Nursery Crawling

Juniper and I went nursery crawling yesterday. Our major destination was the ever interesting Catskills Native Nursery outside of Kerhonksen. This is a rather small operation with an amazing breadth of stock. I especially like their woody stock selection — it’s very well organized and labelled, unlike a lot of nurseries. Last year we bought a Yellow Lantern magnolia and a Saskatoon bush. We wanted another Saskatoon, but sadly they were out.

We stopped next at Phantom Gardener outside of Rhinebeck. I had never been here before, and was attracted by their billing as “Organic from the start.” This place was much more up-market than Catskills Native — appropriate to their area, I guess. Nice, wide selection of plants, from native to English boxwood — much like my own garden. They had terrific bookstore, to boot. Next time I’ll have to budge more money. A plant sale was in progress, so I picked up a cranesbill geranium, an Oenethera, and a couple asters at a great price.

On the way back, we stopped in Hudson to look around and buy an ice cream cone. What a town of contrasts. One block of very clear, very rough poverty. The next was totally gentrified and gussied up. We pulled into a kind of snooty place called ‘Lick,’ which did have good ice cream. Basically, the three star reviews on Yelp are right. The five stars must be plants, not the green growing kind. Anyway, right where we parked across the street was this amazing place called Secret Garden. The guy who owns it — according to his Dad, who was minding the shop — was in the landscaping business for several years before decided to grow and sell his own annuals. They had an amazing selection of verbenas, which is not a plant that I’ve ever been very fond of, but have grown to really like. They’re very colorful, very sturdy and more drought tolerant than any other annual I know. Unfortunately, my front yard is full up. I would have liked to buy a flat — I bought three and had a hard time fitting those in the next day .

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