Plant lovers: if you live in or travel to the Delaware Valley, make it a point to visit RareFind Nursery . I was first introduced to RareFind by Ken Arnold, the retired landscaper who now tends the beautiful grounds at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Cherry Hill, NJ. RareFind carries plants, shrubs and trees that you simply won’t find anywhere else. Located in Jackson, NJ (close to 6 Flags and outlet shopping), the nursery is situated in the Jersey pines, an ideal location for the rhododendrons, azaleas and other natives that love our acid, sandy soil. In particular, RareFind offers an amazing selection of the native, deciduous azaleas that are much sweeter and lovelier that the garish Asian variety so commonly seen in gardens. Wander through the lush display gardens and then settle in for some serious plant shopping.
Yesterday was perhaps my third or fourth trip to RareFind. My goal was to select trees and shrubs for my Woodland Border restoration project. Following Ann Lovejoy’s ‘Golden Bowl’ approach, I selected ‘Princess Diana’ amelanchier grandiflora trees for the large understory, and some Rhododendron minus v. carolianus shrubs for the small understory. (I’m going to underplant the rhododendrons with a few Coast Leucothoe that I picked up locally last week). I also selected a beautiful Cornus Alternifolia (Pagoda Dogwood) to anchor the streamside border. Even as a young tree, the dogwood has gorgeous, purplish bark and a graceful sympodial branch structure. Finally, I picked up a few perennials including Sedum Ternatum (which, coincidentally is recommended by Mount Cuba Center in my moss gardening course).
All in all, a successful plant excursion. My trip was cut short by rain – otherwise I would certainly have spend much more time, and money! Not to worry though, I’m sure I’ll be back.