The Therapeutic Effects of Nature: Best Garden Centers and Nurseries in CT
Gardening checks off so many boxes on our wellness list:
✔ Being outdoors relaxes the soul
✔ Light exercise reduces stress
✔ Creativity stimulates the brain
✔ Beauty produces positive feelings
While I’m not a fan of yardwork, I am a big fan of gardening. Whether you are adding a new garden in your yard, swapping out new plants for old, or just doing up some containers for your front walk, you’re going to need a trip to the local garden center or nursery.
Fortunately, Connecticut has dozens of these great, independently-owned plant extravaganzas that have gorgeous native plant species that you simply can’t find at the big home stores. So while your neighbors’ yards will all look generically the same, your yard will be the standout on the block.
Let’s take a look at one of the best from every county in Connecticut, moving west to east.
Best Nursery in Fairfield County: Native
Focused on the full spectrum of native New England species — from well-known to obscure — owner William Kenney stocks a great selection of trees, shrubs, perennials, wildflowers, grasses, and more. Located in Fairfield.
Best Nursery in Litchfield County: Cricket Hill Garden
For over 30 years, Cricket Hill has amazed visitors with their six-acre “Peony Heaven” garden display, featuring several rare varieties of Chinese tree peonies. These distinctive perennials share space with a wide variety of other shade, fruit, and ornamental trees, as well as dozens of other perennials and shrubs. Located in Thomaston.
Best Nursery in New Haven County: Earth Tones Native Plants
Owners Kyle and Lisa Turoczi grow all their stock from native seed sources that they collect themselves, ensuring strong, healthy cultivars. A wide selection of perennials, ferns, grasses, shrubs, and trees keep you looking for hours, but if you want a more precise method, you can use their online Native Plant Search Wizard to find the perfect plants for your space. Located in Woodbury.
Best Nursery in Hartford County: O’Brien’s Nursery
1,600 varieties of hosta! 100 varieties of Japanese maple! And that’s just to start your planning at this incredible nursery for the gardeners who want particular or distinct cultivars of specific plants. Be sure to check out all their different daylily species as well. Located in Granby.
Best Nursery in Middlesex County: Ballek’s Garden Center
Dating back to the 1660s, this working farm models old-world values and modern-day green technology, harnessing solar power and “green” gardening practices. Ballek’s is a great one-stop shop for both the outdoor and indoor gardener, providing incredible service and a terrific selection. Located in East Haddam.
Best Nursery in Tolland County: The Garden Barn Nursery and Landscape
With over 13 acres of gorgeous variety, the Garden Barn can satisfy gardeners of every experience level. They’ve also gone the extra mile for pet owners, stocking a large area of pet-friendly plants that’ll keep your fur-babies safe from toxic plants in your landscape. Located in Vernon.
Best Nursery in New London County: Burnett’s Country Gardens
Massive grounds with multiple greenhouses are stocked with exotic and rare garden and house plants to satisfy any plant enthusiast. Burnett’s also hosts a weekly farmer’s market so you can buy local produce, meats, and crafts while you outfit your landscape. Located in Salem.
Best Nursery in Windham County: Logee’s
This family-owned exotic plant shop will simply amaze you. Visit their 122 year old “Ponderosa” lemon tree or their orange tree that bears 10 varieties of fruit! With six greenhouses on the grounds, you will find too many beautiful plants to buy at all once — but why not make a go of it?! Located in Danielson.
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