In Which Tony Avent Speaks Up About Heronswood, And Has Many Interesting Things To Say


(Tony Avent continues…)

So, why did Burpee purchase Heronswood? We can only speculate, but this is not the first large corporation to buyout a smaller nursery. Most of these buyouts have not proven profitable for the larger profit-minded corporation and have been maintained only as a five-year tax loss write-off.

I have read newspaper reports that indicate that Heronswood will re-open for mail-order on the East Coast. Yes, and I’ve got some well-draining swampland in Florida for sale.

Could Heronswood be purchased and run as a mail order nursery again? The answer is no… if you actually wanted to make money. Burpee purchased Heronswood for far more than it was worth.

What’s the lesson here? If you have a favorite nursery, patronize it…None of us know what tomorrow will bring and one day, our time will come, but it is our sincere hope to be around for quite a while. 

We love ya, Tony.  Keep doing what you do and thanks for lending your voice to the conversation.  (By the way, the photo’s of a crazy carex that you may still be able to get online from Heronswood if you order now.)

And this just in from Scott Kunst, owner of the rare bulb nursery Old House Gardens, which inspires such lust that we can barely speak its name (the nursery, not you, Scott, although you’re cute, too)–anyway, Scott has this to say in his e-newsletter:

Sometimes a little laughter is the best medicine. Mary Higgins of Cambridge, MA, emailed us recently: "Heronswood is closing? That’s horrible! I should have suspected something was up when those pig dogs stopped producing the print catalogue this year.  . . . Please don’t ever sell Old House Gardens to Wal-Mart or Haliburton."

Don’t worry, we won’t!


  1. I was just sick to hear about Heronswood closing. I have shopped mailorder and been a frequent visitor there for many years, and ahhhh the gardens the hospitality well. . .was there not some responsibility from the seller to the buyer to insure at it would continue on as before? I just hope the lovely men who owned this beautiful place will continue to grace us with their expertise and most of all their humor SOMEWHERE!! Victoria

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