“Great Plant Places!” is a new series of posts here on Blue Heron Landscapes, profiling great places to find plants and garden accessories. We’ll be visiting local and regional nurseries, and providing you our readers, with a review. If you your a plant geek like me, you won’t want to miss a single post! If you would like to recommend a nursery for this series, please feel free to send me an email and let me know about it.
This past Tuesday, I met a few Connecticut Garden Bloggers in Connecticut’s quiet corner, that’s the northeast corner of the state for those of you keeping score. Our trip began with lunch at The Vanilla Bean Cafe, a Zagat rated gem in Putnam, CT. After a delicious grilled cheese with smoked provalone, canadian bacon and apple slices (YUM!), we headed off to Logee’s Tropical Plants, in Danielson.
Logee’s has been selling plants since 1892. Yes, you heard that right, 1892! They have been around a long time, and sell over one thousand varieties of tropicals in containers for the home and garden. The front entrance of Logee’s is very unassuming, and belies the wonder to be found within.
Once inside however, you soon begin to feel transported magically through time and space to a world that is more storybook than present day commerce. The main room just inside the front door, is welcoming and has the feel of an old barn. Vines cling to almost every surface, and droop from the ceiling, mimicking a tropical forest. A cashiers table is to the right, and a potting table to the left where customers can pot up their newly purchased tropical plant before leaving, with potting soil that is compliments of the house! That’s right the soil is free with the purchase of the pots and plants (Garden centers take note!).
A steep narrow set of stairs leads you from the main room down into the greenhouse. There are several greenhouses, each with several rows of plants crowding over the pathways giving the impression that the visitor is trekking through a dense jungle, stumbling upon rare and wonderful blossoms. There is fruit in the forest also; Lemon, Kumquat, Grapefruit and more!
The highlight of our trip was to see the beautiful Turquoise Jade Vine (Stongylodon macrobotrys) in full bloom. A rare treat indeed!
A place this old is not without stories, and Logee’s is no exception. When asked why a Kumquat grew right in the middle of one of the paths, we were told that it had been delivered to a woman in the 1930’s, and been returned, as she did not want it. It was set down on the greenhouse floor, and there it stayed until the roots grew through the pot and took hold. The pot soon broke apart and now some seventy odd years later it towers over the benches, full of fruit. Funny how sometimes plants don’t seem to care where they grow.
At Logee’s wonder wait round every corner, and half the fun of visiting is the excitement of discovery. Sharing what the great plant explorers of our time must have felt on their treks to new and exotic places. That is rare experience for a New Englander, but thanks to Logee’s, it’s one that can that can be had all in one day. Many thanks to my fellow explorers this day, Joene Hendry from Joene’s Garden, Cindy Cromwell from Gardening Asylum, and Layanee DeMerchant from Ledge and Gardens. And a big thanks to the Logee’s Owner’s and staff! They were very gracious and knowledgeable.
If you find yourself in Connecticut’s quiet corner, are looking for an exciting day trip, or simply are a plant geek like me, you’ll enjoy a visit to Logee’s! For those of you too far to make the trek, you can find their offerings on their website.
Please enjoy this slideshow with many more pictures of our trip!
Been to Logee’s, or know of another nursery, garden or garden center that would be perfect for “Great Plant Places!”? I’d love to hear about it, please leave a comment!