Industry News

Merchandising: The Living, Breathing Garden

June 4, 2015 | 0 Comments

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One of the best things about living in Vermont is that once spring and summer hit, this place simply explodes in color. There are so many shades of green – the hills and forests are as lush as any jungle –  with so many varieties of shrubs and trees – it’s astounding. With rich soil (read: lots of cow manure) and a temperate climate, plant life thrives here. 

And then there are the locally owned nurseries. Word around here spreads quickly about which nurseries specialize in what and are worth a visit, even if just to stroll their gardens filled with local favorites or hard to find perennials that are often traded with friends or passed down through generations of family gardens.  Gardening is a badge of honor here in the Green Mountain State – something to work hard for and pleasure in the bounty of that hard work – whether it’s an heirloom peony brought to the area in the nineteenth century or bumper crop of the unofficial state vegetable, kale.

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One of my most favorite nurseries to visit is Cady’s Falls Nursery in nearby Morrisville, situated in north central Vermont.  Started as a run down piece of land on a dead end dirt road back some 35 years, owners Don and Lela Avery have cultivated a most extraordinary spread where they also live and do business with a small retail nursery (don’t ask if they sell annuals – you will get a polite “no”.)  But it’s the gardens I come to see – gardens that change weekly if not daily based on what’s blooming. Filled with the most unusual, beautiful, odd species – it’s nothing short of inspiring on so many levels. First of which is that this place is the result of their good old fashioned hard work – which is apparent as you stroll the shade gardens, the rock gardens and soggy bog beds – all alive with outrageous color and uncommon varieties its hard not to feel overwhelmed in the best possible way.

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Don and Lela Avery

Things however are starting to change for the Avery’s, now in their 70’s I would guess. They are gradually downsizing their nursery offerings – as they state in their annual plant catalogue, “we are not retiring, we are just shrinking. Our plant offering will be, to some extent, subject to personal whim, eliminating many good, old fashioned perennials in favor of garden worthy rarities.”

Why am I going on about this particular nursery in a tiny speck of Vermont?  Because visiting their nursery is such a sensory experience. I am always astounded, awed and inspired by what the Avery’s have created and share with the public. Much how I view visual merchandising, this place engages all of my senses and has me wanting more. I love the way they repurpose industrial items and make them works of art by incorporating them into their gardens. I leave there wanting to become a better gardener. And I think that is what makes for a memorable experience – whether it’s shopping for snowboard boots or simply sticking my nose deep into a perfect peony – I want to know more and for sure will always come back to see what is new.

If you happen to find yourself around the Stowe/Morrisville area, go to the Cady’s Falls Nursery website to check for their hours – as they are very limited. www.cadysfallsnursery.com

 

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