The Plants We Grow – Christina Farms

Healthy landscape plants are more than just beautiful—they stand up better to replanting, insects, diseases and other stresses, and adapt more easily to their new environments. That’s why, years ago, the Van Zelst team decided to start growing our own plants for our clients’ landscapes. Today, most of the perennials we use are grown by our own professional nursery team.

Initially, Christina Farms was established to ensure that we had access to the highest-quality plant stock. By growing our own perennials and shrubs, the Van Zelst team can control the quality, moisture, nutrients and maturity of the plants we use. This leads to consistently fuller, better-rooted plants that achieve the uncompromising standards we—and our clients—demand. It’s good business, too. After all, because we offer a 100% warranty on plantings, using healthier stock reduces the costs and time associated with replacing unsuccessful plants, and lessens the potential for homeowners to be disappointed if plants don’t thrive.

Growing our own perennials, shrubs and ground cover also guarantees the availability of the plants our designers recommend for each client’s landscape. Throughout the year, Van Zelst landscape architects are always on the lookout for new variety we can incorporate into our ever-growing palette of flowering and foliage plants. Managing this process and inventory in-house means our nursery can cultivate a small number of plants for evaluation, or—in the case of widely sought-after varieties—plant as much as we think we’ll need each season.

Through Christina Farms, we are able to fully control growing conditions from the beginning. There are no questions about whether a plant received enough light or water, or what additives might have been used. For example, in addition to using a proprietary soil mix, all of our plants benefit from organic amendments such as vermicompost—a highly beneficial fertilizer made by worms. We even work closely with the maker of these products, so we know that they are disease- and pest-free as well.

Having our nursery managers as part of our complete landscape design, installation and maintenance teams has proven to be a tremendous benefit for Van Zelst, and for the clients we serve. Ultimately, we think the results are apparent in every lush, vibrant landscape we create.

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