Forestfarm Nursery - A plant lover's paradise

When I was a young, reluctant nurseryman around the age of 10, I had an extremely important job at my Dad's nursery; cleaning countless, rancid, one gallon, sharp and jagged tin, tomato cans to be used as nursery containers. After cleaning the cans I would add four drain holes using a beer can opener. It was a nasty job that left me with numerous hand lacerations and a strange foul smell. After researching the history of Forestfarm Nursery in Williams, Oregon I found it comforting to learn that Ray and Peg Prag began their nursery and honeymoon doing the same nasty task. It’s a small world.

Forestfarm is a nursery that every plant lover and fanatic should know and patronize. While Dan Hinkley’s Heronswood Nursery to the north, garnered the press and praise of Martha Steward, Forestfarm quietly grew into a plant hunter's paradise offering over 5,000 types of plants. Accoring to Ray “…we just like plants.” The nursery started somewhat romantically as a means to allow Ray and Peg “do something together, something away from the city, something constructive." Voila! The concept of Forestfarm was born in 1971.

The Forestfarm catalog is one of my favorites. I keep the latest edition close to my desk at all times and a dozen older versions on my bookshelf as reference. Listed at $5 a copy and measuring around an inch thick, it is, in my mind, the bargain of bargains. Here you can find the single best selection of trees, shrubs, perennials, conifers, grasses, vines and palms all in one place. Each plant is succinctly described providing the most critical information for growing each plant and making a buying decision. Plant related quotes, customer testimonials, plant comparison charts and line drawings are interlaced to make this a gem of a read. But to me, it the vast number of plant species and cultivars located all in one place that makes this catalog so fun. Where else can you find over 50 different types of willows. Is it any wonder that botanical gardens from around the world hunt for their plants at Forestfarm?

Sure you can go to and access all the same plants and information, but to own the book is a joy. Get your copy today.


  1. Anonymous10:51 AM

    I like Forest Farm, and have ordered and received some nice plants from them, but closer to home (I'm also in Michigan) I also really like Arrowhead Alpines and use their catalog similarly as a reference. How do you like Arrowhead?

  2. I love arrowhead Alpines! They too have a great selection of hard to find plants. I try to get there at leaset once per year and I never fail to find some very cool plants.

  3. Forestfarm has an amazing assortment of plants, trees, and shrubs. Though I live in New Jersey and have to pay for shipment across the continent, I believe I've ordered plants from them every years for at least a decade, probably more. If you call, the staff is very friendly and personal. They even remember me.


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