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2017 Newsletter Print E-mail

More than a Hosta Specialty Nursery


Did you see our postcard for 2017? What was your first impression? The gentleman who took this photo used it on Facebook to wish a mutual friend Happy Birthday. As I scrolled through Facebook that night I came upon that birthday greeting and thought what a nice garden. Then wondered where it was.  I looked a little closer, because it seemed familiar. Suddenly it occurred to me, that the scene was taken here in O’Brien Nursery’s display garden. Had to walk up to that spot, just to confirm. I find it so cool to see my garden through the eyes of others. With today’s technology and nearly everyone walking around with a phone in their pocket, this is happening with more regularity. As I wander in my own garden I often take the same route, so having visitors traversing the same paths they may stop at different vantage points and capture a different perspective.  Thank you to John Waskiewicz for the use of his photo.


                                                                                               2017 Postcard Image                

This is the first postcard (in my seventeen years of having a postcard) not to feature a Hosta on it! A few people even asked what Hosta will be featured on the 2017 card. My thinking is you all know that O’Brien’s is the place to go for a great selection of Hosta and shade perennials. It’s time to make you aware that O’Brien’s has a diverse selection of Japanese Maples, Conifers and other woody plants.

A Bloodgood Japanese Maple was the first plant I ever purchased, way back in 1974. Long story short, I use to shovel snow on top of it, in the winter, to keep it alive in Charlotte, Vermont. It was one of the five Japanese Maples that I knew of in the Burlington, Vermont area. Living in Connecticut over 35 years now I have assembled quite a collection of special maples.

How many of you know that O’Brien Nursery has introduced a Japanese Maple into the nursery trade? We found Acer palmatum ‘Noel’ as a branch sport on our Acer palmatum ‘Shindeshojo’ many years ago. Dennis Dodge was the first to graft it and he named it for my previous black lab. Ap ‘Noel’ unfurls just like Ap ‘Shindeshojo’ with bright red new growth. What makes Ap ‘Noel’ special is that when the foliage fades from red to green the leaves become variegated, splashed with white, green and pink that last through the growing season. When you visit ask to see the original plant. We will have some young plants for sale. Last spring, we had a North Carolina nurseryman visit specifically to buy a Acer palmatum “Noel”.


                                                                                   Acer palmatum 'Noel' in June

As it is hard to find young plants to offer to O’Brien’s customers, I have partnered with a wholesale nursery to graft many of our maples. We also purchase maples from a friend in the Rochester, New York area and this winter made a contact with a maple addict down in South Jersey. We hope to continue to expand our selection of choice Japanese Maples and other hard to find maples. Check our website for our page devoted to the Maples we offer.


                                                                                             Maple Grafts in the Greenhouse this Winter

I can’t pinpoint an event that started my obsession with conifers. I doubt it was pruning Taxus around the Burlington area, or even the time we pruned the arborvitae hedge that surrounded a Sears parking lot. No matter how it began, conifers are amazing plants. Coming in such an array of sizes and colors. We never stop learning about what is new in the conifer world. We have a particular fondness for dwarf and slow growing forms. The O’Brien Nursery display gardens are filled with many different types of conifers, and can be enjoyed every day of the year. Once again we search far and wide for these special selections to offer for sale and have our grafting friends starting new plants for us every winter.

As usual we propagated many of our special hostas and shade companion plants last year to offer for sale this spring and summer. Some are in limited numbers so don’t miss out. We spend many of our summer days dividing and potting the special requests that we receive during the growing season. We are excited with the special selections that we will have for the first time. You know the feeling you get when you bring home a new plant, we get a similar feeling knowing we have plants that will give you that feeling.

We continue with our schedule of being open on particular weekends through the season. We chuckle when folks wonder what we do on our “OFF” days during the work week. Those are the days we spend preparing the gardens and sales areas to look their best for your visits. We hope you have the time to come by this spring, we have some new surprises to tempt you with. Visit our Garden Days for the schedule. Lists of the plants we have on hand to start the spring with are also on the website. This list is constantly changing, as we add new treasures often.

We often post images from the garden on Facebook. Friend us at O’Brien Nursery to see what is looking good in the gardens through the year. It’s time to get into the garden, I hope to see you there!


2016 Newsletter Link