WHO WE ARE

VERY GOOD PLANTS


 

Very Good Plants is a small and sharp nursery that provides hard-to-find, under-appreciated, undiscovered and remarkable garden-worthy plants to designers, retailers and home gardeners that have moved past pansies and petunias and have embraced the garden as a sensitive and profound art form and get that when you are in the presence of pure beauty and grace, life is better. Lofty ideals, I know…

I’ve been designing gardens for more than 20 years and have had the pleasure of meeting and working with a number of clients that can talk Euphorbias or question the merits of Anisacanthus or send a random winter text with pics of their first blossoms of Iris reticulata with nothing but a smile emoji. This nursery is for them.

 

“IT’S THE PLACE WHERE PEOPLE WHO LOOK AT THEIR FRONT YARD AND, INSTEAD OF SEEING CLIPPED BUSHES AND MANICURED SOD LINED WITH MONKEY GRASS, SEE SISSINGHURST OR HERONSWOOD.”

 

It was a trillium and a ten year old that made Very Good Plants. I was a cold spring boy running through the woods and my keen eye caught and held a speckled glossy trillium shimmering in the thin light. A passage through a green place should draw power from the place and focus it on the delicate, the stunning, the sublime. Air should be felt, sunshine should be held. The perfection of a lush and noble thing only inches high and holding its ground like a god should catch our attention and make us childlike and astounded. That was the lesson of my first trillium and I bring it to every garden I design.

I started as an art student and grew into a gardener buttressed from that first trillium, always, by a love of plants. The art became clear as the passion for plants coalesced. 

It’s the place where people who look at their front yard and, instead of seeing clipped bushes and manicured sod lined with monkey grass, see Sissinghurst or Heronswood. They imagine perennial borders and planted meadows, arbors and fountains and well-raked gravel paths meandering through a tapestry of artistically arranged and bountiful plants.

I am the guy they call to make that happen and these are the plants I like. The plants I’ve chosen are a collection of plants that I know and love and wish that I could find. 

In the smarter gardening parts of the world there are nurseries like mine every few miles. Seattle has them. Portland and San Francisco too. They are peppered throughout the rolling countryside of New England and the Mid-Atlantic. In England, even a roadside stand selling firewood and plums has a few good perennials with hand-written botanical Latin.

The hundreds of small specialty nurseries there are supported by an avid interest in gardening and make an afternoon outing a treasure hunt. 

I am placing a bet that Atlanta, even though we are perhaps the largest city with the fewest nurseries in the country, has enough underground, secret gardeners to support my obsession. 

I grew up in the wild hills of Tennessee. That should be enough said for anyone in love with the natural world and plants in particular but I’ll go further..

 

A passage through a green place should draw power from the place and focus it on the delicate, the stunning, the sublime. Air should be felt, sunshine should be held.