McLean Nurseries on Satyr Hill Road in Baltimore Maryland has been growing and selling hollies since 1946. They specialize in Ilex opaca, the American holly, but they also sell many other different species. It's possible on any one visit to see over 100 different hollies. They have green hollies, variegated hollies, hollies with red berries, hollies with yellow berries, and hollies with yellow-splashed leaves. You'll find English hollies, Japanese hollies, Chinese hollies, tall hollies, tiny hollies, hollies with spines, and hollies without spines. It's just amazing the varieties of hollies that exist today.
Bill Kuhl is the owner and he is willing to help you select just the right holly for your needs. Hollies can be used in so many ways on lots both large and small. They can be used as screens, as corner markers, as hedges (both formal and informal), as the main plants or accents in foundation plantings, beds and borders, and in rock gardens. McLean Nurseries has a holly or two to fill each of those needs.
Many of the American hollies that McLean Nurseries has introduced are very well known and sold by many nurseries nationwide. One is Ilex opaca ‘Satyr Hill'. A mature specimen of this holly can be found in the Berry Garden at Ladew Topiary Gardens in Monkton, Maryland. ‘Satyr Hill' has beautiful bold leaves and large, red berries and lots of them. Another excellent holly is Ilex opaca ‘Miss Helen' which also produces an abundance of berries.
Two new hollies registered recently by Bill Kuhl are Ilex opaca ‘Baltimore Buzz' and I. o. ‘Glen Ellen'. ‘Baltimore Buzz' is a fine male holly used to pollinate female hollies. ‘Glen Ellen' is is vigorous female American holly. She is a fast grower with dark, attractive leaves and is great for naturalizing large areas. Male and female holly flowers are on separate plants so that male and female plants must be planted in the same vicinity to produce berries. The horticultural term for this is dioecious.
He carries two of Mr. Henry Hohman's plants: the very small Ilex crenata ‘Kingsville Green Cushion' (an edging type of Japanese holly) and Ilex opaca ‘Cheerful', a female American holly with a dense, compact habit. These are difficult to find but well worth buying.
Besides hollies, Bill grows and sells what interests him; so you'll always find a wide assortment of perennials, trees (including Japanese maples), hostas, daylilies, shrubs, and other plants. The hosta collection is very large. I was very impressed with Hosta 'El Capitan' (a large, blue-green leaf hosta with creamy white margins) and I couldn't resist buying two. There is also a large selection of daylilies in every color. If you go in mid-daylily season, you can pick just the right colors for your garden. I've noticed many nice evergreen azaleas too. The prices at McLean Nurseries are great. They can not be beat for the quality of their plants and their low prices.
After Thanksgiving, McLean Nurseries starts making and selling beautiful Christmas wreaths using live material such as red- and yellow-berried holly, boxwood, variegated and green leaves with accents of different plants. The price for a fully decorated 16-in wide wreath starts at $28. Larger wreaths are priced accordingly.
9000 Satyr Hill Road
Recently I visited Kollar Nursery. One of my clients told me that all of the great plants I
buy from mail order nurseries are available right here in Harford County at Kollar. Kollar is in
Pylesville at 5200 West Heaps Rd off of Route 136 which is off of Route 24 above Rocks State
The nursery is down a gravel road in a very woodsy area. Sharon Kollar was there and
answered my questions about the plants she sells. What a variety she sells and at great prices too! I
purchased a great looking white hardy orchid (Bletilla striata 'Alba') for $5.95 and a really good-
sized maiden hair fern (Adiantum pedatum) for $5.95. Smaller sized plants were priced at $2.95,
$3.95 and $4.95 which are well below the prices of the mail order nurseries.
There are plenty of native plants and exotics for shady places. I couldn't pass up another
Hosta 'Frances Williams' and Merrybells (Uvularia sessiliflora), Then I spied the evergreens which
included a new small Pieris japonica with upright flower panicles, an upright growing boxwood,
and a beautiful Exbury azalea. Among the sunny perennials, I purchased a daylily called
Hemerocallis 'Red Rim' which is a short red rebloomer. There were many landscape plants for
sunny places as well. Kollar Nursery definitely looks like a place to spend some time getting acquainted
with the many plants that are offered for sale at very reasonable prices.
As part of the Bel Air Cultural Arts Commission's Garden Tour, Kollar Nursery will be
one of the vendors at Rockfield Park, 501 Churchville Road, Bel Air, on Sunday, June 4, 2000
from 12 noon to 5 p.m. Hope you take this opportunity to visit some great gardens and buy some
great and reasonably- priced plants from Kollar.
5200 West Heaps Road,
Groff's Plant Farm
Groff's plant farm is a nursery in southern Lancaster County, perhaps 45 minutes from Bel Air via US Route 1. This is a don't-miss nursery if you have any interest at all in garden plants. They have shade perennials, sun perennials, annuals, tropicals, evergreen and deciduous shrubs, vines, and ornamental grasses. I may have missed a few categories. It was highly recommended to us by several members of the Hardy Plant Society/Middle Atlantic Group and it is now highly recommended by me.
They have the usual plants that everyone else has but at lower prices; then they have many unusual plants as well and still at very reasonable prices.
Groff's is the place to go in early spring to purchase the tropicals and annuals for your container garden. If I remember correctly, they have a variety of sizes as well as many plant genera. They have my favorite Pentas, or Egyptian Star Flower, which no one in the Bel Air area carries. They also have a wide variety of ready-made containers for purchase. There are at least six greenhouses devoted to these tropicals and annuals and they are always growing more so the greenhouses are replenished as the spring and summer progresses. Later in the season they do have a sale on these plants.
The sun and shade perennials are in different sections (including the geraniums for sun and shade) to help keep us from getting confused. The shade perennials are covered by lathe. Last year they increased the number of hostas tremendously. The number of different ferns carried is amazing as well.
They are enlarging their shrub area and have both deciduous and evergreen shrubs. Groff's is where I purchased Thuja orientalis ‘Beverly Hills' and several other evergreen shrubs that I'm really enjoying. Also, early last spring they had new cultivars of viburnum shrubs, especially from the Proven Winners® Color Choice website.
I've purchased Viburnum trilobum "N.N. Select' or Redwing™ and Viburnum sargentii ‘Onondaga'. They've also had a few deciduous azaleas. One that I really like is Rhododendron ‘Miss Jan', a lovely, fragrant pink bloomer.
Everything that I've purchased from Groff's have flourished and I am looking forward to purchasing more this spring. I can't wait! See their website for directions from Route 1.
Groff's Plant Farm
6128 Street Rd
Kirkwood, PA 17536
After spending the morning at Groff's, you may be hungry and want to eat. On the way back toward Route 1 on Pa Route 472, you'll see a combination convenience store/gas station on the right next to a farm field. (I don't know the name of it but I'll find out this spring and update the info here.) You can stop here for freshly-made sandwiches, cold drinks, and ice cream. Yummy! If you prefer a restaurant, then go to Oxford, Pa (don't turn on to Route 1 but stay on Route 472 toward Oxford) and there you'll find several restaurants. Besides the two restaurants noted here, there are several in and about Oxford. Check out Oxford, Pa's website for more info.
My favorite place is Morning Glories Coffees and Teas at 312 Market St, Oxford, PA 19363, Phone: (610) 932-8014.
Another nice place is Peppercorns Restaurant, 306 Market St, Oxford, PA 19363
Phone: (610) 998-0892.