There are real reasons why many gardeners wish that they lived in Oregon or Washington, and there are even more reasons why some of the worlds most well know plant nurseries exist there - in the Pacific North West, the mild climate rich with moisture and mild winters allow plants to grow as if they are within the protection of a greenhouse year round. Here in New England - no so much.
But we do have a few classic nurseries, in particular, White Flower Farm (and of course, Broken Arrow and Logee's Greenhouses - all are in Connecticut, but although each are treasures, White Flower Farm in particular is unique.
What I find appealing about White Flower Farm is it's backstory. A small mail-order nursery started by two New York writers - Jane Grant and William Harris in the 1930's whom grew it into a mail order business in the 1950's. Eliot Wadsworth bought the company from Mr. Harris in 1976 (about the time when I first visited while in high school- dare I admit), and the nursery continues to grow under both an active management team, closely watched by both Eliot Wadsworth and his son, Eliot Wadsworth II along with a talented staff of dozens of horticulturists and plant professionals. This makes WFF unique in todays world. Eliot Wadsworth (the younger) called me a year ago and asked if I could come visit - inviting me and a few other younger plant people down, to chat about ideas, so I gladly took advantage of this offer, for I have a special place for White Flower Farm in my heart.