Recently, Shaun Kass, my gardener, paid a visit to our friends at Logee’s Tropical Plants, located in Danielson, Connecticut. Logee’s was founded in 1892 by William D. Logee. He started the business as a cut-flower shop and then expanded into begonias and tropical container plants. Over time, Logee’s became well known for its hybridizing achievements in the world of begonias and then began selling herbs and scented geraniums by mail in the 1930’s. Today, Logee’s is owned and operated by Williams’s grandson, Byron Martin and his business partner, Laurelynn Martin, who have turned their attention to beautiful flowers, fragrant tropicals, and fruiting plants in containers. Together, they work to expand the company and still maintain the small town feel. If you find yourself in the Northeast part of Connecticut, you can visit the Logee’s greenhouses, where you can choose from more than 1,000 varieties of plants, most of which are all propagated right there. If mail order is more realistic for you, the colorful Logee’s catalog boasts over 500 beautiful and unusual varieties. Please enjoy these photos of Shaun’s visit.
1 Logee's is located off of I-395 in Connecticut - exit 91 at Danielson
2 This sign on North St. points the way.
3 Here is the sign welcoming you to Logee's, with their creative use of the leaf as an apostrophe.
4 This is the main part of the store with Ficus growing on the ceiling and photos of visits with me.
5 Laurelynn Martin, Shaun Kass, Byron Martin and Shaun's wife Jen
6 The tour began by stepping down into the Long House - one of the oldest greenhouses at Logee's.
7 The Long House was originally constructed for cut flowers. In the center bed, plants grow directly in the ground.
8 The pitched roof is really low along the edges.
9 Logee's greenhouses are packed with plants. Shaun and Byron discuss Stongylodon, one of the only flowers in the world that is the color jade. There were only buds on this vine.
10 Shaun and Byron observing the beautiful flowers of Passiflora miniata
11 There were many buds on this beautiful Passionflower.
12 Here is a selection of Streptocarpus. Visitors can wander Logee's greenhouses and choose plants to buy as they stroll.
13 Innovative racks hold plants securely in these benches.
14 Byron and Laurelynn are in the process of writing a book about growing tropical fruits. Here is a beautiful papaya.
15 Logee's also has many different varieties of Citrus. Many of the plants in my collection have come from Logee's over the years.
16 These berries are coffee arabica - the fruit of coffee bean.
17 This vine has taken a firm hold of a greenhouse support pipe.
18 Logee's utilizes all available space. Here a crop of Blechnum gibbum, or Dwarf Tree Fern, hangs from the rafters. Each pot has an individual drip irrigation tube for automatic watering.
19 Logee's has been in business since 1892 and, as such, has many different styles of greenhouses.
20 We were fortunate enough to go into the propagation and growing houses, which are not open to the public. We found many hidden gems - here is an unnamed aroid.
21 This is a vibrant Heliconia, or Lobster Claws - Shaun had not seen one of these since a trip to Panama in 2008.
22 Logee's grows so many varieties of citrus.
23 Byron was very generous sharing cuttings of his Begonia collection.
24 This is an unusual Citrus that hails from Australia. It is commonly called the Finger Lime.
25 This is Theobroma cacao, or Chocolate - Shaun brought one back for my greenhouse.
26 This huge fruit growing on a very small branch is an 'Orange of Seville.'
27 An unnamed papaya that Byron has produced, through cross pollination of different varieties
28 A huge, fragrant flower of Tabernaemontana holstii
29 A giant specimen of Begonia - 'Richardsiana' - it develops a swollen truck, or caudex. Shaun brought of of these back, also.
30 This is a large-leaf Vanilla orchid that was growing out of the wall at a gable end of a greenhouse.
31 As you can see, this Vanilla orchid is very old.
32 Here is a beautiful specimen of Sanseveria 'Desertii' or rhino grass, which is listed in the Logee's catalogue.
33 This house has many varieties of begonias and streptocarpus.
34 Streptocarpus 'Purple Panda' - Streptocarpus like to dry out between waterings.
35 Streptocarpus 'Spin Art' - looks like it was wildly painted
36 The fruit of the miracle berry - Synsepalum dulcificum. After eating the flesh, the phenols from the fruit remain in your mouth for up to an hour and anything you eat, including very sour lemons, will taste sweet!
37 A beautiful, full basket of Duranta
38 Logee's even grows citrus in hanging containers, including my favorite Meyer lemon.
39 Lithops, or living stones - these small, button shaped succulents only need to be watered 4 times a year!
40 Lithops are native to South Africa and can tolerate hot and dry conditions for extended periods.
41 This is a huge hanging blossom of a Brugsmansia.
42 This growing houses is dedicated to raising succulents. Here we are walking by Stapelia's.
43 A rare variegated variety of Ensete ventricosum - closely related to the banana
44 A gardener is certainly over-stimulated in Logee's greenhouses - there is such a huge variety of plants!
45 This is a huge Staghorn fern that looks quite at home growing on the trunk of this Acacia.
46 One of Byron and Laurelynn's major interests is citrus and can be found throughout their greenhouses.
47 A beautiful and curious oval-shaped orange
48 These tags indicate three different grafts that Byron made on one citrus tree - a tangerine, a blood orange, and a navel orange.
49 These beautiful flowers are Acocanthera oblongifolia - a vine Logee's grows, but does not sell because it is used in South America to make poisonous arrows.
50 This a a great perspective showing how completely packed the greenhouses are from floor to ceiling!
51 Logee's greenhouses have a lot of personality and history. For example, this citrus tree outgrew its pot many years ago and took root in the middle of the aisle.
52 Shaun was amazed to see that one of Logee's greenhouses is still partially vented by hand!
53 Shaun brought back one of these succulents, Sansevieria cylindrical. They are propagated in Costa Rica from the plant's tips and grow up to 5-feet in height!
54 This board, proudly displayed at the main entrance, displays all of the plants that Byron has shown on my television show.
55 Laurelynn and Byron came to visit my farm last summer and these are photos, also on display, from that trip!
56 Here is the shipping area where plants are brought from the growing houses to be boxed and shipped.
57 This was the day's shipment, all packed and ready to go! In peak season they can handle 400 boxes a day!
58 Here is Logee's communications center, staffed with friendly workers who process online orders and assist with phone inquiries.
59 This is Amy, boxing up the plants Shaun brought back to Bedford. It was very cold that day so she carefully covered the plants with plastic for the ride home.
60 When you purchase a plant at Logee's, you can also purchase a terra cotta pot - Logee's provides free soil - their own special mix - and you can re-pot your plant before taking it home.