Over the last five years the number of native plant nurseries has grown in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic making it easier to find sources of native plants that are adapted to our growing conditions and are appropriate for use in our landscapes. Many excellent Vermont retail garden centers are also expanding their stock of native plants – check the Green Works website to find one close to you.
Clients often ask me where we get our plants, so here are a few of our favorite wholesale growers. If you are trying to locate plants in large quantities we can acquire them for you (see below) or help you with a design. I’ll start with the growers closest to us and then go further afield:
Cobble Creek Nursery is our wholesale source for native trees and shrubs in Bristol, VT. John and Patti Padua and their staff are some of the most knowledgeable plant people in Vermont and are very active in Green Works, the VT Nursery and Landscape Association. Tim and I learn something new every time we walk through the aisles at Cobble Creek, and we occasionally bring clients with us when we select their plants.
Van Berkum Nursery is in Deerfield, NH and is our primary source for native New England and Appalachian Woodland Perennials as well as plants that are indigenous and grow well in meadow-like conditions. Several retail nurseries in VT carry their plants – check the Van Berkum website.
Vermont Wetland Plant Supply is a wholesale nursery owned by Dan Redondo in Orwell VT, who grows and sells herbaceous wetland plants primarily for the ecological restoration industries, but he also supplies plants for residential ponds and natural swimming pools. If we need to plant near a wetland, pond, lake or stream, Dan is our man. It also happens that one of his employees, Lena Curtis, spends her days collecting seed locally of wetland species, and her nights here at our farm, so we get the inside scoop on all things wetland.
Intervale Center Conservation Nursery - The Intervale Conservation Nursery (ICN) grows native riparian trees and shrubs for conservation projects statewide. Their plants are grown from seeds or cuttings, collected from native wild populations in Vermont. Their catalog is a wonderful resource for learning the species that grow in riparian zones in VT.
Project Native is non-profit wholesale and retail nursery in Housatonic, MA. They grow about 200 varieties of Northeast native plants (mostly perennials), have started a Berkshire seed bank, and also host lots of educational events.
Nasami Farm is the Nursery arm of the New England Wildflower Society and is located near Garden in the Woods in Whately, MA. They recently build a LEED Platinum building for education, research and retail sales. They collect NE native seeds from the wild and then focus on propagation and research to bring different and hard-to-grow plants into production. They also partner with local nurseries (like Van Berkum) to grow propagated plants to retail size.
American Beauties is a line of native plants from Pride’s Corner Farms in Lebanon,CT, who also happens to be the grower for the LiveRoof plant modules for our Green Roof planting of the Burlington Airport. We have been very pleased with the large 2-gal size containers and use them for NWF Schoolyard Habitats where we need instant impact. The American Beauties website is a wonderful interactive learning tool.
North Creek Nurseries in Landenberg, PA is our source for plugs, and they are constantly innovating, developing stronger varieties of native plants and exploring the use of ecological materials such as biochar in their soil mixes. We couldn’t plant meadows without them. They are wholeslae only but are a terrific resource for all native plant enthusiasts.
Roundstone Native Seed is the leading source for ecotype seed (regionally adapted, scientifically designed mixes used by The Nature Conservancy, NRCS, and Ecological Restoration companies). Everything from native grasses, wildflowers, woodland edge and pollinator mixes, you can also build your own custom mix online. Min order is only 1 lb. of seed - www.roundstoneseed.com.
We will be having a Native Plant Sale and Spring Open House here at the farm on Saturday May 24th, so mark your calendars. I will post a list of available plants by April 1st – its a good idea to email me a list of what you want before April 15th so I’ll be sure to reserve it for you. We will have plants available from many of the sources listed above and it’s a great opportunity for you to buy native plants specifically selected for the Vermont landscape at a great price, especially if you’re planning a large planting and want smaller plants.