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My name is Tom Piergrossi. I live on the Big Island of Hawaii and have a passion for plants. For more than 20 years I had a wholesale nursery and landscape company in San Diego, CA. Following my dreams, I moved to Hawaii in 2009. My goal was first to get settled in my new tropical home, then start a new nursery, this time a mail-order nursery called Vintage Green Farms. I'm growing many of the same plants I grew in California. I shipped about 1,000 taxa (varieties) over when we moved here, but we also added many more with a tropical flavor.
I love sharing my favorite plants with others. And my nursery makes it possible for you to try some of my favorites in your garden.
We call it Vintage Green Farms, because so many plants from the past are tried and true, work well and are very serviceable, but aren't grown because they aren't new. We try to grow plants that work, whether old or new. Too many plants get overlooked because they might be common, but may be great as a background plant. And too many new plants haven't been around long enough to know just how adaptable they are. In addition, I've seen new plants that work great, but stop being produced just because there is something newer being introduced.
Mom and Pop nurseries seem to be getting harder and harder to find. The big box stores now all seem to sell the same plants, whether or not the plants are well adapted for your area. That's because so many plants are grown by national plug companies and sold to local growers to finish before they end up on the shelf of your local depot store. A great way to sell a lot of plants, but maybe not a great way to garden. I think the diversity of the plant kingdom is fascinating and the generification of horticulture has not been good for gardeners. Sometimes it's even hard to find a species name on these mass market plants. The more information available on any plant just helps you learn how to better grow it in your garden.
I believe in buying local whenever possible, but I've found there's often not enough demand for certain plants in most areas to support a nursery that will take the time to grow a tree, shrub, or perennial that might take more than 90 days to grow. Good information can really help set you up with the right plant for you, even if it's not as popular at the moment for any reason. I try to give as much information as possible to help you make those choices for your garden.
Plants can be very surprising in their adaptability, as are gardeners in developing microclimates to grow their favorites. I find many people grow lots of tropical plants as annuals in colder climates, and others have a greenhouse to overwinter their tender plants.
With the internet and FedEx shipping, shopping for unusual plants has never been easier and the plants get delivered directly to your door.
We've also been connecting to the local community selling plants at farmers markets and organizations like BIAN (the Big Island Association of Nurseryman). We occasionally make it to the Maku'u Farmers Market on Sundays from 7:00 - 2:00 and at other major event sales around the island. Like us on facebook and I'll let you know when we are out there selling.
I've also continued my landscaping business now called Kaloli Landscape click on the link for more information.
Growing Exceptional Plants for Mail Order
Rare and Unusual Perennials, Shrubs, Trees, Bulbs, Grasses, Orchids, Tropicals, and Epiphytes
You can buy plants from this site using stripe as a payment option, it's a secure credit card service
A garden is a complex of aesthetic and plastic intentions; and the plant is, to a landscape artist, not only a plant - rare, unusual, ordinary or doomed to disappearance - but it is also a color, a shape, a volume or an arabesque in itself. Roberto Burle Marx