A Tapestry of Holly – McLean Nursery

Large 42 inch wreath made at McLean nurseries in Maryland
Large 42 inch wreath made at McLean nurseries in Maryland

Wreaths and holly berries go together like milk and cookies. The combination is a classic and McLean Nursery in Parkville, Maryland has it down to a fine art, growing all kinds of hollies since 1946. When Thanksgiving rolls around, McLean goes into full swing cutting all kinds of evergreens – boxwood, magnolias, and cedar, but in particular their specialty-holly. Bill Kuhl the owner of McLean, has many mature specimens to cut from, including American, English, and the deciduous hollies, commonly called Winterberries, or Ilex verticillata. Satyr Hill Holly, an Ilex opaca, was developed at McLean from a volunteer seedling and named Holly of the Year in 2003 by The Holly Society of America, Inc.

Sprays of holly ready to go to a new home for decorating
Sprays of holly ready to go to a new home for decorating
A table of winterberries, a deciduous holly
A table of winterberries, a deciduous holly

Starting with an evergreen base fastened to a wire form, bunches or picks of tips of evergreens, berries, and holly are added for texture and color. Last, cones, pods, and the odd vegetable are added along with a huge loopy bow. The yellow berries are especially striking on wreaths.

A wreath decorated with turnips!
A wreath decorated with turnips!
Miriam, chief elf at McLean, displays one of her creations, accented with Magnolia leaves
Miriam, chief elf at McLean, displays one of her creations, accented with Magnolia leaves

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Hanging completed bows ready to wire on a wreath
Hanging completed bows ready to wire on a wreath

People know that when they buy a wreath at McLean that the greens will be freshly picked so that the wreath or arrangement will last through the holidays and beyond. The festive holly is used on almost every wreath and arrangement.

holly

Boxwood trees in the greenhouse
Boxwood trees in the greenhouse

If you want to buy greens or berries to make your own arrangements, a scale weighs your selections and is priced by the pound.

Weighing greens
Weighing greens

Table arrangements of candle rings and boxwood trees are also made with the signature McLean style at a very reasonable price. The freshly picked beauty of the evergreens make McLean’s wreaths stand out from the crowd and people come from all over to snatch them up to decorate their doors and mantels.

Table centerpieces
Table centerpieces

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Large wreath with beautiful 15 inch sugar pine cones
Large wreath with beautiful 15 inch sugar pine cones
Everyone needs a Kermit the frog mascot on their work table
Everyone needs a Kermit the frog mascot on their work table

11 Replies to “A Tapestry of Holly – McLean Nursery”

  1. Love this post Claire. I’m from Parkville and McLean’s has been there a very long time.
    Please have a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year!!! Love, Linda T

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