I really enjoy visiting nurseries – especially the small owner-operated ones that specialize in specific types of plants. You can often find things that don’t make it to the larger nurseries, let alone the supermarket parking lots. The people working there (ie those owner-operator types!) are a wealth of knowledge about what grows well in a local area, what survived last year’s drought and how tall something might really get!
On Saturday, to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, I went with some friends to Fuller Native & Rare Plant Nursery in Belleville, Ontario. I’ve never been before but found out about them at the Picton Seedy Saturday earlier this year. What a jewel! This tiny nursery has four small structures jammed with trees, shrubs and perennials in pots 4″ to five gallon – including many in an ‘end of season’ sale – five 10 cm ‘plugs’ for $10. (They call them plugs, to me they’re tall 10 cm pots.)
Anyway – love this place, their display beds are outstanding – all full of colour and ideas. I walked out with some 10 cm plugs of Empatorium purpureum (Joe Pye Weed) and Helenium autumnale (Sneezeweed) plus two plants that are new to me: Sanguisorba canadensis (Canadian Burnet):and Thermopsos Villosa (Carolina Lupin): Didn’t know anything about their habit or needs but they looked great planted out at the nursery. A quick internet search indicates the Thermopsis should do well – it can take dry, clay soil, while the Sanguisorba might find it more challenging as it likes moist areas.
But hey, it survived through last year’s drought at the nursery with no hand watering – and we’ve just come through the wettest spring in a century, so here’s hoping!