago and it’s the only place that carries burgundy impatiens. They also offer Cut & Come Again zinnias which do just exactly that; it’s an old fashioned variety that’s getting hard to find.

By the time I have made the rounds my Saab looks like the the flower car at a funeral home, and I’m pretty much broke. I’ll get months of pleasure from my purchases, though, and it’s all worth it.

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1 Comment

  1. May 11, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Well, I’m no gardening enthusiast, but I do like Northland Gardens up in Queensbury. I went there a few years ago when I was trying my hand at growing bonsai trees and was blown away by the size of the place. Pond supplies, plantings, seeds, bulbs, tools… If you’re up in that area, you should check it out. Plus there’s a great hole-in-the-wall diner down the street that makes tasty sandwiches (the best part, if you ask me).


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