Sunday, June 26, 2016

A Visit to a Nursery

Grange Hollow is the name of a local nursery. One of the very best, if not the best.

Recently, our local garden club organized a bus trip to nurseries, including Grange Hollow. We had perfect weather, a bright and sunny day with a cooling breeze.

Sales area of Grange Hollow Nursery

Waiting for the bus that had to pick up people in three different spots, my group took time to admire the wood lilies (Lilium philadelphicum) which are now blooming by the side of the road.

The bus arrived right on time, and our first stop was at a Tim Hortons, which is not just a Canadian chain of coffee shops, but a national institution.

As indicated on its site, Grange Hollow is a mother, daughter and daughter's boyfriend business. The three are Kathy, Sarah and Brian.

It is run from a traditional Ontario farm house not far from Chatsworth, Ontario.

 We had a catered lunch which we ate on the front porch of the house or at picnic tables near an outbuilding.

After lunch, we spread out through the various display gardens and sale areas.

The display areas are very attractive, and the vast majority of plants on display can be found in the sale area (which is not the case at every nursery).

Prices are very reasonable. In the area pictured below, all plants were 3 for $10. There was a good variety, and all plants were in very good condition except for, if I remember well, a series of Antennaria where a rare (for our area) giant swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes, had laid its eggs. It was a toss up between keeping the plants or the caterpillars and the latter won hands down.

Once we had seen everything and bought all the plants we could, Sarah and Brian handed out ice cream to everybody before we left for home.

A good time was had by all. Having left at 8:30 AM, we were back around 4:30 PM.

This tells you about distances in rural Canada. We had visited two of the nurseries in our area which, including lunch and Tim Hortons breaks, had taken 8 hours.

Part of the sales area, Grange Hollow Nursery

What did I buy? I bought some swamp milkweeds (Asclepia incarna), Anemone sylvestris, Sedum Sun Sparkler "Lime Twister", a sea kale (Crambe maritima) and the plant below.

 Eryngium planum 'Jade Frost' already settled here in the corner of a raised bed


  1. Nice pictures Alain. I have three plants of Asclepia from seed, they are in pots and not doing too well possibly because they need more water. The one thing I have noticed is that they emerge very late in the year, so late in fact that I thought they were dead! I know they like damp soil so should suit me, have you any other tips on their cultivation?

    1. Hi Rick,
      I suppose you mean Asclepia incarnata. I have never grown it but I know it likes it wet (but also sunny). I put it in my bog. The other Asclepisa (like tuberosa and the weedy syriaca) like it quite dry. It has not rained for 3 weeks and the numerous syriaca that grow on very poor soil around the house are doing perfectly fine.

  2. Alain .. I am so jealous ! this was a perfect adventure which included Tim Horton's too! haha .. this nursery is very interesting .. I would love to see it in person. My Asclepia are budding out nicely and I do so hope to see some butterflies in the garden tucking babies into them. It is sweltering here in Kingston at the moment .. 27 degrees happened at 8:30 AM .. thunder storms predicted for later bringing cooler weather we all HOPE !
    I like your choices VERY much .. Jade Frost is eye candy : )
    PS .. that was so sweet of them to give you ice cream (now I REALLY wish I had been there ! LOL)

    1. While it was 27 degrees in Kingston at 8:30 AM it was about 10 degree here! What a contrast, after all we are not that far away. We have not had any rain for almost 3 weeks. There was some all around us yesterday but none here.

  3. Looks like a very fun outing!

    1. It was Jason. We organize such an outing once a year in June.

  4. I have the same milkweed, sedum, and anemone. You'll love them all. I would go nuts if the nurseries were so far away. I have a big one just a few miles away. :o)

  5. Good choice, Alain. Your purchases weren't too expensive, were they? I think your garden club organized well your trip, visiting nurseries and having lunch there.
    Glad you had nice time!


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