The Monarch Gardener

2024 Nursery Info and Planned Stock

 THE MONARCH GARDENER IS MOVING TO NUTTER FARM IN TOPSFIELD, MA!

THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR SUPPORTING POLLINATORS! 

SEEDS ARE STARTING TO GO IN THE DIRT. FOLLOW WHAT'S SPROUTING WITH MY DAILY-UPDATED NURSERY STOCK SPREAD SHEET  

Questions: contact me at themonarchgardener@gmail.com


NO NEONICS OR OTHER CHEMICALS ARE EVER USED. 

A little bit about my 'nursery': I started out in 2014 as backyard grower popping up sales tables at local farmers markets. I didn't have a giant nursery yard, staff or store at my home. I grew butterflyweed and swamp milkweed, and over the years, by popular demand, I now grow nearly 100 species of perennials and milkweeds native to the northeastern US, many of them are local ecotypes to Essex County, Massachusetts.. Most of what I grow are propagated from seeds from local ecotype seed plots at my own property. What I can't collect onsite, or on local properties where I have permission to collect ethically and sustainably, I order as organic seeds from native nurseries. Sometimes I have 50 of a species, sometimes I have 2. I grow what I love and what I see pollinators actively using, and of course milkweed. LOTS of milkweed! Water, sunshine and compost are the only things used on my plants. I never, ever, use chemicals, organic or conventional. Even organic insecticides can kill beneficial insects and pollinators. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Every plant is hand-raised.           The FarmStand Shed.                       The Nursery area will be a lot more full

personally by me.                                                                             opening day!                                                      


My 'nursery' has finally found a more permanent home at Nutter Farm in Topsfield MA. I will be open in 2024 on Fridays and Saturdays from mid-May through the end of July. I also plan to have appointment shopping for a small fee where you have all the plants, and me for advice, to yourself. I will update this page as more information is available and have listed the answers to FAQs below.  Below that is a nursery plant list, you can see up-to-date species, inventory and ID links online here. 

 Where are you located?: 180 Ipswich Road, Topsfield. You will see my familiar sandwich board at the end of the long gravel entrance drive. I will open the gates at 9:45ish so don't come TOO early, I don't want a line of cars blocking Ipswich Road. We want the town of Topsfield to like me ;)  Drive through the open gate and follow the signs to the parking area. Please park in the marked areas near the red implement barn as there are fields also being cultivated by the farmers who own the property. There will be staff to direct you when we first open and overflow parking in the meadow near the run-in shed. 
What are your days/hours?: 10-3 Fridays and Saturdays through July 27th with a few Saturdays planned for September.  As always, to be fair, NO SHOPPING BEFORE TEN AM. 
What payment do you accept? Cash, Venmo, personal checks, and credit cards. I am switching to a new check out system so please be patient as my cashiers learn it. My familiar color price tags will still be used :) I will also have a tally table outside the farm shop with a staff member trading your price sticks for a receipt - so you don't have to take your plants inside with you to pay - and a table and Sharpies will be available where you can leave your plants with your name on your box. 
How do I know what you will have for sale before I drive from an hour away? I highlight in lime green the species on my nursery spreadsheet that will be available that Friday/Saturday. I do not take orders, nor set aside plants, and I don't accept bribes to do so, even in vanilla frosted cupcake form. 
Will you only have seedlings and are they organic? Yes, with the exception of a few plants that overwintered well and shrublings from the NH State Forest Nursery, everything is a seedling. I grow every perennial from seed, many local ecotype, right here in Ipswich and Topsfield, MA. I do not bring in plugs from other nurseries nor mature plants from suppliers. I like that I know that only organic potting soil, rainwater and sunshine are in my plants and going home to your garden. You could say I'm 'Beyond Organic' because even organic pesticides still kill the good guys. 
Didn't you say there will be shopping/consults by appointment? Yes, the link to sign up will be on my website around 9 PM Sunday evenings starting May 12th. The info/pricing is also already on my website. Note: I will only have a few slots every week, and the days/times will vary depending on my schedule. If you come later in the day when I am open you can sometimes find a quieter nursery and can hopefully get a chance to chat with me then. As you all know from past years my plants go fast and the hours from 10-11 can be a bit chaotic. New shoppers: know that more plants roll out every week and they'll keep coming all season with the largest variety not until early June. 
Can I just pop in on other days? No, No absolutely not. The gate will be closed and the property is closed. I am not always there, so if you drop by during closed hours you won't be able to get in. People do live on the farm, and actively farm the other areas of the farm, so it is under surveillance 24/7.  ;) 
Can I bring my dog? Sadly no, this a rule of the farm. There are electric fences in the active farmed areas and the owners have a no-dog policy. You know I love to hug all your dogs but for their safely please leave them at home. 
Can I bring my kids? ABSOLUTELY YES YES YES!! Being a veteran mom with two kid very close in age I get the stress that shopping with kids can sometimes cause. I will have a kid's craft table/reading corner and hang out area in the farmshop shed. My cashiers can't watch your kids, but if your littles are elementary ages or older, and can be trusted to sit and read a book or color without you, you are welcome to let them hang in there so you can shop for plants in peace. I even have snacks if you ask me to bring them out. 

What else is for sale? For the first time ever I have an INDOOR space to protect the 'other' stuff I sell. You will find a bookstore shelf full of new and used copies of my favorite native plant reference guides (Wild Seed Project included!); copies of popular reads like Braiding Sweet Grass; signed copies of Bicycling With Butterflies; an assortment of my favorite nature-based fiction (The Seed Keeper!) and more! You will also find my rearing kits and guides, T-shirts, MiniClover, yard signs, All-Natural Rabbit Manure, salves for those cracked gardener hands from local Hannah's Herbals and monarch dress-up wings! 
        All this is next to my tea caddy with it's electric kettle, assortment of teas, cocoa, cider and compostable cups.  You are welcome to sit in the velvet wing backed chair with a cup of tea and look through my personal collection of reference books, while any kids you have in tow can check out my own kid's collection of nature-based picture books. 
             


Plants are first year seedlings to two-year-old plants: 

​Species underlined are linked to ID pages with photos

MILKWEEDS: $4-$8
Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
Seeds collected in Essex county
Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Poke milkweed (Asclepias exaltata) Limited
Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
Seeds collected in Essex county
Whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata


NATIVE NECTAR PERENNIALS: $4-$8
Bugbane/Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa) -shade

Blue Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

Yellow Giant Hyssop (Agastache nepetoides)**New for 2024 Seeds collected in Essex county
White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima) Seeds collected in New England

Eastern Bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana)

Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea

Canada windflower (Anemone canadensis) -shade

Plantain-Leaved Pussytoes (​Antennaria plantaginifolia) -Seeds collected in Essex county

Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) -shade

Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)-Seeds collected in Essex county
Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus)-shade
Wild ginger (Asarum canadense) -shade
False blue indigo (Baptisia australis) limited
Yellow Wild Indigo (​Baptisia tinctoria) 

White Turtlehead (Chelone glabra) -Seeds collected in Essex county 

Mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum) -shade

Lance Leaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata
Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) -Seeds collected in Massachusetts

Coastal Joe-pye Weed (Eutrochium dubium)

Joe-pye weed (Eutrochium maculatum
Sweet joe-pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum)-shade

Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)
Blanket Flower (Galliardia sp.)

Bottle Gentian (Gentiana clausa) 
Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)

Ox-eye sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides
Blue flag iris (Iris veriscolor

Blazing Star (Liatris spicata)
Great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) -shade
Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)Seeds collected in Essex county

Flax-leaved stiff aster (Lonactis linariifolia) **New for 2024 Seeds collected in Essex county

Sundial Lupine (Lupine perennis) 
Beebalm (Monarda didyma
Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa
Spotted beebalm (Monarda punctata)  

Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis)
Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana)

Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris)

Broad-leaved Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum muticum)

Hairy Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum verticillatum) 

Black-eyed susans (Rudbeckia hirta)

Three-lobed Coneflower (Rudbeckia triloba)

Canada Burnet (​Sanguisorba canadensis) Seeds collected in Essex county
Silverrod (Solidago bicolor) 
Seeds collected in Essex county

Wreath Goldenrod (Solidago caesia) Seeds collected in Essex county / -shade

Early goldenrod (Solidago juncea) Seeds collected in Essex county 

Gray goldenrod (Solidago nemoralisSeeds collected in Essex county 

Downy Goldenrod (Solidago puberula) Seeds collected in Essex county 

Sweet Goldenrod (Solidago ordora) 

Rough Goldenrod (Solidago rugosa) Seeds collected in Essex county

Seaside goldenrod (Solidago sempervirensSeeds collected in Essex county

Showy Goldenrod (Solidagio speciosa)
Blue Wood Aster (Symphyotrichum cordifolium) Seeds collected in Essex county/ -shade

Smooth Blue Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve) ** New for 2024 

New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)  Seeds collected in Essex county

New York Aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii)- ** New for 2024 Seeds collected in Essex county

American germander (Teucrium canadense** New for 2024 Seeds collected in Essex county

Tall meadow rue (Thalictrum pubescensSeeds collected in Essex county

Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata) Seeds collected in Essex county

New York ironweed (Veronia noveboracensis

Culver's Root (Veronicastrum virginicum)-shade
Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia)

Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea)​-shade

Heart-leaf Golden Alexanders (​Zizia aptera) -shade


NATIVE GRASSES: $4-$6

American beachgrass (Ammophila breviligulata) - Seeds collected in Essex county 

Big Bluestem Grass (Andropogon gerardi)

River Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)

Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) Seeds collected in Essex county


NATIVE SHRUBS:  $10-$22

Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) - Seeds collected in Essex county 

New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalisSeeds collected in Essex county 

Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera)

Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) 

Northern Bayberry (Morella caroliniensis- Seeds collected in Essex county

Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)

Beach plum (Prunus maritima) - Seeds collected in Essex county 

Common Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)

Meadowsweet (Spiraea alba


NATIVE VINES: $8-$16

Ground Nut (Apios americana** New for 2024Seeds collected in Essex county

Virgin's bower (Clematis virginiana

Hempweed (Mikania scandens.) Seeds collected in Essex county


The following are planned for 2024 -pending germination:​​

Common Winterberry (Ilex verticillataSeeds collected in Essex county

Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) -shade

Zig-Zag goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis) -shade


ANNUALS: $2 - $3

Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata)