In 1978, former Tankard Nurseries co-owner David Tankard founded David’s Nursery with the intention of serving customers from Northern Virginia to Connecticut.
The business began growing azaleas, ilex and taxus, and in 1992, introduced container growing, says co-owner Van Tankard. “Today, container-grown plants are the bulk of our production, but we are also focused on high-value, slow-growing field plants such as boxwood,” he says.
In working with customers that range from garden centers to landscapers to re-wholesalers, David’s Nursery sets itself apart by providing a wide assortment of landscape-size container plants, Van Tankard says. “Tankard provides a quick turn around on orders placed with weekly deliveries from Virginia through New England,” he says.
Soon after Bailey Nurseries released the Endless Summer hydrangea — the first re-blooming hydrangea — David’s Nursery linked up with Bailey Nurseries to expand its hydrangea offerings, Van Tankard says. The Virginia grower works with Bailey Nurseries salesman Jimmy Kuon, who Van Tankard says provides knowledge about the plant, is readily available and is quick to resolve any issues.
Van Tankard says David’s Nurseries purchases the following hydrangeas from Bailey Nurseries: Endless Summer Original, Bloomstruck, Blushing Bride, Twist-n-Shout; First Editions Vanilla Strawberry, Annabelle, tree hydrangeas and various Proven Winner varieties.
“Bailey Nurseries’ hydrangeas helped fill out the line of 10 and 20-gallon shrubs that we were already offering,” Van Tankard says. “In recent years, we started to grow 3 and 5-gallon Endless Summer varieties to meet the demand for ‘normal-sized’ hydrangeas.”
Bailey Nursery’s bare root hydrangeas have been easy to winter-pot, Van Tankard says. David’s Nursery pots them in late winter and spaces them in late spring. The Virginia nursery has found this process to be less expensive than using a container-grown liner. Additionally, the timing means David’s Nursery doesn’t need to take labor away from other tasks during the busy spring shipping season.
Since David’s Nursery started growing the Endless Summer line of hydrangeas, they have provided consistent sales and positively impacted the nursery’s business, Van Tankard says. “As our relationship with Bailey has evolved and our nursery has increased the diversity of our offerings, we have found Bailey to be a reliable source for the additional varieties that we are growing,” he says.