Garden Notes

Garden Notes

Spring Vegetables

Lettuce 'Red Salad Bowl'
Lettuce ‘Red Salad Bowl’

There are many vegetables that can be grown and harvested this time of year.  Leafy greens like Spinach and Lettuce are both beautiful and delicious.  Cole crops like Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Brussels sprouts and Chard are extremely satisfying to grow, as they mature quickly


Spring Flowering Trees!

The nursery is filled with color as trees burst into flower. There is a wide variety to chose from, but the hues of pink and white predominate this time of year. Cherries, Crabapples, Ornamental Pears and Magnolias are in stock and ready for planting. Should you require a large tree for a special spot now is the time to shop!
Prunus x 'Snofozam' - Snofozam Weeping Cherry
Prunus x ‘Snofozam’ – Snofozam Weeping Cherry
Prunus 'Okame' Clump Form'
Prunus ‘Okame’ – Okame Clump-Form Cherry
Prunus x yedoensis
Prunus x yedoensis – Yoshino Cherry


Are you looking for a plant to cover a trellis, arbor or pergola?  Do you need something to scramble among your climbing roses or around the bare trunk of a tree?  Surfing Hydrangea Nursery offers one of the best selections of flowering and non-flowering vines on the island.  If you are interested in adding native plants to the landscape, vines can be an easy way to start; Wisteria frutescens is a late-flowering North American species that covers a pergola nicely, without being nearly as rampant as its Asian cousins; Campsis radicans (Trumpet Vine) is also a great choice for showy flowers later in the summer; Parthenocissus quincefolia (Virginia Creeper) is spectacular in the summer trained over a wall or wherever you have space!  Why not give one a try?  The wildlife will thank you!

Berry Patch

HIghbush blueberry flowers
HIghbush blueberry flowers

Can there be anything better than eating a plump berry at it’s peak?   Supermarket fruit can’t compare to ripe berries picked and eaten out of hand.  No wonder more and more people are growing their own!

Most berry bushes require no more care than landscape shrubs.  Apart from annual pruning, there is not much in the way of work to be done to keep them productive.  Just plant them in full sun, and plan on a bountiful harvest this summer!

We have both high and lowbush blueberries in stock and are expecting some 5-6′ Highbush Blueberry ‘Elliot’ next week.  This late variety is a vigorous plant that performs very well in our climate, while producing a heavy crop of berries.   We also have a wide aray of Raspberries, Blackberries, and Gooseberries for you to choose from, that will provide you with the highest quality fruit for years to come.

Pruning Blackberries and Raspberries

Blackberry leaves

In the rose family, the genus Rubus includes cultivated red, golden, purple  and black rapsberries as well as blackberries.  Homeowners and landscapers alike can be confused about pruning these berries.

Consider growing these plants on a wire trellis system to promote good air flow  and facilitate training.

Blackberries grow long arching canes that are often very lengthy and thorny.  The fruit is borne on canes that are more than one year old.   However, the most productive canes are not older than three years.  In March, remove the oldest canes at ground level, in favor of the younger ones.   Cut back any lateral brances to six or eight inches.    Head back canes to 6″ above the top wire.  In summer, tip back new growth to 6″ above the top wire to encourage lateral fruiting branches.

Raspberries produce upright canes that are generally shorter than blackberries.  Most types of raspberries are summer-fruiting.  The fruit is borne on canes that have overwintered from the previous season.  These second-year canes will flower, fruit and then die back to the ground.  In March, remove any dead, damaged or spindly canes at ground level.

Some raspberries are fall-fruiting.  These types produce canes that will flower and fruit at the top part of the cane in the first growing season.  Over the winter they will die back somewhat, but will then flower and fruit on the lower cane portion in summer.  After this second fruiting, the entire cane will die.  The best way to maintain these types is to mow all canes to ground level in March.  This will produce a single crop in the fall.

Gardening in Cyberspace

April on Nantucket can still have it’s share of unpredictable weather,  ranging from warm and sunny to driving rain and wind, with freezing temperatures still possible.

Rainy days are the perfect excuse to turn on the computer and check out your favorite gardening sites.  UMASS Amherst has a great extension site: has loads of fact sheets to help you with specific garden and landscape questions.

If you like a more visual explanation, Fine Gardening magazine’s site boasts a whole range of informative clips at And while you are browsing the web, be sure to check out our brand new website Happy surfing!

Spring Flowering Shrubs

Spring on Nantucket has a way of being mostly grey.  Luckily, we have a wide selection of spring flowering trees and shrubs to brighten up the landscape.  With masses of yellow flowers, Forsythia x intermedia is hard to miss in full bloom.  As part of a hedgerow or boundary planting, it’s superb.  It provides color in spring, and great screening in summer due to a dense habit and pleasant green leaves.

If you need something a little smaller, Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’ might be just the ticket.  This three-season performer starts early.  It leafs out before many other shrubs in the landscape, and soon after it’s branches are covered in white flowers.  In summer its willowy, yellow-chartreuse foliage is the main attraction.

So, whether you fall back on an old standard or want to try something new, we have a plant in the yard to fit your space.  And if you don’t see what you want, we would be happy to order it for you!