Happy Hollow Nursery – Shade Plant Nirvana

Hosta Heaven
Hosta Heaven

Road Trip!!

Do you want a  plant buying road trip to a run-of-the-mill big box store with the same old, same old? Or do you want personal attention in picking out that perfect plant? Do you have shady areas in your garden that need TLC and want the ideal plant for that perfect spot? Look no further than Happy Hollow Nursery in Cockeysville, MD. One of Sue’s reviewers on Facebook noted that “It’s not just a nursery, it’s an experience!” I couldn’t say it better.

Peeking into one of the greenhouses

Specializing in Hostas and other shade loving plants and seasonal offerings, plantswoman Sue Bloodgood grows the most extensive collection of Hostas around, and can share excellent advice on plantings in difficult shady areas that you are scratching your head about. ‘Hosta Sue’ has brimming greenhouses full of plants you can’t find anywhere else. Plus she has a good selection of Hellebores, with some like Anna’s Red which has outward facing flowers.

Annas Red Hellebore
Selections of miniature Hostas at Happy Hollow
Selections of miniature Hostas at Happy Hollow

Happy Hollow – Nursery Extraordinaire

Carrying over 200 Hosta varieties, Happy Hollow nursery is tucked away in a suburban neighborhood in Cockeysville, MD, and a great place to see the many varieties of Hostas and other hard to find plants. Her Hosta offerings can vary from tiny plants suitable for troughs or rock gardens to massive 4-foot clumps with heart-shape leaves almost 2 feet long that are puckered, wavy-edged, white or green variegated, blue-gray, chartreuse, emerald-edged – the variations are virtually endless. This tough, shade-loving perennial, also known as plantain lily, blooms with white or purplish lavender funnel-shape or flared flowers in summer which are attractive to pollinators.

Sue Bloodgood surveying her dizzying array of hostas
Owner Sue Bloodgood surveying her dizzying array of Hostas
A tray of miniature hostas showing the variety that the 'littles' come in
A tray of miniature Hostas showing the variety that the ‘littles’ come in

Protect Your Investment

Praying Hands Hosta
‘Praying Hands’ Hosta

Two large greenhouses full to the brim with Hostas and other shade companion plants, like Brunnera, Pulmonaria, Tricyrtus, and shade grasses, Sue carries many unusual and hard to find plants, like ‘Praying Hands’ Hosta. I know that Hostas are a deer’s favorite food and I have started to spread Milorganite to repel them. A biosolid fertilizer, I find that deer avoid it, if applied after it rains. Liquid Fence works well in tandem with Milorganite.

Praying Hands Hosta
Praying Hands Hosta

Hard to Find Plants – Trilliums!

I went to Happy Hollow when I needed some miniature Hostas for some clients. My local wholesaler carried about 3 varieties of minis and I wanted a bigger variety. Sue Bloodgood carried at least 2 dozen varieties of minis and it was hard to choose from them all.

Another hard to find plant is Trilliums. which is a native ephemeral that blooms in the spring with beautiful three part flowers and foliage. Rare to find at any nursery, I love the long lasting flowers in the early spring.

Native Trillium blooming with Foam Flower
Trillium has beautiful foliage
All the different varieties of Trilliums that Sue carries

I fell in love with one of her Hostas, called ‘Striptease’ and had to take one home.

Hosta ‘Striptease”

Boutique Nurseries Fill a Niche

Boutique nurseries are becoming more and more popular when you are looking for something unusual and the selection at the big box stores can be limited. I haven’t seen miniature Hostas other than ‘Mouse Ears’ anywhere before, and I do a lot of plant shopping. Catering to a small segment of the discerning buying public, boutique nurseries are struggling to stay in business and are competing with larger nurseries that carry a little bit of everything. But Happy Hollow doesn’t sell fertilizer, pots, or bird houses – they simply sell the best shade plants anywhere.  And for personal attention and advice for gardening in the shade, stop in at Happy Hollow Nursery. Their contact number is 410-252-4026. Her address is 12212 Happy Hollow Rd, Cockeysville, MD. Tell her Claire sent you!

A recent review from Facebook said “Just discovered this gem of a garden! Sue is so knowledgeable and friendly ! What a treasure to discover… just like a magical garden! Forget the big box garden center… a truly magical experience!”

For more ideas on shady ground covers, go to my post “From the Ground Up-Choosing the Right Ground Cover For Shade “.

A simple ground cover of hostas can be very effective-Blue Cadet
A simple ground cover of hostas can be very effective-Blue Cadet

6 Replies to “Happy Hollow Nursery – Shade Plant Nirvana”

  1. Sue is so knowledgeable and nice. She gave us a tour of the gardens. I’m anxious to go back to find more hostas land hellebores to feed my obsession!.

  2. This is a shade gardeners heaven. Sue and Robin have created something really special on their property. Hosta Sue has come by her nickname honestly and she began my obsession with hellebores. She’ll call and say how the “hellebore” are you ❣️ The quality of her plants can’t be beat.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: