Northwood News ♦ April 2020
Nurseries and Garden Centers in Maryland Near Us
By Taffy Turner
The closing of Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville was very
distressing for the gardeners among us, but not to worry; there are
still many nurseries and garden centers in our greater Maryland-D.C.
I am a certified horticulturalist, a
University of Maryland Extension Master Gardener, and a passionate plant
collector. So the more interesting and unusual the plant, the more
I’m likely to give it a try. Behnke’s had a great
selection, and many of the plants in my garden came from there.
But it’s like shopping for anything — the more shops you
visit, the more variety you are likely to find. I have found
interesting cultivars in the most unlikely of garden centers, many
of them listed below.
Here are nurseries I have used over the past 29 years since I’ve
lived in my house on Lorain Avenue. They are listed alphabetically.
I have added a few comments (my opinion only).
2 locations, in Potomac and Bethesda.
The Potomac location is
larger with more variety, nice selection of annuals in the spring, perennials
and woodies, knowledgeable staff. Nice garden shop, lots of pots, etc.
Fehr’s Nursery and Garden Center
I haven’t been here in years, mostly because
I was unimpressed with the place. But I know other people like it, and
it’s not too far from us.
Good Earth Garden Center
2 locations, in Potomac and Sandy Spring.
Small but the staff
is knowledgeable. I have found some good things at the Potomac location
over the years.
Grey Goose Farm
Laytonville on Rte. 108.
Mostly hardscape supplies —
stepping stones, rocks, nice pots, etc. — not so many plants.
Mulch, soil, etc., in bags.
Homestead Garden Center
Davidsonville, about 35 minutes from here.
A large, very nice
garden center on the same order as Behnke’s, probably a bit more
expensive. A great garden shop, especially during the holidays –
all kinds of things like tools, ornaments, furniture, outdoor cooking equipment,
knick knacks of all kinds. They also carry pet supplies, an enormous stock
of pots and containers, water gardening supplies, etc. Knowledgeable
staff; you can sign up for their “garden club” for discounts.
2 locations, in Kensington and Olney.
The little store in
Kensington is convenient and carries nice annuals in the spring. The
Olney store is a lot bigger, good selection of plants, nice garden shop,
Meadows Farm Nursery
There are many Meadows Farm locations all over
the greater D.C. area. Pretty basic plant selection, but it’s
where I usually get my annuals every spring because you can still get trays
for a reasonable price. I have found the occasional gem in their
“dent and scratch” area.
I haven’t been here in a while, but I remember
it as having a good selection of plants and knowledgeable staff.
It’s where I got my Franklinia tree 17 years ago when they were
nearly impossible to find in the trade.
Potomac Garden Center
Again, I haven’t been here in a
while. Mid-size place; worth a visit if you’re in the area.
Small, local; but I have found nice plants
here in the past. It’s probably not a destination place,
but I always stop by when I’m in the area.
Very nice, large nursery, not quite as big as
Benhke’s but nice plants, knowledgeable staff. They are known
for their trees; if you buy one for over $200 in the spring or fall, they
will plant it for free, which I have done several times.
Susanna Farm Nursery
Not a full service garden center but a specialty nursery
for unusual dwarf Japanese maples, conifers, and other shrubs and trees.
A real treat for the plant collector, but not cheap! They recently added
a garden shop with lovely pots, containers, and other nice stuff. One of
my all time favorites!
All of these places sell native as well as non-native plants. The idea
is to plant a wide diversity of plant material — perennials, shrubs, trees
— with lots of different flower types and bloom times so your garden will
be a sustainable environment for pollinators and other insects. Know your
garden and its light conditions, soil, etc. One of the mantras we are
taught as Master Gardeners is “right plant, right place.”
If you want a more in-depth opinion of these nurseries as well as a few
additional ones, check out the blog of my friend, garden writer
Keep in mind that she lives in Old Greenbelt when she talks about
driving distances, etc. ■