The First Plant Hunt: A Scouting Mission

The First Plant Hunt: A Scouting Mission

Yesterday we went on a scouting mission. Needham’s Nursery in Mount Juliet was the territory we explored. The game was scarce as the season has not officially begun, but as I said it was only a scouting mission. We wandered the paths of our quarry occasionally stopping to observe, admire, and record the potential acquisitions.

Although it was early, what we hunted for was there, lurking among the rows of vegetation just waiting to be found. We saw several interesting formations while scanning the lay of the land.

We stalked our quarry past the Hamamelis (Witch hazel) which stared at us while fully in bloom.

The path beyond the Witch hazel the trail led us to the purple foliage of the loropetalum.

Once we passed the lorpetalum we stopped to observe the dry seed pods of an extremely rare site in the south: The Crape myrtle!

We trudged on, through the rhododendrons. A native of the of the mountainous regions of our state.

Through the grasses.

As we journeyed on we observed the striking red bark of the Cornus stolinifera (Red Twig Dogwood). A great specimen for winter interest.

Resting among the shrubs we sited a Nandina domestica. Like the Cornus stolinifera it is also noted for its winter color with its red berries and red laced foliage.

During the hunt we noticed the variegated foliage of this Liriope was flourishing despite some damage in the underbrush.

The arborvitae was standing tall like silent sentinels guarding the path.

The Leyland cypress watched quietly as we crept pass.

As we were leaving a flock of Mugo pine appeared.

Did we find what we were looking for? You can find out when the plans for the wedding landscape continue!


Dave has written since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 5 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Wow … I am so jealous .. we are still up to our eyeballs in snow .. I could cry seeing sone one out on the first plant hunt mission ! Thanks for the pictures though !

  2. Oh, I can’t wait. I want to go, but there’s nothing yet. I’m going to a garden meeting today instead.~~Dee

  3. Thanks for sharing you wonderful journey with us! I am so ready to get out and plant something in the yard. It was 72 degrees here yesterday and calling for a repeat today! Time to get a huge Pine tree off the ground…

  4. I did the same came home with a couple of blueberry bushes, hopefully I can keep them alive this year

  5. I am looking forward to a little scouting it is quite fun . But I must admit I have been caught a few times over the years forgetting good sense and buying to early jus because I couldn’t wait . This year when I go scouting “I Will Be Strong” plus extra lucky my daughter informed me nothing for the garden till she is home at spring break and can “Supervise” serves me right for getting her interested in gardening I suppose

  6. good good post. i want some of those crepes! did you notice what variety of witch hazel that was in bloom and did it smell good?

  7. Sorry Joy! If it makes you feel better I wouldn’t mind seeing some snow!


    The selection was actually just starting to show up at that nursery. Many of the shrubs and trees were overwintered from fall.


    You should be able to start planting real soon I would think! Careful with the pine!


    Blueberries are on our list for this year also. What variety did you get?


    It’s great you got your daughter interested in gardening. I hope my two little girls will do the same. One of them is well on her way. She has to have her shovel and rake whenever I do!


    They had a bunch of those crapes. I planted some from seed the other day from my wife’s grandmother’s house. We’ll have to see what happens with them. I plan on propagating some of them this year once the new growth gets going good! The Witch Hazel smelled nice but it wasn’t very strong. As for the variety I looked but have forgotten already! It had orange colored blossoms. I need to get one for myself one of these days!

    One thing I liked but did not take a picture of was the Coral Bark Japanese Maple. Awesome tree, very expensive!

  8. i bought my coral bark maple on sale-$15 at home depot four years ago. what a bargain. i have posted on it before. look for those sales dave, you can catch them in the fall. this Japanese maple is an awesome cultivar as you know.

  9. Dave, I love the way you wrote this post. Like stalking the wild game 🙂

    Can’t wait to see more!

  10. Tina,

    That is a bargain! The one’s we saw were probably about 5-6 ft tall and had a price tag of around $150-200. I’ll be looking for those bargains!


    Thanks! Be on the lookout for more safari adventures. 😉

  11. I would have grabbed one of those witch hazels in a heartbeat. That is tops on my search list this year. I’ve not seen any in our local nurseries in the past year, so I may have to wait until we go to Cincinnati in a month or so.

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