Best Nursery - 1999
Canterbury Farm & Nursery
Those in the know, such as professional landscapers, and those who know almost nothing, such as the new homeowner do-it-yourselfer, will both do well to visit Linda Hunter's five-acre spread down in the land of nurseries (mostly wholesalers), mango orchards, and the place with the big "mice, rats, and rabbits for sale" signs. After Hurricane Andrew destroyed her family's litchi tree grove, Hunter and her former partner (a Jordanian-trained agriculturist named Burhan Imran, who now runs his own tree farm) germinated the idea of a boutique nursery. A lifelong plant lover who spent fifteen years living in a Coconut Grove house whose yard she recalls as "a rain forest," Hunter has some 200 species of plants, many natives, some shelved within her five greenhouses and one shadehouse, others lined up on tarps in full sun. No pesticides, no fertilizers, no tools: just plants, all priced to move. The variety is spectacular, with tropicals and bromeliads adding to the typical ferns and palms and ground covers. She trades plants, and has breeders bring in collectibles and rarities. That means the options vary from visit to visit, and that also means Canterbury is a fun place just to browse. Hunter says her customers are about half professionals and half do-it-yourselfers. Her operation is 100 percent delightful.