By Devon Dams-O’Connor
All is well inside the calm confines of a greenhouse. Bone-chilling winds could be whipping hail sideways, but under nurseries’ silver-framed translucent cloches, filtered sunlight warms the skin and relaxes the shoulders. The air is humid and alive – an organic aromatherapy spa fragrant with moss, peat, minerals and subtle earthy perfumes.
Row upon row of pots and lush flats of flora present lively possibilities for plants to grace gardens and homes, waiting patiently to become regal urns of radiant plumage, bountiful veggie patches, floral gestures and remembrances, colorful curb appeal, and fresh flavor snipped from a kitchen windowsill. Wandering mazes of verdant wares at Western New York nurseries, damp floors strewn with errant petals, provide a lush escape to be savored on the rainiest of days. Here are some of our favorite destinations.
& Garden Center
5799 Genesee St., Lancaster
A giant lodge-like garden shop welcomes green thumbs to Adams’ sprawling grounds overflowing with one of the area’s biggest selections of locally grown plants, including harder-to-find large trees. A major perk is their DIY landscape service, which provides a custom plan and help in selecting the right plants for homeowners to plant themselves.
Lavocat’s Family Greenhouse & Nursery
8441 County Road, East Amherst
Lavocat’s brand new, cathedral-like greenhouses are filled with over 800 kinds of popular flowers and harder-to-find, show-stopping varieties of perennials, shrubs, and trees. If you want to one-up your Garden Walk neighbor, this is the place to go. Their end-of-season perennial sale is not to be missed.
Lockwood’s Garden Center
4484 Clark St., Hamburg
One of the area’s oldest plant destinations, the fifth generation of the Lockwood family welcomes garden tour busses who come to marvel at the farm’s 26,000 square foot gardening mecca. A steady offering of classes and workshops, a community garden, and a strong commitment to organic practices and products makes Lockwood’s a standout.
Russell’s Tree & Shrub Farm
9800 Transit Road, East Amherst
Whether you’re looking for flowering plants, garden supplies, mulch, soil and stone, materials for walkways and patios, or yes — shrubs and trees — you’ll find it at Russell’s. In addition to helpful gardening consultants, Russell’s also offers landscape design and delivery.
Weeks’ Nursery & Greenhouses
5955 Shimerville Road, Clarence Center
This simple, no-frills rural roadside shop feels like stepping back in time in the best possible way. Gardeners pull old wagons through rows of intimate, tightly packed greenhouses lined with wooden tables full of carefully tended bedding annuals, veggie starts, and shade perennials, with a canopy of lush hanging baskets overhead.