The local nursery is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9:05-5:08. We’re always closed between Christmas and New Year’s and on Thanksgiving Day, Easter Sunday, 4th of July and a few weeks in July or August for vacation. Please call ahead or check the website in the months of July and August for posting of vacation weeks.
We Love for People to Visit
A visit allows us to spend time with you and share some of the finer points of growing great plants and having success in your garden. We can wander the orchards, taste some fruit, and talk about gardening. Here’s just a sample of what you’ll see along the way. Thanks for making it possible to continue to share our passion. We’ve been at it for 32 years now and we wouldn’t have made it without you. – Brandy and Ted, JFE
The gardens are laid out all around the retail nursery. They’re an eclectic mix of off beat ornaments mixed with edibles. The main parking lot garden is a mix of old cottage garden plants with lots of tasty vegetables thrown in. It changes seasonally so it’s always worth checking out. It’s usually a blend of old fashion cottage flowers like poppy, foxglove and hollyhocks (growing hollyhocks in Florida is a challenge; notice no pictures of those YET!)
Our gardens are also a show case for new vegetables we’re trying out. If you see something you like you’ll probably find new starts on our vegetable benches.
We grow all of our own vegetable and flower starts. We specialize in unusual and heirloom varieties, as well as a wide range of culinary herbs and cottage garden flowers.
Our seed comes from companies like Botanical Interests and Seed Savers. You’ll find a great selection of them in the seed shop, as well as all the supplies to start your own with.
We have a passion for the tropics, so you’ll find lots of cool taros, angel trumpets, and hot summer color at the height of the season. We are always experimenting with new varieties and working to show you interesting ways to arrange them in your gardens. New additions come from our travels through out the country to botanical gardens and nurseries in the far corners of the states. We have been known to load up a rental car with plants so much we can no longer see out any of the windows. (not including the windshield of course!) There is always something new being added to the gardens so plan on a few visits a year.
The Retail Displays
The retail displays are the heart of our operation. Fruit trees are our first and primary love. We grow over 175 varieties, many of which are heirlooms given to us by local gardeners. You’ll find extensive collections of blueberries, grapes and citrus.
We’re also working to bring to you a good collection of native plants. This is a new area for us and it’s one of the cornerstones to the new direction the nursery is taking. As we learn more about permaculture and the building of food forests, we are finding the natives are an important component of the mix; providing food and habitat for beneficial insects and wildlife, bringing pollinators into the garden, and building soil.
You’ll also find an eclectic mix of pottery and garden art through out the retail area. We showcase many local artists and tend to encourage the bizarre, so you’ll never know what you’ll find along the way.
CHECK OUT OUR SALES AREA
When you visit the nursery, be sure to check out our SALES AREA. This is where all the misplaced orphans wind up. Whether they’ve got a little twist in them (but hey, they’ve got character), or they’ve just been hanging around too long, these guys just need a home. They’re not sick and they’ll respond to just a little TLC. Everything’s 50% off or more. It’s a great deal for everybody; make sure you check it out regularly, as the selection changes often.
We have two orchards at the nursery; the older a mixed citrus orchard, and the newest a mixed fruit orchard.
These orchards were created to give people a place to wander, taste fruit that grows well in our area and learn a little something about how to be successful growing them in your garden. The newest orchard has been created using food forest techniques. If you haven’t heard about this great concept, study up on it, it is the answer to growing food in a crowded world. We wrote a brief article for the Tallahassee Democrat with some good links in it; check it out “FOOD FOREST GARDENS”. We’re starting to see more interest in this new form of gardening where ever we go in the states. It looks like a more earth friendly approach to gardening and is so much easier than tilling, weeding and spraying!
Anyway, the new orchard is a study in building soil without tilling; we’re growing a mixed crop of clover and cereal rye between the trees to cut and lay on the orchard floor for summer mulch, and a crop of oilseed radish, canola and mustard around some of the trees to draw beneficial insects, suppress nematodes, and build organic content, (whew that a lot of work for three plants to do!).
In addition, last summer the ladies planted lots of garlic chives around the trees to create a barrier to keep the pesky ants and other crawlers off the trunks.
We planted a few colonies of Russian Comfrey last winter around the edges of the orchard, which we’ll lift and divide this winter to make more. This Russian Comfrey is great stuff! It grows like the wonder weed from hell, producing tons of leaves that can be cut and used for mulch around the plants. The plant mops up food from the soil and deposits it in the leaves, then when you use it for mulching your plants, or to adding to your compost heap, it gives it back in the form of rich fertilizer, we’re talking FREE fertilizer. It’s also makes a super home for the good bugs. So the new orchard is coming along nicely. You’re welcome to visit it, it’s way out in the back forty, so ask for a guide when you come, you know we love to share our ideas with you.