Vineyard Gardens Nursery, located in West Tisbury, is a botanical paradise situated on five acres of land with ten greenhouses. Established over thirty years ago with one greenhouse, it has developed into an island staple and agricultural enclave. Rooted in horticulture and plant science degrees, Chris and Chuck Wiley have developed their one time modest landscaping company into a full on plant production center, nursery and landscaping company.
The Wiley’s are passionate about providing their customers with the healthiest and hardiest plants and have found many benefits in nurturing them into this world from seed. To enable this in-house production they have, over the years, built a separate five acre growing site named VG2. The facility has both indoor and outdoor growing spaces including four 100ft greenhouses, one of which is purpose built for “germinating” seeds into seedlings. It’s within this carefully temperature and humidity controlled greenhouse complete with automated mist-watering and heated benches that life begins for the bulk of their veggies, herbs, annuals, and perennials.
The range of plants that Vineyard Gardens germinate at VG2 is extensive. Chris explains, “We start a few hundred varieties of mostly annuals but always seed a dozen or more perennials, trees and shrubs as well. Once the plants are ready for sale we truck them to Vineyard Gardens Nursery. The most challenging part is having the crops ready on time and in sufficient numbers. Sometimes we grow too much but more often we sell out of many of our annual crops including Proven Winners® .”
Chris exudes excitement about her production like they are her children. She could discuss the plethora of produce and flora she grows in English, Latin and Spanish with an excitement that makes you want to experiment with it yourself. With a twinkle in her eye she exclaims, “But our proudest moment is in spring, seeing our amazing display of vegetable packs, which we seed ourselves. Our customers are getting more and more into the edibles and herbs. We germinate many varieties of greens. We now also grow Asian greens including Chinese cabbage, Bok Choy and Tatsoi. And we seed a Brazilian vegetable called Jilot and we sell over 500 of them. And currently the cool weather crops are growing beautifully in the green houses.” Chris finishes it off with, “We love our edible crops!”
The Wiley’s have a keen desire to keep Vineyard Gardens’ plant selection fresh and intriguing year after year. They have developed a symbiotic relationship between their love of plants and love for travel. These horticultural explorations have inspired them to collect seeds on their journey’s and germinate them at VG2. “Last year we found the seed Tweedia Caerulea, Blue Butterfly Weed, for sale and bought it from Geo seed catalog. We will have it again this year hopefully in good numbers. We will have the Nolana Bluebird this year which is a great plant. And back by popular demand we will have white lace, Orlaya grandiflora.” Chris explains.
This second location, based solely on production, has made it possible to keep Vineyard Gardens retail location stocked so efficiently. Between their expertise and ambition to cultivate, Vineyard Gardens is ready to help you along on your gardening journey. If you want to learn first hand from these experts, join them Saturday mornings at 11am for a wonderful and insightful Garden Talk and workshop. Check out their website www.vineyardgardens.net to see the full listing of events