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Wednesday, April 25, 2018
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RI Archives: Style

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Why The Wandering Eye Gives A Posy To Pondside Nursery

Frankie is my garden helper….Kelly Varnell Virgona were the designers.

I am no gardener. I am a pretty good “cutter backer,” I think. Hermes would argue that I kill more than I save. But then He Who Must Be Obeyed doesn’t even venture onto the lawn, let alone deign to touch a pair of secateurs. So his opinion is of little value. (Bam Zow Smash!)

I was raised by an avid gardener. My mother was on her hands and knees digging in the dirt from Day One. She made it into a career as a landscape architect and an avocation as a director of The Garden Club of America. To this day, her garden is a beauty. She set the bar very high.

So it takes your better class ‘o nursery to grab me, kicking and screaming, and entice me to actually buy a plant. Pondside Nursery, on Route 9G south of Hudson, grabs me.

The owner, Claverack native Jake Watts, has created a new horticultural destination in our ‘hood. The nursery’s hardscape and landscape are evolving every season, and I, for one, enjoy a nursery that actually plants a landscape around and into the inventory. It inspires me.

Perrenials Yay! Annuals Blech…

Jake and his crew have ditched the standard retail model of lots of little garden tchotchkes, weird hoses and twee birdhouses. They focus on the plants and leave the gnomes to others. Check out the website and the blogs by Robert Anderson. Lots of information, beautifully delivered. 

Jake has a BA in horticulture. He’s been doing this since 2002 but just dug the pond and established the nursery in 2011. He is a pro at throwing out the Latin names along with the vernacular (I love me a little Latin). His advice over the two years we’ve been stopping by has always been good — and it has often been “That’s not going to work for you” kind of advice, which is the best kind. Last year we gave over our place to Jake to maintain and it has never looked better. 

So check it out. We can’t drive to Hudson without stopping. It’s like Stuckey’s (right)...“PLEEEEEASE can we stop?? Please???” As the designated driver, I control HWMBO. (Bam! Kaboom!) (Photo courtesy of my hometown paper, the Beaumont Enterprise, Texas. Neither the hands or the t-shirt are particularly clean. But the Pecan Log Roll speaks volumes.)

Jake is camera shy and sent me a photo of the whole Pondside gang. You’ll have to guess which one he is.

An aside — further south on Route 9G, Germantown’s Valley Harvest Ice Cream & Grill is open again for the summer. I wrote about it last year, but it bears repeating. Last Saturday night my little house party was jonesing for ice cream so we stumbled over to Valley Harvest. And damned if it was not the BEST banana split I have ever seen/had. I watched as they cut fresh pineapple and strawberries. The whipped cream was real. So was the sugar rush. And it was $4.95. Brilliant.

Pondside Nursery
5918 RT9G Hudson, NY 12534
(518) 828-1179
Open daily, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. 

Our blogger, interior designer Carey Maloney, and his partner Hermes Mallea, an architect, are principals in the M (Group).

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 06/13/15 at 03:17 PM • Permalink