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.

Friday, March 9, 2018

2018 Passive solar greenhouse tours

Join the 2018 tours of M R Gardens’ one-of-a-kind passive solar greenhouse!

Saturdays, April 7, April 14, June 2 and June 9 at 1 p.m.
441 Onteora Blvd., Asheville

v Why build a passive solar greenhouse instead of a typical one?
v Why is it shaped differently?
v What are all the barrels for?
v Why does it produce high quality plants?

These questions and more will be answered.
Owner Megan Riley in front of the passive solar greenhouse. Photos by Vickie Burick
With only solar gain to heat it and manual vents to cool it, M R Gardens’ 800 square foot greenhouse maintains ideal growing conditions despite wide fluctuations in outside temperatures. January 2018 put the greenhouse to the test with more than two weeks of outside lows in the single digits or mid-twenties. Yet inside the house, overnight temperatures remained above 40F, which is suitable for the plants in the greenhouse at that time. In more typical weather, the nightly minimum is rarely below 50F, especially as the days lengthen. We could further increase overnight temperatures by sealing up cracks around vents. The building’s design also prevents the interior from overheating, as we ventilate it even on these cold winter days to keep it below 90F in sunny weather.

Inside the greenhouse.
The tour is typically 40 minutes. We ask for $5 per person and appreciate any additional contribution if the tour was especially helpful for you. Please RSVP to or 828.333.4151. The April 7 tour, which includes a brief walk through the native and edible landscape, is part of the Asheville New In Town Meetup Group. If you choose this date, reserve soon as it's almost full. If these dates don't work for you, we also offer tours for individuals or small groups at pre-arranged times. See our online store.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Order early spring seedlings by February 21; summer crops by March 28

Reserve your seedlings ahead of the growing season! Select the varieties you'd like now, then pick them up at M R Gardens when it's planting time.

The Pre-Season Prep service gives you a chance to think through your and your garden's needs. You are also helping to create a sustainable plant nursery. If we know ahead of time the quantities of plants to grow, then none are wasted.

Buttercrunch lettuce
The final dates to order are as follows:
Feb. 21 - Early spring seedlings (lettuce, kale, collards, broccoli raab, Brussels sprouts, mustard, kohlrabi, etc.)
March 16 - Herbs, annual flowers and groundcovers
March 28 - Native perennials
March 28 - Summer crop seedlings (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant)

We also have a new section on the site - bulk orders. These are especially well suited for those who are establishing a groundcover in a large space or trying to fill in a bare slope. Please place bulk orders by March 14.

We will contact you when your plants are ready and arrange a pickup time. You will have a chance to inspect the plants and address any concerns before taking your plants home. We have a high standard for quality, offering discounts, exchanges or returns if we’re not satisfied with the plant.

If you bring your washed plant containers, we give you a promo code to subtract 50 cents off each plant from your next order.  We’re currently taking: 3-inch to 5-inch square (3.5-inch is the most commonly used), half-gallon, gallon and two-gallon containers. To help avoid spread of disease from old soil, we can only take them if they're scrubbed free of dirt.

We also offer a “Tell a Friend” discount. If a new customer orders online and puts in the memo that they heard about M R Gardens from you, we’ll send you a promo code for a free plant.

At M R Gardens, we strive for as sustainable as possible. That includes:
v Growing in a one-of-a-kind passive solar greenhouse, heating the house entirely with solar gain;
v Incorporating potting mix materials that are by-products of other manufacturing processes;
v Limiting the use of plastic with innovations and promotions such as our recycled pots discount;
v Using organic practices for all plants grown from seed at our greenhouse (which is almost all of our offering unless otherwise noted in the item descriptions);
v Diversifying our farm’s income streams to alleviate pressure on the nursery to produce more than what is sustainable.

We’ve created a sustainable business in a holistic manner, growing slowly but surely over many years, ensuring we have a strong foundation before making grand leaps.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact or 828.333.4151.

We look forward to seeing you at the farm - and handing off healthy, sustainably grown plants!