64 DESIGN NEW ENGLAND MAY/JUNE 2017
Logee’s roots run deep. The family-owned nursery in Danielson, Connecticut, marks its 125th anniversary this year. Charming and quirky, this mecca for carefully curated tropical, subtropical, and edible treasures from every continent is not to be confused with an ordinary garden center. There are no petunias or marigolds here. Rather, the inventory of bold, beautiful, and fragrant flowering plants includes 1,000 rare, exotic species with 150 to 200 more added every year. They are spread across seven greenhouses, where
visitors can inhale the heady scents and admire plants like the pungent corpse, which
can take seven years to flower, the fall-blooming black bat flower, or the eerie sea urchin
tillandsia. There is miracle fruit, whose tasty berries when chewed will render sour food
sweet, and the wicked, carnivorous tropical pitcher plant ‘Lady Luck’ and Venus’ flytrap.
Cooks might fancy the dwarf Meyer lemon trees, vanilla vines, fragrant coffee, or black
pepper plants, laden with black, white, green, and red peppercorns.
Seventy-five percent of the material is grown in-house, with many offerings exclusive to Logee’s. However, most of the exotic stock is easy to grow and will thrive in a pot,
a prerequisite for anything Logee’s sells.
The business began in 1892 when rose grower William D. Logee and his wife, Ida,
a botanist, opened a cut-flower shop in an abandoned greenhouse on her family’s farm.
Today, the building, known as The Fern House, contains sprawling staghorn ferns, banana
plants, loquats, philodendrons, hibiscus, and alocasias.
Other greenhouses on-site offer endless horticultural intrigue. There is the Lemon
Tree House, where an enormous ‘Ponderosa’ lemon tree grows out of the dirt floor. Con-
Thanks to a dedicated family, exotic plants thrive in a tropical oasis — in Connecticut
written by roberta dehman hershon | photographed by eric roth
in the longhouse (above), ivy and
flowering specimens share space
with carnivorous plants waiting for
their next meal. Byron Martin
(below), third-generation owner,
stands in The Fern House, Logee’s
original greenhouse, built in 1892.