Cavano’s Perennials and Emerald Coast Growers have enjoyed a long-standing relationship – one that spans across three generations, says Taylor Pilker, co-owner with Ferenc Kiss at Cavano’s Perennials, in Kingsville, Md.
“Three generations of Cavano’s owners have relied on Emerald Coast Growers to help us fulfill our plant needs. They already had a relationship established with us, and as we grew, they assisted us in that growth. We will purchase a quarter million plants from Emerald Coast this year. Their standard of quality has been excellent, and we use Emerald Coast Growers as a resource for our native grasses program,” Pilker says.
Plants such as native grasses and Echinacea from Emerald Coast Growers receive such a strong start, that Cavano’s is able to quickly turn over these crops, Pilker says.
And the companies have a cohesive partnership when it comes to planning and shipping.
“They always have a strong availability of material at a good price. It allows for speedy ordering and processing and allows us to fulfill custom orders for large projects. Our future orders with them allow us to be proactive in our seasonal planning and they strive to meet our timeline,” Pilker adds.
Cavano’s Perennials is a wholesale container nursery located on two properties in Kingsville, just northeast of Baltimore. It offers perennials, ornamental grasses, ferns, vines, herbs, low-impact plants, natives, and other seasonal plants. Cavano’s markets to garden centers, nurseries, landscape contractors, and re-wholesalers in the mid-Atlantic region and New England.
The condition of the plants supplied by Emerald Coast Growers has also been crucial to Cavano’s Perennials’ growth.
“It’s all about a standard of quality, with strong healthy plugs that can be grown into healthy mature plants in 1- and 2-gallon sizes,” says Pilker. Communication and ease of access to company management is crucial to a lasting business relationship.
“We have known the team at Emerald Coast Growers for many years. So, we have informal discussions about our plans and plants, which helps with perspective on material and its needs.”
While Cavano’s Perennials sells a large array of native plants from a variety of suppliers, Pilker especially likes Monarda punctata ‘Beebop,’ a variety he purchased from Emerald Coast Growers this year. ‘Beebop’ is a compact, early-blooming selection of dotted horsemint, a native American species that produces tubular flowers above pink bracts with narrow, aromatic foliage and a long bloom season. Other big sellers that Cavano’s purchased from East Coast Growers include Carex pensylvanica, Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’, P. virgatum ‘Shenandoah,’ Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Prairie Blues,’ and S. scoparium ‘The Blues.’ Pilker says these plants sell “in the thousands.”
“Many of the plants we purchase from Emerald Coast Growers are grasses. A number of the large projects we supply to use an abundance of native grasses for green infrastructure projects in our region,” he adds.