Local Nurseries in Nova Scotia
by Jodi DeLong
by Jodi DeLong


Writing about plants and gardening is just one part of Jodi¹s professional writing business. She¹s been a garden columnist for the Atlantic Co-operator for over five years, and last year was invited to do a biweekly column in the Halifax Chronicle Herald, Canada¹s oldest independent daily newspaper. In addition, she writes regular garden features for Saltscapes magazine, Manitoba Co-operator, Grainews, Rural Delivery, and has also had various feature articles in Canadian Gardening, Cottage Life, Complete Canadian Gardener, Aquascapes Lifestyles, and East Coast Gardener. Jodi sits on the National Board of Directors for PWAC, the Periodical Writers Association of Canada, as Atlantic Regional Director, and is also a member of the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia. When she¹s not writing, she¹s gardening, reading about gardening, photographing gardens, thinking about gardening, or ignoring the housework.

May 19, 2002

Ahhhhh, spring. The birds are returning, buds are swelling on plants, and gardeners are taking to the roads and highways of our land, in search of new and interesting plants, planting supplies, gardening accents. This is a favourite ritual of mine, to seek out the different nurseries and garden centres around neck of the woods in Nova Scotia. 

It came to my attention that there was a limited number of Eastern garden centres listed on, probably because no one thought to send their information to the site. I can¹t speak for all garden centres, only the ones I know of in my neck of the woods, and perhaps others will be encouraged to list some of their favourites as well. So while this collection is by no means even slightly exhaustive, here are just a few of the best--or at least, some of the ones I frequent. 

In Ellershouse, Nova Scotia (near Mt. Uniake) Joanne Ubdegrove has been operating Willow Hill Rose Nursery (phone: 902-866-2576; email for about three years, and is proud to offer 50 varieties of hardy and Heirloom roses grown completely organically. I was completely delighted to locate both Rosa Mundi (Rosa gallica 'Versicolour') and 'Golden Wings' at Willow Hill. Joanne¹s plants are well grown before they are offered for sale, and she has some hard-to-find varieties on her list. 

Willow Hill Rose Nursery / Maritime Organics
Civic address: 790 Collier Rd. Ardoise ( Mount Uniacke )
mailing address: RR#1 Ellershouse , Hants Cty Nova Scotia BON- 1LO
Phone: 866-2576
Fax : 866-0313

El Summit Perennial Nursery 
Leo Smit, proprietor and gardener

address (civil and postal): 1051 Hwy #1, Mt Uniacke, NS B0N 1Z0 

Off the beaten path but worth the trip for the plant enthusiast who doesn¹t mind an untidy landscape. Emphasis is towards shade plants, interesting foliage, and plants of low maintenance needs. Great plants; Interesting selection; Modest prices. Some mail order now available.

What it is: A small nursery striving to introduce interesting plants not often found at the mainstream garden centres. It¹s the garden of origin of Lobelia cardinalis 'Summit Snow'

The grounds are an informal amalgam of clearings, woodlands and rock outcroppings; display beds and nursery beds are interspersed along winding paths in the woods or around the rather scruffy lawns. This is not a place to visit if you like a manicured landscape or are disturbed by the sight of weeds or unfinished projects, but if you can overlook such things there are a number of gems to be seen!

No pesticides or herbicides are used.

Mature plants, potted in 1 gallon size or larger, are overwintered in the open. Almost nothing is forced into early performance in greenhouses or coldframes; plants bloom in their natural season. The potting soil mix optimizes root development, overwintering and ease of transplant rather than top growth. These plants can be successfully transplanted at any time from spring to late fall.

A passion for species peonies, and self-supporting forms of the garden peonies, has progressed to the point where some of these plants are about to become available here as well. Look for this nursery to become a significant grower of species peonies over the next several years.

Bayport Plant Farm 
RR#1, Rose Bay, 
Nova Scotia, B0J 2X0 
Phone number 902.766.4319 

Captain Steele and Diana Steele, proprietors. 
Captain Dick Steele has spent a lifetime developing cultivars of rhododendrons and azaleas for cooler climates. To spend a few hours at his farm near Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, when the rhodos are in bloom is a pleasure almost beyond description, but the property is a gardener¹s delight at any time. Along with rhododendrons and other ericaceous plants, Bayport Plant Farms carries an excellent selection of alpines, perennials, evergreens, magnolias, and wonderful succulents. On my first visit, I discovered an entire section of potted-up blue poppies (Meconopsis betonicifolia) in full, intoxicating bloom; AND I found out from the knowledgeable and friendly Diana Steele that I was treating my own blue poppy at home just the way I should for its first several years of life: with great patience. 

Blomidon Nurseries: 
10060 HWY. 1, 
Greenwich, N.S. B0P 1X0; 

Blomidon Nurseries is a full service operation, offering just about anything a gardener could want. They have extensive collections of perennials for sun or shade, alpine plants, transplants, garden accents and equipment, bulbs and tubers for all seasons, seeds...and knowledgeable staff who love to grow things. In the off season, they have a fine Christmas shop featuring wreathes and decorations, and they always have a good selection of houseplants, books, and giftware relating to gardening. Dropping in every week or so during winter, to walk about the garden shop, admire the plants, listen to water running in the different fountains, is one way that I cope with the winter blahs; and I seldom leave without having bought at least one item or six.....

The Rock Garden. 
Lamont Road, 
Centreville, Nova Scotia. 

Pam Frail. 

This particular place has the distinction of being the only organic greenhouse in Nova Scotia, if not further. When I was visiting them last summer, they were in the process of going through certification. They carry a fine selection of herbs, scented geraniums, perennials, vegetable transplants, and "other things that take their fancy." Three seasons ago I bought a teasel from them, which is now supplying teasels to all my family and garden friends. I particularly like their herbs and geraniums, some of which I've only seen in Richters catalogues. Plants are wellgrown and vigourous, and they also carry a selection of polished stones and geodes, plant pots, and other whimsical items.



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