Whether it’s roses, peonies, perennials, houseplants, or shrubs you’re searching for, it’s the garden centers and nurseries that help make your dreams a blooming reality. Here are the winners for best nurseries in Yankee Magazine’s 2014 Home & Garden Awards.
BEST PERENNIALS NURSERY
How many nurseries can say they propagate their own inventory? In an industry that’s becoming increasingly homogenized, Cady’s Falls offers perennials available nowhere else. Not only is the selection unique, but everything from this far-north nursery is ultra-hardy.
637 Duhamel Road, Morrisville, VT. 802-888-5559; cadysfallsnursery.com
BEST ROSES NURSERY
Uncanoonuc Mountain Perennials
A rose lover’s paradise: Listing everything from the ‘Innocencia’ groundcover rose to the miniature ‘All a Twitter,’ plus ‘Betty Boop’ floribunda and ‘Just Joey’ hybrid tea, with many David Austins represented—you can trust these selections for weatherproof performance.
452 Mountain Road, Goffstown, NH. 603-497-3975; uncanoonucmt.com
BEST HOUSEPLANTS NURSERY
Ballek’s Garden Center
Forget the boring houseplant standards. Ballek’s offers a full and varied menu of possibilities for the toughest growing conditions—including your living room. From plain old ponytail palms to terrarium miniatures to oddball orchids, they’ve got them all. Plus, they can handhold newbies and troubleshoot any questions.
90 Maple Ave., East Haddam, CT. 860-873-8878; balleksgardencenter.com
BEST NATIVE PLANTS NURSERY
Earth Tones Native Plant Nursery
Most gardeners need advice before going native, and these experts know the answers. They’ll quiz you about your growing conditions, then point you toward the right section of the nursery, chock full of plants for dry areas, soggy conditions, shade, or sun.
212 Grassy Hill Road, Woodbury, CT. 203-263-6626; earthtonesnatives.com
BEST DAYLILIES NURSERY
Deep into daylilies since 1969, these growers focus on the finest performers over the long haul. There’s not much they don’t know about Hemerocallis. Part of the fun is visiting the lush organic farm in season, selecting your favorites, and having them shipped when digging time arrives.
9 Route 55, Sherman, CT. 860-354-6951; bloomingfieldsfarm.com
BEST PEONIES NURSERY
Frost Hill Farm
Nearly 300 varieties of peonies grow on this rocky hillside in central Vermont. Owners Dan Quaranto and Nancy McKeegan tried growing many different crops on their higher-altitude farm and found that peonies thrived best, provided stunning beauty, and repelled deer. Dan and Nancy offer many cultivars in pots for spring planting and divide roots in the fall for transplanting.
979 Frost Hill Road, Belmont, VT. frosthillfarm.com
BEST HERBS NURSERY
Go far beyond parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme at this certified organic nursery. With 25 different basils, more mints than you’ve imagined in your wildest dreams, plus such oddities as Good King Henry, gotu kola, and horehound, the savory inventory makes other selections seem bland.
30 Elmwood St., Salisbury, MA. 978-834-7879; theherbfarmacy.com
BEST SHRUBS & TREES NURSERY
Broken Arrow Nursery
Selecting shrubs and trees for your property is a serious commitment, and consulting an expert is critical. Originally, this nursery introduced hybrid mountain laurels for backyard growing. Since then, it has branched out into all sorts of woody workhorses, both common and rare. The staffers here know their stuff.
13 Broken Arrow Road, Hamden, CT. 203-288-1026; brokenarrownursery.com