Thursday, June 06, 2013

Favorite Local Garden Centers in DC-MD-VA

For our May 2013 Washington Gardener Magazine Reader Contest, we asked our readers, "What Local Nursery/Garden Center You Shop at the Most and Why?"

Here are a selection of the responses:

Douglas Reimel wrote, "I probably used to shop the most at Behnke's because of the superior quality of plants and materials, but I just moved to Clarksburg and now have the "Germantown" Meadows Farms about one mile away, and they seem to have a reasonable selection (stuff everyone has) and similar pricing....  I also shop at Johnson's occasionally, so really I don't have one predominant nursery anymore....I shop around."

Melissa Merideth said, "My Favorite local nursery/garden center is Behnke's in Beltsville (also like River Road store). Why? Beautiful selection of plants and knowledgable staff always available!"

Katika Floyd shared, "I shop most frequently at Holly Woods and Vine in Alexandria, VA, because I like their selection and most importantly it is on the way to my community garden plot."

Wendy Bruno said, "I shop at Behnkes in Beltsville, MD, for best selection and prices as I have 
for 30-40 years. For mulch I go to Country prices, most convenient, and they 
load it."

Eric Kaika said: "I shop at 2 places the most: Patuxent Nursery and Homestead Gardens. Not only are they conveniently located near me, but they have the largest selection of plants, amendments, and knowledgable staff. I always enjoy going to both places, even if its just to window shop."

Justin & Meridith Mackay-Smith shared, "I shop at Horton's in Winchester, VA. It is very close to me, but they also have an amazing selection of plants and garden tools, decorations, soil amendments, and other landscaping supplies.  It is also just a very pleasant building to visit and the staff and owners are helpful,pleasant and knowledgeable. On top of it all, it's a locally owned business. What more could you ask?"

George Graine wrote: "The local garden center I like to shop at is Betty's Azalea Ranch.  This is really a misnomer, but probably carried over from earlier days. They have a tremendous selection of plants that are well cared for, knowledgeable and pleasant staff that go out of their way to help you, and make suggestions for alternatives as appropriate.  AND TOO, the price and quality of plants cannot be beat."

Stephanie Richard said, "I frequent a number of garden stores, but I go to Johnsons in Olney, MD, most since they are convenient." 

Rena Munster said, "Old City Green [in WDC] is my go-to gardening shop. This is a great neighborhood gem. I like supporting small business like this that also give back to the community."

Katie Rapp said, "I shop most often at Potomac Garden Center only because it is literally walking distance from my house. The garden center I love the most is Thanksgiving Farm out in Frederick County. It's worth the drive."

Michael Koller list her favorite Nursery/Garden Centers as: "The Home Depot, D.R. Snells, Stadler’s, and Meadows (GT)."

Suzette Agans said, "I shop most frequently at Behnkes in Beltsville because they have a good variety of plants, including native shady plants, and other garden goodies, also love the classes. Frequent sales, excellent service (love the pay for the mulch, soil etc. inside) and these nice young men, put it all into my car trunk.  I shop at least twice a month spring and fall."

Dorothy Wells wrote, "I love Sun Nurseries at 14790 Bushy Park Rd, Woodbine, MD 21797. I live in WV, but travel to Baltimore frequently. Every opportunity I can, I stop at this nursery which is right off Rt 70 in between my home and Baltimore. They have a huge selection of perennials, woody shrubs, and trees. I think they charge competitive prices. Their knowledgeable staff is always friendly and able to answer my questions, although most times I am self-serve. There are good signs explaining each plant and the nursery is laid out well so it is easy to find what I am looking for. I have bought many healthy shrubs and trees from Sun Nurseries and intend to buy many more."

Did your favorite DC-MD-VA local garden center not get mentioned? Let us know in the comments section below.

Congratulations to the following contest winners selected at random from among the submitted responses:  
Peggy Cairns, Silver Spring, MD
George Graine, Falls Church, VA 
Eric Kaika, Kettering, MD
Melissa Merideth, Bethesda, MD 
Dorothy Wells, Kearneysville WV
   They each win two passes to the Brookside Gardens Wings of Fancy live butterfly exhibit (each set has two passes and is a $12 value).
   Running daily through mid-September, from 10:00am to 4:00pm, Brookside Gardens South Conservatory features live butterflies. Come witness the butterfly life cycle as tiny eggs hatch into crawling, chewing caterpillars, which then encase themselves in jewel-like chrysalides and emerge as sipping, flying adult butterflies. Learn about the best annual and tropical plants, and hardy shrubs that are used as nectar sources to attract butterflies to your own garden.


  1. Anonymous6:35 PM

    From Nancy A. Burns~
    ~Favorite Garden Center in VA: Merrifield's has 3 huge, well-run centers. If you want beautiful plants, bushes, trees and lots of variety, this is the place to go to!

  2. I use Johnsons and Stadlers in Maryland.

  3. Rachel Shaw8:57 AM

    American Plant

  4. Anonymous3:02 PM

    I second the comment regarding Merrifields! It's always worth the trip from DC. They have an amazing selection and once happily tracked down a special order cultivar that I couldn't find available to buy anywhere, including online. To top it off, they've also got the best plant clinic/diagnostic service in the area.

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