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2016 Newsletter - Wagon rides Print E-mail

Our Plants Love Wagon Rides!


   One of the most frequently asked questions in any garden center is “What’s new?” As gardeners we all long to grow plants our friends and fellow gardeners will admire and inquire about. Gardeners carefully select plants that they hope will bring years of enjoyment. At O’Brien Nurserymen in Granby, CT we have been filling our display gardens with choice specimens for seventeen years now; some of our special plants are thirty years old having been transplanted here when we moved from our previous location. Each year we add new unique growies to our displays so we are ready for that oft asked question “What’s new?”

   There is an old gardening adage; “The first year it sleeps, the second year it creeps, and the third year it leaps!” With this in mind we impatiently await spring, knowing our newest gardens across the pond will be entering their third year. How big will Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ have become? Will Hosta ‘Winter Snow’ catch as many discerning eyes in ’16 as it did in 2015? How will Hosta ‘Goodness Gracious’ appear from the sales yard overlook?

   We want to share an interesting story about Hosta ‘Goodness Gracious’. It is a wide edged sport of Hosta ‘Satisfaction’, one of our largest and most requested hostas. Hosta ‘Goodness Gracious’ was found in 2009 at Walters Gardens, a huge wholesale perennial nursery in Western Michigan. They applied for and were granted a plant patent, meaning they are the only ones that can propagate it. Our interpretation: “Wow, they must think a lot of this hosta.” So we ordered a bunch, placed a specimen in a prominent location in our display garden, and began to make customers aware of this beauty. Each year ‘Goodness Gracious’ emerged bigger and showier and we watched as more and more left our sales yard in wagons bound for customers’ cars. Last year noticing our supply was low, we ordered more from Walters only to be told ‘Goodness Gracious’ had been discontinued because of too many culls during the tissue culture process. We said, “You are telling us that this great hosta that we have nominated for the American Hosta Growers Association’s Hosta of the Year will soon be impossible to find?” They replied “Yes”! So we intensified our search for this great plant and are happy to report we have plenty of H. ‘Goodness Gracious’ for purchase at the nursery. When strolling through the display gardens this year, check out our plant to determine if it qualifies for a wagon ride to your car and a special place in your garden.


   As always, along with hundreds of hostas, we will have many new exciting offerings in 2016. We have had a local wholesale nursery propagating Daphnes for us with great success. Our loyal customers know of our high regard for Japanese Maples, and we stock an awesome collection of them in various sizes. Are you aware of dwarf forms of Ginkgos? We have a nice selection. And don’t even start us on conifers we love ‘em. Big ones, small ones; blue ones, yellow ones; narrow ones, wide ones! Let us show you your conifer options. Our daylily collection and offerings continue to expand. Good friend and daylily hybridizer, Mary Hull, has moved to Arizona. Before she left, she sold us 50 of her best creations, many never before offered for sale. Most will be available here for the first time EVER. Visit us mid-July through August for some cool one-of-a-kind daylilies. FAIR WARNING: we will be hosting the Connecticut Daylily Society summer picnic so come early to beat the collectors to these goodies! Other significant dates on the 2016 calendar are; May 15th, Karen Perkins of Garden Vision Epimediums will be at the nursery with her wide selection of epimediums and other collector plants for one day; June 5th, A visit from the Maine Hosta Society; August 12-14, we will be participating in the American Conifer Societies Eastern Regional Meeting in Keene, New Hampshire; and on September 10th we will be one of a dozen Granby farms having special events at their location for Granby Farm Day.

   As always, O’Brien Nurserymen is open on specific weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) from spring through fall. See our open garden schedule for the exact dates. We look forward to having you in our gardens and talking plants with you. We hope you will find a few plants that you will want to take for a wagon ride.

   Last year at the Connecticut Flower and Garden Show, we overheard a woman ask a friend if she had ever been to O’Brien’s? “That’s where I go for the good stuff,” she said. Our challenge is to locate those new and unusual plants for our customers.

   To find out more about O’Brien Nurserymen check out our website at www.obrienhosta.com or follow us on Facebook @ O’Brien Nursery. Thank you for your continued support and see you in the garden..

Link to 2015 Newsletter