Resources for landscape and garden designers in Boston are abundant and interesting, you just have to know where to look. It’s my own backyard so I thought I would do some posts about some of my favorite local garden design resources….starting with nurseries and plant places. There are lots of great garden centers, but these stand out in my mind as special places to make a visit to.
Weston Nurseries is good for a mix of things. A nice destination, if you are in Boston it might be worth the drive to the pretty town of Hopkinton – famous for being the starting point of the Boston Marathon. Weston’s is a great all round choice for plants, but they also propagate their own azaleas and rhododendrons.
Another favorite for just wandering and enjoying the ambiance is Stonegate Gardens in Lincoln. I can generally find something there that I haven’t seen before in a setting that is truly beautiful and inspiring. This might be my favorite retail Boston nursery…
Burt’s Bamboo’s in Westford is a place you can visit if you give a call ahead. Their website is very informative, but even more so is Albert, who will answer any question you have about bamboo’s (he ships all over the country too).
Another great area is what I call the ‘Carlisle Cluster’ – It is anchored by Blanchette’s and Seawright’s but there are a number of other little growers in the neighborhood. My favorite is a guy (don’t know the name) who is either on Lowell Street or East Street on the left coming from the center of town. He mostly grows grasses and has an interesting selection at a great price. Seawright’s makes me happy just by being there…it focuses solely on field grown Hostas and Daylilies. They have over 600 varieties. You wander the fields of Daylilies to pick what you want and then dig it. Just driving by and seeing the people out among the blooms gives me satisfaction. Bigelows is another old school place in Northboro, Massachusetts (again, worth the drive from Boston as the neighborhood is also quite pretty) — great for wandering, great selection and great prices…just don’t expect to get out of there in a hurry…they are super slow when it comes to getting loaded up and paid for (at least if you are wholesale).
Here in New England, it seems to me (not being from around here) that there is a slight Yankee hesitation towards the newcomers and anything flashy or glam. (Consider most of the above have been in business for multiple generations) I think Winston’s might fall into both of these categories (as garden centers go). Winston’s is known locally for it’s stunning floral shops that are well established, but it also has a small garden center in Newton that will knock your socks off. It’s modern, stylish, earthy and glamorous all at the same time.
I also have a couple of wholesale only favorites.
Van Burkum is the best place to go for New England Woodland Natives (Hands down. Period.) and Quansett Nurseries has the best selection of plants for projects that are well within zone 6. (I personally am in borderline zone 5)
Select Horticulture in Lancaster MA is a wonderful place to visit as the owners are two of the nicest most helpful people. Their stock is primarily large (really, I mean large) trees and shrubs. If you are looking for instant gratification….go here. Call ahead.