By Morgan Magoon, News Intern
Horsford Gardens and Nursery, located on Route 7 in Charlotte, is a stunning nursery with thousands of plants. Vast display gardens show off a spectacular array of plants. There are glass greenhouses for annuals as well as a garden gift shop.
Owners Charlie Proutt and Eileen Schilling purchased the business in 1986 and have completed extensive work on its 42 acres of fields, greenhouse operations and perennial production. Horsford is open every day from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Office Manager Jessica Becker answered some questions Aug. 2.
Charlotte News: Approximately how many types of plants do you have?
Jessica Becker: We have over 2,000 different varieties of plants. We have the plants separated into different categories. These include deciduous trees, evergreens, flowering trees, roses, fruit trees, perennials, groundcovers, vines, annuals and vegetables.
CN: Why is Charlotte a good place for Horsford to be located?
JB: There has been a nursery here since 1893. It’s the oldest nursery in the state. Frederick Horsford (the original owner) could have had a nursery anywhere, but he chose Charlotte. It’s a great area because it is slightly outside the valley, it’s close for gardeners, and the soil is fertile and drains well.
CN: According to Horsford’s website, the nursery grows 90 percent of the plants they sell. Where do the other 10 percent come from?
JB: We will buy from certain nurseries that sell small plugs. The nurseries we buy from have a similar climate to ours. We buy small plugs as well as fully grown plants.
CN: On your website it also states that you sell to landscapers. What are some local landscapers that you usually sell to?
JB: We sell to Distinctive Landscaping, Church Hill, and Heritage. We sell to the city of Burlington as well. There are a lot of landscapers that we sell to, the list is very long.
CN: At Horsford your employees help customers with deciding what plants to get. Can you talk more about that?
JB: Our staff will help customers with trouble spots in their garden and things like that. The staff is here to help and guide them. They will ask customers what plants they like and what they need in their garden. The staff can help the customer find what types of plants are best.
CN: What usually are the bestselling plants at Horsford?
JB: Native plants are very big right now. Lots of people will get what butterflies and bees like. A lot of the time people buy what’s in bloom. For example, there are different plants that are in bloom in August compared to other months. Pollinator plants are very popular as well.