As I mentioned earlier this year, I am making a commitment to visit nurseries this season. I kind of miss walking a nursery and enjoying it just for me. As a person in the bz, many times shopping is about the customer, which is also fun – but it was some ‘me’ time.
So today’s post is about Meadow View Farms in Southwick, Massachusettes. My sister enjoys going to this place and took me there last year, and I remembered liking their herbs and veggies section so my goal was to pick up some of those.
When I arrived to the nursery, there were so many cars and people, I couldn’t believe my eyes – on a Wednesday! It was a challenge finding an available parking space, especially with my big truck. When I backed it into the spot, a woman applauded saying she was impressed, and I responded, “Yes, I had people and carts moving around me as I was trying to make it in there.”
As soon as I put the truck into park, a familiar face walked up – a friend by the name of Brian. I met him at a bar – not what you think – he’s the bartender – and he showed me a book of his garden photos. He is an impressive gardener and has a beautiful greenhouse, so we just started talking plants as my husband sipped his cold brew that day we met. Brian has a great personality and walked up with a big smile on his face.
Brian told me he went to several nurseries in search of a plant he saw in the gardens at Meadow View and later discovered he was calling it by the wrong plant name! So that was a chuckle – especially because he knows plants.
“So show me which plant,” I said.
We walked over to a display area, and there it was – beautiful blue flowers on sturdy little stems above strap like leaves.
“I don’t know off the top of my head but it is a bulb type plant,” I told Brian. It looks familiar.
Brian thought it looked a bit like the perennial, Campanula. “Yes, it does,” I responded.
Of course, of all the plants in the garden displays, this one was not labeled (nor was it for sale at this nursery – at least not on this shopping day). But a staff person was quick to identify it for us. However, before we found her, I grabbed my iPhone and said, I’ll just take a photo and post the question on Facebook: “Who knows the name of this plant?”
It took literally seconds to get the name, and comments from gardening friends growing this plant in their gardens. By the way, after coming home, and looking it up, it is called Hyacinthoides hispanica (Spanish bluebell). It was formerly called Scilla campanulata (there you go Brian!), or Scilla hispanica. This plant blooms from April to May, and goes dormant in summer. And it grows well under trees, which is where it was located and repeated in the Meadow View display garden.
After a quick discussion with Brian on more plants, off he went – and so did I to the veggies section. I already bought some herbs but I wanted more, and so I looked around, then I spotted a lemon tree. Ironically, at the last two garden centers I visited, the “male” staff both told me they like lemon trees after we talked about plants like fig trees. Guys like lemons, I thought.
So spotting one here, I decided I want one too, and to see a variegated form sitting there along side other healthy lemon tree plants, I thought – this is it. On the cart you go, and the other was for a friend who found my idea of a lemon tree interesting – because lemons with summer cocktails is a good thing. So I texted her the price, and she said yes – get it for me.
The variegated one for me is actually a pink lemon everbearing variety. These can be placed in the basement to go dormant from what I was told, or even in the garage over the winter. It appears my theme this year for my container gardens is falling into the herb, fruit, and veggie category because I picked up a pineapple plant and fig tree recently too. Hope all bear fruit.
Meadow View Farms in Southwick, MA has some nice small display gardens where you can view plants they have for sale. They also put containers in various places and decor like wagon wheels as trellises for vine plants. They have a little sitting cafe area, which I didn’t go into to, but I believe they offer water and coffee there. And they do not have bathrooms, but outhouses which will do for any excited gardener shopping too long requiring a p-break.
They are stocked with great looking perennials, lots of big hanging baskets, annuals, and great veggies and herbs, with shrubs and vine plants too. I didn’t notice any trees, and the facility is mostly an outdoor place. There was no “garden decor” for sale, but lots and lots of plants with many enthusiastic shoppers. A place where you can easily strike up a conversation with a fellow gardener – many would stop to ask about something in my cart, and then comments flourished from there. My new lemon tree was a hot topic.
And it is very important to know – they do not take credit cards. So go there with cash or a check with license in hand. One would be very disappointed indeed if they made the travel there only to discover you can’t use a credit card – especially if you didn’t know while you waiting in the checkout line. It was at least 12-15 people long at times, but moved very quickly because they have a line of registers with very competent and fast moving staff.
But one guy behind me was just a bit too excited. As I waited in line, I spotted a bougainvillea plant and passion flower in hangers to my left. I wondered how much they were, so I quickly ran over looking for the price tag. Would you believe, he banged the back of my cart as the people in-front of me started moving forward to cash out. Guess I forgive him for being so impatient cause he had some huge hanging baskets on his cart – I think he just couldn’t wait to get them home.
Meadow View may be out in the country, and a bit of a drive for some folks, but this place has a big draw. My friend, Brian, told me it is “always like this” when I commented on how busy it was for a week day. I filled my cart with other plants, checked out, and enjoyed the sandwich I was glad I packed in my truck for lunch. And off I went anxiously to pot up my new lemon tree for my deck.
By the way, for you locals here thinking about going, I went through Suffield, CT and took Rt 168 for about 8 miles, past Lake Congamond. It is a beautiful country road, so I enjoyed the ride very much – and thought about how I have to go to that lake for kayaking some day soon too.
Container Crazy Cathy T
(860) 977-9473 cell