Friday, July 6, 2012

Stonegate Gardens: A Special Place

Have I said how much I like plants.  I love plants and as much as space and money allow, and I am always willing to try out something new.  I am also lucky enough to have a wholesale/retail nursery close by that can meet my thirst for something new (and old), and find that special plant for a client's garden.  Stonegate Gardens is located on Rt. 117 in Lincoln on the Weston line.  I was fortunate to work here for a year when I came back to the east coast. Here I re-learned the plant palette and zones in New England and for that experience I found a rare nursery.
A quick aside, I do not plug items or places for money.  If I were to accept money or other compensation I would clearly mention the situation upfront.  This nursery is a wonderful place that I want to share it with everyone.
Lynne Bower is the manager and she and her staff make sure that every year they have a stunning array of plants sourced from all over the country.  While it is always good to purchase and plant material grown in your region, it is not always practical or efficient.  Some plants grown in the Pacific Northwest or the Atlantic States will grow and mature much more quickly than they would if they were grown in Massachusetts.  That said, they do source lots of material from regional growers.
What I like most about this nursery is the superior quality of their plant material and the care that it gets throughout the season. They have a beautiful store, floral shop and sell garden supplies, but their focus is on plants and that is why I love to come here.
I was lucky to spend  a few hours here last week to see what was new and cool and I was overwhelmed.  My post last week on Chamaecyparis covered a number of plants that they had in stock.  The wide selection of Japanese Maples was great with several newer varieties of upright growing lace-leaf selections and as always a tremendous amount of specimen trees ready to fill a special spot on your property

Mostly their courtyard is filled with evergreen specimens and other great plants.  The colors, textures and shapes are mesmerizing and any of the plants would add wonderful architectural structure to gardens. Be careful when selecting these plants, while they may seem small in the container and may be called dwarf, they can grow significantly.  They will always have some interesting espaliered plants.  These are plants that have been trained in two dimensions to go against a wall or delineate separate spaces.  
An Espaliered Smoke Bush (Cotinus)
An Espaliered Red Japanese Maple

 The nursery is organized in a fashion that encourages you to wander aimlessly back a forth, with no rigid pattern, yet major groups of plants tend to be close to each other.  For inspiration I like to walk all over, sometimes several times, in case I missed some special goodies.  Following are a couple of interesting items I saw on my visit.  Along with all these wonderful plants, they do have most of the basics and an excellent perennial section sourced from some excellent growers.  

It is always good to have a local nursery you can visit and see great material, but here you will find an excellent staff, many of whom are tremendously knowledgeable.  That can be a big help in making the right choices and understanding the care your plants need.  You won't get this kind of reliable help from the big nurseries and you won't find the plants that this great nursery has in stock.

Have some fun, go visit a nursery.

This is a dwarf (to 6') Metasequoia
glyptostroboides (Dawn Redwood), such
cool find, I wanted to pet it.
Acer pseudoplatanus 'Eskimo Sunset'
A Sycamore

Acer palmatum 'Peaches and Cream'
A small orangy, red Japanese Maple
Holy cow!
One of many topiaries, this a variegated


  1. I'm always happy to know about great nurseries within striking distance of Maine (and not to far afield from my route down to visit family in Massachusetts and Rhode Island).

    I do a monthly feature on my blog where I review and recommend newly discovered garden blogs that I think my readers would enjoy. I just wanted to let you know that your blog is one of three I am highlighting this month. My post reviewing the blogs just went up, and your blog will be featured on my sidebar throughout the month. -Jean

  2. Read about your blog on Jean's Garden and wanted to check it out. Love your tour of Stonegate Gardens. I'll be back to visit often. Good luck! Lynn