Article By: Bonnie Williamson
Photos By: Josh Trigg
For people who are in the process of beautifying their yards having a local nursery is an important asset in order to be successful. When considering a nursery, plan to make a visit to Colonial Farm Nursery located in Martinsburg, WV. They not only offer a large selection of plant material and other planting accessories, but also give customers the knowledge they need to be successful.
Located at 9008 Tuscarora Pike, Colonial Farm is a full-service garden center, as well as being a family affair. Carla Ay is its manger; her husband Carl does the landscape design and tree installation; her mother-in-law Carole is in charge of perennials, and her father-in-law Carl is responsible for starting the nursery. The owners are assisted by a helpful and energetic staff. Carla adds that her beagle, Lilly, is on site as the nursery mascot.
Carla says the original nursery was started in the 1940s as a cut flower business. The Ay family purchased the property in 1995. There were originally 8 greenhouses, which have been replaced with more modern and efficient greenhouses. There are now 11 greenhouses total to grow the seasonal crops.
Colonial Farm is a year-round retail operation that offers annuals, perennials, vegetable plants, mums, and poinsettias all grown on-site.
Trees, Shrubs and landscape materials help fill the almost 4 acres of retail space. Customers can walk freely through the walkways and see row upon row of blooming and colorful stock.
In the early Spring season, cold hardy pansies offer a cure for the “early planting itch.” The arrival of Easter brings color with Tulips, Lilies, and Hyacinths.
Rain or shine you will find over 20,000 square feet of annuals all under one roof. Annuals include over 6000 large one gallon geraniums in over 30 different varieties. Marigolds, Vinca, Portulaca, Impatiens, Begonias and more are grown by the thousands in flats. Other annuals include wave petunias, sweet potato vine, lantana and torenia planted in 4″ pots.
Hanging baskets cover the overhead space with sun and shade lovers such as Trixi’s and Bonfire Begonias. Colorful Tropicals for your deck or pool include Mandivilla, Diplandenia, Hibiscus and Passion Flower. You will find interesting glazed pottery, decorative hanging baskets, and a selection of hand tools to complete your gardening projects.
If you plant a vegetable garden consider visiting Colonial Farm for all your vegetable garden needs. You will find over 30 different types of tomatoes as well as 20 types of peppers that include both sweet and hot. Other crops such as cabbage, broccoli, eggplant, okra and more are available. Herbs include basil, rosemary, and oregano which are the most common. Fennel, curry, stevia, borage, and calendula are a few uncommon herbs that can be found at the nursery. Vegetables and Herbs are grown in flats, 4″ pots as well as gallons. Onion sets, seed potatoes and seeds are also available.
Autumn begins with 50 varieties of blooming mums that carry through to the end of October. The fall season also offers pansies, ornamental cabbage and kale, pumpkins, gourds, straw and cornstalks, for all of your fall decorating needs. Colonial Farm also offers fall vegetable plants to keep your vegetable garden producing into the late harvest season Poinsettia season begins shortly thereafter at Thanksgiving with 20 different kinds available for the holiday season. To complement your decorating season, there are live Christmas trees, fresh wreaths, roping and loose greens to choose from. The staff is on hand to help with custom made holiday décor. The Christmas season also offers cyclamen, holiday cactus and potted herbs. Many churches, businesses and organizations take advantage of ordering their poinsettias early for their holiday functions.
Trees can be purchased year-round with the largest selection arriving in the fall and early spring. Colonial Farm has a variety of shade and flowering trees such as redbuds, maples, birch, dogwoods and ornamental cherries. There is also a variety of evergreens like white pine, Norway and blue spruce.
Shrubs being a central part of any landscape make up a large portion of the stock on hand. From your old favorites to the new and improved you will find some of it available year-round. Flowering shrubs are constantly coming into bloom. Azaleas, Rhododendrons, and Quince start the Spring season then give way to Spirea, Weigela, and Butterfl y Bush. Hydrangeas, Crepe Myrtle, and Bluebeard add color to your landscape for the Summer. Fall is rounded out with Pyracantha, Cotoneaster and Holly berries for the bird lovers. Nandina and Burning Bush show their foliage color to finish the season. Evergreen shrubs are also a staple in the landscape. They give you a large assortment of shapes, colors and textures to fulfi ll various needs in the landscape. Arborvitae, Junipers, Boxwood, Cryptomeria, Euonymus, and Pieris Japonica are all favorites and old standards. There is always fresh plant material at Colonial Farm Nursery. Restocking occurs continuously throughout the entire year in order not only to supply customers, but landscapers as well.
Perennials, plants that return every year, help fill in the landscape with their textures and various blooming schedules. Among the perennials you will find an assortment of Russian Sage, Germander, and Artemisia which are all sun-lovers.
Shade perennials include Ligularia, Brunnera, Bleeding Heart and Lupine. While shopping be sure to look for all the different varieties of Daylilies, Phlox, Coneflower, Coral Bells, Salvia, Coreopsis, and Sedums. This is just a few of the more than 100 choices in the perennial area.
Other products sold at the nursery are bagged and bulk mulch, bagged potting soil, soil amendments, natural wallstone and stepping stones. For customer convenience Colonial Farm offers delivery service for all the products purchased at the nursery.
Carl handles the landscaping design process. Customers can either bring in measurements and photographs of the area to be planted or an appointment can be made for an on-site design consultation. For the “do-it-your-selfers,” there is plenty of advice on installation and care. For those with larger projects, a referral can be made to a licensed and insured contractor.
The staff at Colonial Farm believes that assisting customers with their gardening adventures is a primary goal. “Customers come to us with questions so we spend time with them making sure they have the right material and information to be successful.”
For more information like us on Facebook, call 304-263-5232, or stop by from 9-6 Monday-Saturday and 11-5 on Sundays. Check out our ad in this issue on page 101 for a special offer. We look forward to seeing you.
“Each season brings different delights at the nursery. Always expanding and looking for new plants to keep customers interested is the Colonial Farm way.”