On a long winding road with such breathtaking scenery, Peggy Riccio and I found a Jewel in the Crown of Loudon County Virginia. Exploring almost anything that has to do with horticulture – from gardens to plants – offers us the opportunity to dig deep into the Mid-Atlantic region. Abernethy & Spencer was the best-unexpected treasure of this year.
SURVIVAL AND REVIVAL
110 years of continually bringing horticultural bliss to the Mid-Atlantic is something that David Lohmann of Abernethy & Spencer can be quite proud of. Ask any local, David knows what grows in Western Loudon County, as well as the contents of the five acres of plants, trees, and shrubs ifound at Abernethy & Spenceer.
In 2016, a snowstorm threatened to interfere with Spring at Abernethy & Spencer. A cracking sound could be heard in Springdale. It was a sound that totally caught David by surprise. Upon realizing that the sound came from his nursery, inspecting the damage was quite the shock. The largest greenhouse on the property had collapsed under the weight of the snow. The beauty in the midst of disaster – none of the Historic Greenhouses were damaged. This is how our ancestors let us know they are there for us.
The other Blessing was in the way the community pitched in to help save anything they could from further ruin. Rebuilding took place and the nursery opened that year on March 1. When you are a perennial asset to the community and tragedy happens, the community becomes the fertilizer to aid in rejuvenating growth. Spring flowers, trees and shrubs were once again available for gardeners near and far.
FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW
Abernethy & Spencer has been Organic for 15 years. Knowing that Virginia has rather strict rules on what can and cannot be considered Organic, this speaks volumes to me personally. I did not have to worry about chemicals that could harm me. I had plans for the scented geraniums and herbs I purchased.
Nine hundred. Yes nine hundred varieties of perennials grown on the premises. This is in addition to over two hundred varieties of shrubs and one hundred varieties of trees. This is NOT your big box store!
Customers can currently find seven Macaws and Cockatoo’s on the premises. They are quite talkative and I am certain their chatter keeps the friendly staff entertained when they pause. There are also six dogs that are onsite to welcome anyone they might see. Did you know that Abernethy & Spencer rescues animals? As a plant and animal lover, this speaks to the love of nature which the owners and staff clearly share.
The new greenhouse is quite cognizant of the impact on the environment. It will generally will reduce water usage by at least 60 percent , electricity by at least 50% and heating costs by minimally 40%. Once again, this says a lot about the dedication to being in touch with setting one of the best examples of environmental stewardship.
TROPICAL BLISS IN VIRGINIA
I am so glad that there were no horse flies in this gorgeous garden center of my desire. It was quite hard to keep my mouth closed as I witnessed horticultural bliss unfolding with every step I took. I become quite happy when visiting a garden, garden center, or meeting someone who understands this gardeners needs is something I enjoy. Every time I turned around, I saw a “need”. So maybe it wasn’t a real need, but a desire. There is not much difference in my book when it comes to gardening. I can honestly say, Abernethy & Spencer made me feel quite at home.
There was one tropical pant that really caught my eye.
Abernethy & Spencer…Thank you for being a dependable resource on a hot day in Virginia.
Dreaming of Vitex and my next visit. Yes they have Vitex (I checked!)!
Teri, Cottage In The Court
To find out more about this Virginia jewel, click here
To discover what else there is to do in Loudon County, click hereby