Hello from Louisville! Today we'll be visiting one of the coolest nurseries found in Louisville. This nursery is waaaay cool because it carries a wide variety of plants that I find to be unique and a bit different from what a lot of nurseries carry. Plus, this nursery has another nursery in it where the owner's son specializes in tropicals. A tropical greenhouse is a delightful thing during the cold days of winter. As an added bonus Berl Williams Landscaping has some gardens and statuary, a sweet little cat or two, and is opened on Sundays. The best part of all is the owner is always on site. I enjoy talking to the person behind nurseries mainly because they know everything that is going on in that nursery and can really help me out if I need help.
Surprisingly enough I found out from the USDA plant hardiness map that Louisville is Zone 7A; which is the exact same zone my home in Tennessee is located in. I was surprised because Louisville is a couple of hours north of my home in Tennessee. Even though we are in the same zone I think Louisville tends to get a bit colder in the winter and stay a slight bit cooler in the summer. This makes Louisville a pretty nice city. Add to that fact that my daughter and granddaughter live there and you know I like this town a lot. Berl's has a great deal of plants in the ground. A good amount of these plants are plants that would be considered marginally hardy in Zone 7A. The plants include: agaves, palm trees, yuccas, prickly pears, tetrapanax, orchids, and probably more that I cannot think of right now. Each fall Mr. Berl and his group of workers take great pains to winterize the tender plants growing on the nursery grounds. When you have a palm tree that is 15' tall those pains can be great indeed. Just look at all the wrapping and mulch applied in the above picture.
There are even mini greenhouses that not only protect tender plants but also serve as a windbreak to the tender plants. Sometimes it is not the cold that gets plants but dessication of the plants. In the winter when the ground is frozen the plant cannot take up necessary water. Add to that drying winds and plants can quickly get drought stressed even in the winter. This will kill plants in the winter quicker than cold temperatures. The other major killer of plants in the winter is poor drainage. Plants just cannot stand their roots sitting in water and ice without suffering damage. Almost all plants the normal gardener will grow will specify 'plant in a well drained location' and for good reason.
Berl's is a nursery that I always love to visit. I have bought a few things here over the years and all of them have done wonderfully. These things include my evergreen dogwood (Cornus augustata Empress of China). My daughter (Liz) buys a lot of plants here as well. She has purchased a yellow magnolia, several leatherleaf viburnums, a 'Graham Blandy' evergreen, and some crepe myrtles here. We love this nursery for its variety, good availability of plants and good prices but you do have to look around and know what you are looking for when visiting here. You never know what you might find.
After our house is done (or mostly done) I plan to purchase a gingko tree. I will most likely purchase the tree from this nursery so I have been keeping my eye on them. Berl's has several good cultivars of gingkos; which are all male, and the trees are priced reasonably. Additionally, some of my friends and I will be making a trip up to Berls in May. May should be a perfect time to visit, but really, if you don't mind the cold and wind go anytime. Just be sure to peek into the really cool tropical greenhouses and get warm and maybe even buy a few things. My other daughter (Christy-who was visiting from Alabama) loved the tropical greenhouses and purchased a really neat hoya and a few other things on our recent visit.
Back home in Tiger Gardens it appears spring has sprung despite our up and down temperatures. Somehow overnight these hyacinths and daffodils have all begun blooming. Welcome spring....
in the garden....