Friday, May 2, 2008
A Visit to Colesville
Three weeks ago, two friends and I took a quick junket to Ashland, VA to visit Colesville Nursery. For years as I travelled up I95, my eyes had searched the nurseygrounds that would taunt me from the highway wondering what interesting plants lay in the fields and hoop houses.
I came with a tight budget and a short list of plants. A short, boring list of plants. A very tight budget. Oh well, I figured I could have some excitement vicariously through my friends who had bigger budgets and far more exciting lists.
Here is my personal take on Colesville. We had an extremely positive experience. We were lucky enough to hook up with nurseryman Tom who guided us in the right direction and even carried us to some spots in his golf cart. I was especially impressed with how willing he was to chat with me about my garden and how I garden. He is a Japanese Maple collector and, though one is not currently in the budget nor on the list, he gave me the names of his favorites for my yard and growing conditions. He also showed me some other plants that he thought I might enjoy based on my interest in color -- I didn't buy any, but a Lady in Red hydrangea is now on the list for my front yard garden.
I would definitely checkout their website before visiting, especially this page for new visitors. As I've said, we had excellent customer service although Tom was busy trying to fill orders for landscapers while he was answering our questions and checking inventory for us.
The prices for trees and shrubs were less than I could have gotten at a nursery in town (I'm trying to avoid buying plants at big box stores) and well worth the drive to Ashland. I can't attest to the variety of selection since I'm not a collector nor a plant expert. However, if Tom has anything to do with it, I'm sure they have a nice selection of Japanese Maples. You can see their entire inventory here.
The perennials were disappointing both in terms of selection and price. I was looking for flats of mondo grass and they were $6 more expensive per flat at Colesville than at The Great Big Greenhouse. I bought an Arborvitae Emerald Green (boring but looks stunning in the garden and was on the list) and a scotch broom (Dorothy Walpole, which was on the list). I also bought a dwarf pampas grass (cortaderia selloana) which was not on the list but I have a hard time not buying some kind of grass when I'm at a nursery.
All in all, a wonderful shopping adventure. We wanted to have time to stop at Little Five Azalea Farm on the way home, but as it was, we were barely in time to pick up the kids from preschool. Little Five will have to wait for another day ...