Shy Valley Plant Farm
Native Plants, Herbs, and Heirloom Vegetable Plants
What is a native plant?
Native plants have always been here, they were not introduced from other parts of the world through the activity of people. Native plants include woodland and sun-loving wildflowers, mosses, flowering and evergreen shrubs, trees of all sizes, ornamental grasses, cacti, vines, and ferns. For almost every exotic plant that you like, chances are there is a native that you would like just as well, that would fill the same niche. We do not expect everyone to plant natives exclusively, but, it would be great if more people looked for native alternatives when plant shopping.
Why not call them wildflowers?
Many of our most common wildflowers are not native plants, but invasive exotic ones. This group includes a number of plants that have caused harm to our natural plant communities, or have the potential to do so, such as Japanese Honeysuckle, Kudzu, and Miscanthus Grass (from Asia), Queen Anne’s Lace, Coltsfoot, and Bladder Campion (from Europe).
Why plant natives?
*they’re well-adapted to our region’s conditions and climate
* they often require less maintenance than exotic plants
* they’re the best plants for wildlife because they evolved or were created with the native wildlife- either way, native plants and animals belong together for reasons that we may not fully understand
* they’re uncommon, sophisticated and interesting
* they can be great additions to any landscape
* their preservation is important, and planting natives allows a sense of being a good steward of your property, not just a property owner
AND they are Beautiful!!!
What are your plans now that you are in school?
Our plan is to stay open at about this same level of production even after I am working as an O.T. Philip has really stepped up and taken over most of the growing responsibilities this season and has done a great job, so I think that this is a realistic possibility. We will likely eliminate some of the shows we go to to sell plants, and gear toward growing only for the Tri-Cities market, which means we will have more of the stuff you love, and more open hours here at the farm.
Do you wholesale?
Not at this time. If you would like us to contact you if and when we do begin offering a discount to horticultural professionals, please call or e-mail and leave your contact information, and we'll keep you in mind.
Do you ship plants or seeds?
No. Right now we are not equipped to ship anything, although, we may come up with a seed list for next year. We get a lot of long distance calls about the nursery, especially regarding tomato plants. We regret that we cannot afford to return these calls. You'd be surprised how quickly long distance charges add up, and also how long people tend to talk about tomatoes... (that could be me...) Please use e-mail to contact us.
Can I bring my dog when I visit?
We LOVE animals, but please leave yours at home or in your vehicle while you are shopping. New "friends" can cause quite a disturbance among the critters who live here. The parking area is relatively shady, and your pets should be safe in your vehicle for a short while there, if they just have to come along (I realize that some do...) They may not be safe running around the nursery, and we often have customers who are not "dog people".
Do you grow all the plants you sell?
Yes and no. Yes, we grow all the plants we sell, but "grow" is not really what people mean when they ask that question. What they really mean is "Do you propagate the plants that you sell?". The answer to that question is usually yes, but sometimes no. Over our years of growing, we have found great commercial sources for some of the plants we want to offer for sale. Some of these sources are local or regional, and some are not. Some produce plants of a quality that we simply cannot duplicate, because they are experts at producing that specific type of plant. We set out in the beginning to propagate all of the plants that we sell, but found that it was impossible for us to do (well) across the gamut of all that we sell (including everything from ferns propagated via spores, and trees propagated many different ways). Further, we found it hard to produce trees of the level of quality we want (and you want) while restricting ourselves to growing in containers. So, to make a long story short, we propagate a great deal of the plants we sell, and the rest we buy at some stage of life from other respectable nurseries who do the propagation and initial growing. We then grow them to a size that you can use. Many of our trees are grown in the field and shipped to us bare root from nurseries in Iowa, South Carolina, and Tennessee. We pot them in winter, and sell them to you when they are obviously out of dormancy and growing vigorously. We order small enough quantities that we will have few (or none) left over after the spring season, because we feel that growing a tree in a container for a prolonged period is bad for the tree. There are very few other nurseries who do not buy anything from other nurseries, and I respect them for that, but then, most of them don't grow the wide range of things we do, either. Large retailers with large inventories of lots of things are almost assuredly buying much of what they sell, whether they advertise themselves as growers or not, and whether or not they are forthcoming about that information. And, let me stress again, that all of our plants are nursery propagated, either by us or another reputable firm or individual. And I do enjoy propagating plants from seed, cuttings, division, etc, and would have a pretty respectable inventory even if I only sold things that I propagated myself. I just want to offer more than that, because so many of these plants are just not available in this area.
What is your warranty?
We warranty that our plants are healthy and true to name at the time you take possession of them. We offer no warranty beyond that, because, as a relatively small grower, we cannot afford to replace plants that die or fail to thrive as a result of neglect, improper care, improper planting, improper siting, inclement weather including but not limited to drought and late freezes, golf carts, deer, voles, rabbits, Labrador Retrievers and other damaging animals. You get our meaning...so much can happen after they leave here. Please be reasonable and understand that no plant that we can produce can survive and thrive without some degree of care on your part... that is the nature of gardening, especially in these hot and droughty times... Plus, while most of the plants we grow are easy, tough and low-maintenance, there are some that are real collectors plants, which can be a bit temperamental (don't worry, I will tell you if your choices qualify..) You may or may not be successful with them. Again, that is the nature of the beast. That is the challenge. And, that is your burden as a gardener. (I still deal with that issue when I buy special plants for my garden from other nurseries. You live and learn, sometimes over and over if you are like me.)
If you have reason to believe that a plant you purchase from us was not healthy when you bought it, then by all means contact us in a timely manner and we'll take care of you on a case by case basis. Large volume local retailers who offer you a lifetime warranty will charge you a pretty penny for that warranty (it is included in the hefty price tag), and they are banking on statistics regarding how many people would take advantage of the warranty if the plant died, how many of them would be able to locate the receipt, etc. Please don't assume that because they offer such a warranty and I do not, that their plants or customer service are better than mine. It is a sales gimmick. I don't do gimmicks. I do plants- healthy, beautiful, wonderful plants- so buy them, enjoy them, and take care of them.
I was looking at your website, and it has not been updated for awhile. Are you still in business?
We update the website frequently, but since I do it myself, and I don't know how to get the date to change, many of the pages have ancient update dates on them. This does not mean we are closed... We are very much in business. I suppose when we overhaul the website, everything will be updated, but who knows when that will be, because it is serving its purpose now...
Do you sell goat's milk, cheese, etc?
No. We sold our dairy goats and sheep in 2009 due to my being in graduate school. We are out of the soap that we used to make and sell. I would like to try to make some more before spring, but who knows??
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