Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce Business Directory

Summersweet Gardens Nursery at Perennial Pleasures

East Hardwick, VT

Summersweet Gardens Nursery at Perennial Pleasures is a retail and mail-order nursery located in East Hardwick, Vermont, a beautiful part of the state known as the Northeast Kingdom.

The nursery, greenhouse and display gardens are sited on the sunny fields behind our family home, an 1840s brick house at the edge of the village. We grow more than 900 varieties of flowers, herbs and shrubs, specializing in heirloom and medicinal plants, and have a special fondness for phlox.

An eclectic gift shop, specializing in summer hats, is located in the old wooden extension, and a seasonal tea-room serves English Cream Teas and light lunches in the display garden or conservatory.

The nursery and gift shop are open from early May to mid-September, 10-5 Wednesday through Sunday. The Tea Garden is open from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. We are closed on Mondays and Tuesday. For schedule and holidays, see Calendar & Events.

Rachel Kane established the nursery in 1980 for the purpose of collecting and growing heirloom flowering plants and herbs from the 17th, 18th, 19th and early 20th century. While this aspect remains a specialty, we also grow a respectable number of perennials of a more recent vintage, a rather good selection of culinary and medicinal herbs, and one of the largest collections of phlox to be found anywhere in the country.

In the shrub yard, we offer a selection of hardy flowering shrubs, including many native species, and old-fashioned favorites like fragrant mockorange and lilacs. Currently, we have about 900 varieties of plants at the nursery, detailed in our catalog. Most of the plants are field-grown and proven hardy in our rigorous Zone 3 location.

There are nearly three acres of specialty display gardens and nursery beds, which visitors are welcome to wander through during regular business hours. The gardens include an English-style hedged herb garden, primrose garden, island heather beds and shade gardens. A large lawn, bounded by a rustic pergola and phlox borders, is set up for summertime croquet, which visitors are welcome to play.

In the greenhouse, the focus is on antique, fragrant and rarely seen annuals, such as nicotiana, china asters, phlox and heliotrope, plus new favorites such as million bells and diascia. Rachel also loves flowering vines, and we usually have a nice variety including morning glories, hyacinth bean, thunbergias, climbing snapdragons, etc. There is always a good selection of culinary and medicinal herbs, such as sweet marjoram, basil, chamomile, and cilantro. No chemical pesticides, and no neo-nicotinoids, are used anywhere in the greenhouse or garden.


The Tea Garden is open summer afternoons generally from Memorial Day to Labor Day, from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Thursday through Sunday. In 2021, we are open from June 3 through Sept. 12. Teas are served in the flower garden, under a covered porch or, when the weather is inclement, in a little plant-filled conservatory. Reservations for tea are strongly recommended.

Tea is a delightful and affordable way to entertain friends, and is a memorable way to celebrate events and gentle occasions such as engagement and graduation parties, bridal and baby showers, and retirement parties. Combined with the pretty and educational display gardens, it makes a fine outing for any garden club, and is a perfect venue for Red Hat Society ladies to strut their stuff!

This listing appears in these categories: Attractions,Gifts & Gift Shops,Nurseries,Restaurants-Complete List

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Summersweet Gardens Nursery at Perennial Pleasures

Rachel Kane
63 Brick House Road
East Hardwick, VT 05836
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 128
East Hardwick, VT 05836
Phone: 802-472-5104

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63 Brick House Road

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