Friday, March 27, 2009

Springtime Plantin'!

The tulips are budding, the daffodils are out, and the spring rains have settled in for - about the next two months. What better way to celebrate the end of a horrid, long cold February than with a trip to your local nursery? Here in Morgantown there are the usual places such as Lowe's, but I prefer and honest-to-goodness greenhouse nursery like Shield's Nursery near Clay Battelle & Core, WV. It's right on the WV/PA line, and I'm still not sure which state it's in.

Every spring (and honestly, throughout the summer), I find myself being drawn there - not only for the great deals on plants, but because of the atmosphere. The simplistic decoration, the use of recycled materials, and the laid-back appearance of the place gives me a feeling of peace and contentment that I hope to be able to build in my own yard. There's also an overwhelming sense of abundance, as if you could walk around the place all day long and not see everything there. It's a Disneyland for gardeners and plant lovers!

Here are some of my favorite shots from the greenhouse. I was concerned at first about taking photos, but the owner of the place laughed at me with her thick Romanian accent and says, "Take all the pictures you want. I don't know why though - there is nothing here to take photos of." I sensed that somewhere beneath that sentence there was thick sarcasm. Judge for yourself:
An aged lion spouts water beneath a trellis on top of a pedestal of railroad ties. Note the baskets of flowers hanging from the trellis. Very nice!

This is the entrance to one of the eight or so greenhouses. No surface is devoid of plant life - sometimes not even the walking path!


This old tree stump was inside the one greenhouse, planted with moss and succulents, and surrounded by annuals. Beautiful! I think some of the success of this nursery is their ability to make everything look like it "just happened" that way.

This gazebo is right in the middle of one of the greenhouses - little respites like this are everywhere. And in case you're wondering, that's juniper growing across the arch in the background!

See? Of course, these are not all the common, garden-variety WV plants. There are some exotic things here, too.
Such as this papyrus - anyone feel like making paper like the ancient Egyptians? And speak of exotic, the grounds of the nursery is also home to 6 or so of these:




I have to say, I love peacocks. They're beautiful birds, and I love their call. I kept waiting for the one above to spread out his tail, but he only did it once when my digital camera was OFF, of course. I will make another trip soon to see if I can get a better picture of his tail feathers.

There was also a large flock of peahens around the greenhouses. They really are beautiful birds!

Yet I digress - here are more photos of the nursery:

Thinking of creating a water garden? You can get your plants here:

Complete with tadpoles:

Of course, there are also the shade plants and the wine shoppe, which sells local wines, crafts, and pottery:

Here are some shots from inside the wine shoppe and craft store:



And now, back out to the nursery - these are some really neat shots I found around the place. Amazingly, there are a lot of customers all the time, but it is so big and full of vignettes that it feels intimate - like you have the whole place to yourself.


Wisteria over the doorway - very romantic.



Can you grown oranges in your garden? This was simply amazing!


Here are some more shots to get you in the mood for spring -

A bright red azalea! And below, some flowers I cannot identify. Any ideas?

Well, the peacock says it's time to go. Until next time, keep thoughts of spring on your mind - because if you aren't careful winter might come back!

4 comments:

Granny Sue said...

I've got to go to this place--but I am pretty sure my wallet will be in trouble. The owners have a great eye for making things look homey and beautiful at the same time.

Matthew Burns said...

Yep, we love Shields Nursery. It's in PA, right across the state line from Blacksville, WV. About 20 minutes or so outside of Morgantown.

Granny Sue--The prices are very reasonable, and as often as not, they are as cheap or cheaper than Lowe's or Walmart.

Also so much better selection, and many heirloom varieties.

I've read that the Shields bought the land in the 1970's, it was riddled with old strip mines. They certainly have created a veritible mecca for garden enthusiasts right there among old decaying coal towns.

Good post Jason.

Lanny said...

Very nice nursery. Thanks for taking along your camera so we could all have a peak. The juniper looks like a crazy hair do, like that magnet toy where you could give the guy hair and a beard. How's that kitchen post going?

Jason Burns said...

I'm happy to say that my next post will be about - drumroll- the kitchen. I finally broke down this weekend and took some pictures (at 1:30am on Saturday night/Sunday morning).

And Matthew is right - I've come back with a huge amount of plants from Shield's, and haven't ever spent over 30 dollars. It's relatively inexpensive because they grow their own. The plants aren't shipped in like at Lowe's or Walmrat. (It's not a typo- I call it Walmrat)