Yesterday I was able to attend an open house at Sandy's Plants in Mechanicsville, Va. which is northwest of here just outside of Richmond. While it was cold, rainy, overcast and downright miserable in Tidewater, it was all that plus snowing and sleeting there, not the best day for touring Sandy's. We get a portion of the perennials we sell at work from Sandy's, and though that is not my area of responsibility, I thought it would be fun to go anyway. Friday's are normally a day off for me, and it was probably as good a day to go as any, if the weather had been nice I would have wanted to stay home in the garden.
Sandy's Plants Inc. was founded by a former school teacher oddly enough named Sandy. She had a knack for growing and dividing Creeping Phlox and Candytuft and started selling them. Now they offer close to 2800 different plants which are found in garden centers all over the mid-Atlantic. Most of the plants are grown uncovered outside in the elements perhaps giving them a little extra sturdiness. When you visit they have golf carts available for you use as you search the fields and tour the display gardens, which are not just filled with plants, but with fun sculptures too.
For the open house we were shown a Power Point display of the new plants they are offering for 2009, quite a few of which did not make it into the catalog. We also got to see many of the plants they are growing as part of the Stepable program. These are plants that you can put between stepping stones or in other crevices that can take varying degrees of foot traffic. We have sold these types of plants longer than there has been any kind of special program, and I like our name for them better - Crack Plants, but I am sure with its drug connotations that name would not be as marketable. In addition to being fed well, we each got to take home a couple of plants gratis. I snagged a Rudbekia maximus and a Sedum 'White Diamonds'.
Behind the building where we met was a wooded display garden, and of course at this time of year Hellebores were well represented, but there were other things to enjoy as well.
Finally, some of the sculpture.