Perennial Pleasures Nursery: Rachel Kane

Rachel Kane
P.O. Box 128
East Hardwick, VT  05836

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Perennial Pleasures Nursery is a retail and mail-order nursery, established by Rachel Kane in 1980 for the purpose of growing heirloom flowers and herbs from the 17th, 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. These days we have over 900 varieties of plants, many with heirloom pedigrees, but also worthy modern cultivars. Herbs, both culinary and medicinal, remain an abiding interest. More recently we are on a Phlox paniculata kick, and currently have 128 cultivars growing in the gardens, which we celebrate with an annual Phlox Fest in early August. It is an old-style nursery, where we start annuals in the greenhouse, collect our own seeds and take our own cuttings. We will often dig plants out of the field for customers if we don’t have it in a pot. Other genera of interest are Primula, Helenium and Thalictrum.

The nursery is located in a small village in northeastern Vermont, behind the family home, an 1840s brick house. There are propagation fields and display gardens including a hedged herb garden complete with standing stones, a real primrose path leading up to a little sod-roofed ‘stuga’, and a deep English-style border fronting a rustic cedar pergola. In summer the big lawn is set up for croquet, which visitors are invited to play. Rounding out the scene are an eclectic gift shop, and a summer tea room, run by Rachel’s mother, Judith, serving traditional English cream teas and light lunches. Come spend a pleasant day!