It’s not often that I am so impressed by a nursery that I feel compelled to write about them. So many nurseries just do things the same way, the established way. I know it works well but when a nursery steps it up a notch it REALLY works. Growild Nursery in Fairview, Tennessee to me is an example of one nursery that steps it up! Was it the plants that impressed me? Definitely, but that wasn’t all. The service by the employees was great. And it’s more than just the demeanor of the employees, they knew their stuff! They could tell me the habits of the trees, offer up examples of similar specimens that I might enjoy, and were simply a great horticultural resource.
Growild opens up to the public only a couple times a year. The rest of the season they sell to landscape designers, contractors, and by appointments. Their stock makes them unique in that they are one of only two major nurseries that specialize in native plants. If you’re looking for plants that are weather tolerant and grow in our rough soil conditions here in Tennessee then Growwild is the place to visit. They would be an excellent resource for anyone wishing to restore lands that have been taken over by invasive plants like honeysuckle or privet.
Of course I will have to admit I spent much more than I intended at Growild. When they are only open twice a year you’ve got to right? I went looking for a red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) which I’m thrilled to have planted in our garden over the weekend. The red buckeye is a hummingbird magnet that blooms in the spring with stalks of red tubular flowers. It’s a small tree that over the year might reach 12-14 feet. It likes partial shade but can take a few hours of hot afternoon sun. We found a buckeye that actually had a few seeds still attacked to the old flower stalk so that we knew it was already old enough to flower.
I also have a fondness for viburnums and came home with two more for our garden. I went looking for a ‘Rusty Blackhaw’ viburnum which comes highly recommend by Gail of Clay and Limestone. At the recommendation of one of the Growwild employees I took a look at a Witherod viburnum and instantly knew it was coming home with me too!
‘Rusty Blackhaw’ viburnum (Viburnum rufidulum) is a larger viburnum that reaches 10-20 feet in height and has spectacular orange to red fall color. It’s now planted in the backyard where it and grow as tall as it likes.
Witherod viburnum (Viburnum nudum) is a smaller viburnum that tops out around 5′. What made this viburnum stand out were its glossy leaves. When a plant only blooms for a couple weeks a year its important for it to have another feature that helps it to stand out. I planted our Witherod viburnum in one of our front yard gardens. It has nice fall color too and produces berries that range from pink to blue. The birds love viburnums!
It was an exciting day for me and I think my family enjoyed the visit to Growild too. My oldest daughter even got a mini harmonica lesson from one of the musicians who was there to entertain! If you didn’t get to Growild this weekend they will open again in the fall for customers during their tree sale season. If you’ve never been, it’s worth the trip!