Monday, April 8, 2019

Native perennials and more - Greenhouse open Saturdays through early June

M R Gardens in the Oakley community of Asheville opens its sustainable nursery to the public Saturdays, April 13 through June 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. We offer native perennials, groundcovers, seasonal vegetable starts, culinary and medicinal herbs, as well as other plants that benefit you and the garden.

Passive solar greenhouse in early April.
Find us at 441 Onteora Blvd., Asheville. If you have questions, contact or leave a voicemail at 828.333.4151.

If you can't make it on Saturdays, we can be open by appointment. Reserve your plants at our online store: You’ll find descriptions of most of our plants at this site.

Availability changes each week, but we’ll mark a * beside the ones that are in stock the day before the sale.

Native Perennials
Anise Hyssop*
Asters — Aromatic*, Calico*, Golden*, Silky*, Smooth Blue*
Bee Balm, Bradbury’s* and Wild Bergamot*
Big Bluestem Grass*
Black Eyed Susan, Bicolor Daisy* and Goldsturm*
Blazing Star (Liatris) — Button, Marsh and Northern (To be available in fall)
Creeping Phlox - Sherwood Purple*
Culver’s Root*
Doll’s Daisy (Boltonia)*
Golden Alexander*
Goldenrod, Showy*
Great Blue Lobelia*
Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta)*
Jacob’s Ladder*
Little Bluestem Grass*
Mountain Mint*
Nodding Onion*
Rattlesnake Master*
Silphium - Cup Plant* and Rosin Weed*
Sochan (Rudbeckia laciniata)*
Sundrops - Prairie*
Switch Grass*

Creeping Daisy*
Creeping Thyme - Mother of Thyme*
Creeping Phlox - Sherwood Purple*
Roman Chamomile*
Sedum – Dragon’s Blood*
Sweet Alyssum – Carpet of Snow; Royal Carpet*
Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)*

Medicinal, Culinary Herbs and Annual Flowers – Some of the above listed natives and groundcovers are medicinal. In addition, we offer:
Balloon Flower*
Gotu Kola*
Lemon Balm*
Stinging Nettle*
Tulsi (Holy Basil)*

Vegetable Starts
Kale – Lacinato, Vates*
Lettuce – Buttercrunch, Parris Island Romaine, Cimarron Romaine
Pak Choi
Swiss Chard
Peppers – sweet* and Jalapeno

We aim for as sustainable as possible, using organic methods and growing in a passive solar greenhouse heated entirely by solar gain and cooled with manual vents. Our potting soil incorporates bi-products of other manufacturing processes to avoid the over-use of peat. We grow on a small scale with attention to quality, and diversify our income streams to alleviate pressure on the nursery.

If you’re interested in a tour of our passive solar greenhouse, contact us to set up an appointment. See the description here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Plant Preview - Ordering in 2019

You're probably thinking about your garden this week of early warm weather! Here’s a preview of plants at M R Gardens for 2019.

For those who have participated in our Pre-Season Prep Service in the past, you might notice that order dates are a little later this year, although you should receive your plants at similar times of the season, or perhaps a little earlier than usual.

  • Spinach and arugula should be ready for your garden mid-March, so check back for information on how to reserve your plants in early March. UPDATE! Plants now available. See
  • Kale, Collards, Kohlrabi, Pak Choi, and Lettuce (Buttercrunch, Romaine) should be ready mid to late April, and you can start ordering end of March. UPDATE! These plants are also now available on the online store.
  • Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, Culinary Herbs, Medicinal Herbs, and Annual Flowers should be ready early May, and you can start ordering mid-April.
We expect to have more varieties and larger quantities of native perennials than previous years, and we add these selections to the online store when they are a good size. We also continue to offer a variety of groundcovers.

Verbena stricta is a native prairie plant—good for attracting beneficial flowers to the garden.
It can also be used medicinally.

At M R Gardens, we strive for as sustainable as possible. That includes growing in a one-of-a-kind passive solar greenhouse, heated entirely with solar gain; incorporating potting mix materials that are by-products of other manufacturing processes; and using organic practices.

In addition to online sales, we open our greenhouse to the public on Saturdays in spring, starting in early April.

If you anticipate ordering large amounts of any vegetable or herb starts, or if you have any requests for special varieties, please contact or 828.333.4151 — sooner than later!

Happy garden planning!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Taking Leaves!

Every fall M R Gardens accepts neighbors' leaves, which we turn into new vegetable beds or incorporate into our composting. The public is welcome to place filled bags by the sign at the farm entrance. Mulched leaves are preferred, but we'll take them whole as well.

Mountain Xpress recently reached out to Megan to talk about the use of leaves in the garden. Megan told them that she:
"considers leaves 'the most essential amendment that I add to the garden.' She tries to keep her vegetable garden covered with leaves or other types of organic matter throughout the year, except when beds have been recently planted. 'It’s the same in nature,' she points out. 'You would never walk in the forest and see bare ground unless it’s been disturbed. Organic matter is continually decomposing into nutrients for new life.'"
See the full article at:

Helping our client in West Asheville establish new vegetable gardens.

Leaves are the final layer on top of mushroom compost and cardboard to create the new beds.
Read more about our Microbe Rich method, and let us know how we can help you in your new endeavors!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Fall plants! Open on Saturdays for a limited time.

M R Gardens in the Oakley community of Asheville opens its sustainable nursery to the public for fall plant sales on Saturdays from September 8 through October 6 or until supplies last.

We currently have: Collards, Kohlrabi, four varieties of Kale, three varieties of Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Pak Choi, and two varieties of Spinach.

"Drunken Woman" lettuce variety - it has red markings once it grows to full size 

We also offer a selection of native perennials including grasses for slope stabilization, medicinal herbs, and other plants that benefit the garden. Most of what’s in stock is listed in the “Currently in the Greenhouse” section at

We aim for as sustainable as possible, using organic methods and growing in a passive solar greenhouse heated entirely by solar gain and cooled with manual vents. We grow on a small scale with attention to quality.

Find us at 441 Onteora Blvd., Asheville. Contact or 828.333.4151 with questions. We hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

So much new-ness, so much to digest

It’s mid-July, and I’m just now taking a moment to reflect on all the new-ness that popped up at M R Gardens this past spring. Thank goodness for photos to remind me of all that happened. Believe it or not, this post (which has grown quite lengthy) summarizes just the highlights!

Biggest Change
M R Gardens now has a tiny home!

It’s currently listed on AirBnB, and we plan to eventually post on additional vacation websites that specifically reach out to people who want to be involved with or learn from the farm. When the house is not booked for guests, we can use the space for a temporary office that’s a closer walk to the greenhouse than the home office (which is helpful when tabulating plant inventory). The tiny home may be our first big step in eventually creating a learning/healing retreat-type experience, as well as expanding the types of audiences that gain from the farm. Funny that such a little building (8-foot by 24-foot) can inspire such a significant component to the farm.

Most Delightful Moment
Roots and Wings School of Art and Design brought about 15 of their preschoolers to M R Gardens end of May. 

We spent an hour together, first walking through the greenhouses and gardens, learning tidbits along the way, and then seeding winter squash and scallions together. They saw what the seed will turn into when I showed them a full-grown scallion, passing it around so they could get a whiff of the onion. The students and chaperones then sat in the shade and enjoyed a picnic lunch.

The following Saturdays, parents returned with the students to buy plants for their own garden, and one bright little one repeated to me something she had learned (how one of the yellow Roma heirloom tomatoes looks like a lemon). I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them, and I hope this first preschool tour at M R Gardens is not the last!

Most Amazing Moment
I had not been to Emily’s property in Five Points (near UNCA) since fall of 2016 when I helped her create a landscape design. Her property has some gardening challenges because it is surrounded by black walnuts, which produces a poison that can deter some plants’ growth.

Emily's backyard - Fall 2016

Emily's main goal is to attract wildlife, but we needed to stick to nectar plants rather than ones that produce a lot of pollen for allergy concerns. After completing her design, I gave her a list of local nurseries where she could purchase the shade plants that my nursery doesn’t currently produce, and introduced her to my helper Brooke. The two were almost entirely self-sufficient from that point on.
It's nearly always breath-taking to walk into a natives garden after not visiting it for two or three years. The plants are so small when we plant them, and in the first year or two, their growth above ground is often slow because they put most their energy into their roots. I think my experience at Emily’s was particularly amazing because I saw all of Emily’s “insides”—her plant knowledge, love for wildlife, and commitment to healthy ecosystems—blossom on the outside into this beautiful landscape. I also knew that she and Brooke had formed a special professional bond to create this little urban oasis together.

Mid-May 2018

Most Fun Moment
When there’s so much fun on a daily basis with my work, it’s hard to pick the “most fun” but that’s what comes to mind when I think back to mid-April, planting with Lin and Tim, M R Gardens clients who live in Southeast Asheville, along with their helper Flint, who is also a student of M R Gardens’ Emergence program. Lin and Tim like to joke about their age, and didn’t want to waste any time creating a landscape so that they have “plenty of time to enjoy it.” (By the way, they’re about two of the most hip, youthful acting people I know!)

I don’t think they had a full picture in their minds of the transformation we were making to their backyard until we placed out all the pots to be planted, and Tim said good-naturedly “Holy Sh*t!” 

Mid-April planting day
Flint and Lin watering

Don't worry - Tim is just taking a break. He helped plenty
One unique piece about this project is that Lin wanted to incorporate some of her favorite ornamentals that aren’t necessarily natives. So we ended up adding a few plants that I don’t typically work with—and I loved seeing how they enhanced the aesthetics of the natives. Great teamwork in creating this design!

Mid-June, Lilies are popping, next to the Catmint.

Heuchera, Columbine, and Foamflower

Late June, a wood chip pathway was added

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Spring in the Greenhouse - Open Saturdays

M R Gardens in the Oakley community of Asheville opens its sustainable nursery to the public Saturdays, April 7 through June 9 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. We offer seasonal vegetable starts, culinary herbs, groundcovers, Southeast native perennials, medicinal herbs and other plants that benefit the garden. If you can't make it on Saturdays, we can be open by appointment.

Tours of the passive solar greenhouse are held at 1 p.m. on April 7, April 14, June 2 and June 9.

Find us at 441 Onteora Blvd., Asheville. Contact or 828.333.4151 with questions.

Current Availability – Week of June 9
More discounts this week!
Just $1: Parsley, Dill, Swiss Chard, Celeriac, Marigold and Calendula
Half-Off: The rest of our vegetable starts, Comfrey, Hyssop, Chamomile, Gotu Kola, Tulsi and Black Eyed Susans.

Vegetable Starts: Tomatoes: Yellow Roma and Ruby Orr are our remaining varieties. We also have Sweet Red Peppers (Ace); Eggplant: Asian (Orient Charm) and Italian (Beatrice); Celeriac and Swiss Chard.

Culinary Herbs: Dill, Lavender, Marjoram, Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley

Medicinal Herbs: Ashwagandha, Calendula, Comfrey, Chamomile, Lavender, Gotu Kola, Hyssop, Stinging Nettle, Tulsi

Groundcovers: Catmint, Creeping Thyme, Roman Chamomile, Sedum - Dragon’s Blood (red) and Oregon (yellow) varieties

Southeast Native Perennials: Asters, Black Eyed Susans, Bee Balm, Boltonia, Liatris, Milkweed, Mountain Mint, Rattlesnake Master

Other Flowers: Marigold, Moonflower

Check back to this page as current availability is updated regularly.

View photos and descriptions of the plants at:

Rudbeckia - Black Eyed Susan or Bicolor Daisy
We aim for as sustainable as possible, using organic methods and growing in a passive solar greenhouse heated entirely by solar gain and cooled with manual vents. We grow on a small scale with attention on quality.