About Us


The latest iteration of a nearly 200 year old dairy farm.

Our nursery is located on the site of an old dairy farm that was founded in the early 1800s and owned by the same family for most of its long history. Farming was abandoned and the old buildings were taken over by time, neglect, and some very hungry vines. New owners, Chip and Ali, purchased the property in fall 2018 and have been slowly working to restore it to its former glory. Ali found a passion for plants as she worked to bring the grounds back to life. Discoveries of tiny violets dotting the lawn in early spring and delicious nuts on old chestnut trees in fall brought joy and provoked curiosity. Curiosity led to research and research led to a passion for plants that became the Old Dairy.

The Old Dairy is our attempt to share our farm and our passion. Our test gardens are open to the public and we welcome visitors to ask questions as they explore the grounds. The farm is a work in progress, but we hope one day that it will provide year-round interest to our human friends and a safe haven to wildlife.


We cultivate plants that are uniquely suited to the Hudson Valley.

Gardening in a cold climate is never easy. Summers are short and winters are long. We focus on growing plants that will extend the season: early sprouting bulbs, fall flowering perennials, and specimen trees and shrubs with fantastic winter color, form, bark, or berries.

Every plant we grow is selected with love and an eye toward multi-season interest. Selecting plants for year-round interest includes providing food, shelter, and nesting sites for animals, birds, and insects throughout the year.

We are currently growing over 600 varieties of trees, shrubs, and perennials (as well as a large assortment of tender plants & annuals which we do not offer for sale but you can enjoy in our gardens ). Please check back often as our plant list is ever changing.


Grown with integrity.

All of our plants are grown right here on the farm from seed, cutting, or division. Our plants are fed by the sun, the soil, and the rain just as nature intended. We bring in the highest quality compost-based soil from a (relatively) local source in order to give our plants the best possible start in life. We are peat free and chemical free: no fertilizers, no pesticides, no herbicides.

We utilize unheated cold frames for seed starting and hoop houses for winter protection. We do not provide supplemental heat or use traditionally heated commercial greenhouses as we do not seek to burn additional fossil fuels or otherwise expand our carbon footprint.

We Recycle


Plastic pots are one of the necessary evils of the nursery business. We have tried growing in just about every other container type - without success. We loathe contributing to the production of new plastics so, please, return your used pots and we will put them to good use.

Return ten pots with our label for a ten percent discount on your next order.


Have pots from other nurseries to recycle?

Drop them off at our community pot return. We can’t give a discount, but we can share the pots with others that need them.

Need a pot?

Feel free to take from the community pot box.

About Our Plants


We grow our plants in the highest quality soil as good soil makes good plants.

We do not use chemicals, fertilizers, carbon fuel, or peat in our growing process. Instead, we propagate and grow all of our plants on our farm as nature intended. They are nurtured by the sun, the soil, and the rain.

We do our best to encourage a healthy ecosystem on our farm. You may find caterpillar holes and other signs of insect activity on our plants, and we are proud of it! We do, however, make sure that there are no bugs on plants before shipping them.

Sustainability is truly at the heart of what we do here at The Old Dairy. Click here to learn more about our Sustainable Practices.


We ship our plants when it is most appropriate to plant them: spring and fall.

We are particular fans of fall planting! The old adage what you plant in spring can grow, but what you plant in fall must grow has largely fallen into disuse due to pressure from garden centers, but it is no less true.

Here’s why: A plant planted in spring or summer needs to establish roots, send out new growth, flower and set seed. In fall it only needs to establish roots. The soil is warm and (hopefully) moist and within a week or so, new roots will make contact with your soil. The August planting will develop a nice mature root ball before winter and will have a huge head start on spring plantings.

Benefits to you: you can clearly see the holes that need to be filled in your garden; you can see exactly what you are buying as plants in the nursery are now quite large; there are many more choices available now than in spring; most importantly: you don’t have to spend an entire summer watering plants.


Most plants are happiest when planted in late summer or early fall, however, some plants must be planted in spring or early summer as they require a long growing season in order to establish the healthy roots needed to get through winter. Click here to download our list of early birds.


  1. Dig a hole 2 times the width of the container.
  2. Fill the hole with water then let it drain fully.
  3. Remove the plant from the container and place it in the hole, making sure it is level.
  4. Backfill the hole.
  5. Gently firm down and water well to ensure that the soil makes contact with the roots.
  6. Top with good garden compost or mulch to reduce water loss and feed the soil.


Plants want to grow, but there are a few things to keep in mind to help them grow their best.

Right Plant, Right Place. You must plant a plant where it wants to live. Know your garden conditions and pay attention to the sun and soil requirements of each plant.

Water, water, water. We water three times when planting new plants:

  1. Thoroughly soak the root ball of each plant BEFORE planting. (We use kiddie pools to let pots thoroughly soak before planting).
  2. You should also fill the hole with water BEFORE planting (this helps keep the roots cool and provides them with an extra water reserve after planting). Let it drain. This is a good opportunity to make sure your ground is draining properly. If not, plants could rot.
  3. Water thoroughly again once planted then top with good garden compost or mulch.

Good soil makes happy plants. We suggest skipping the fertilizers and the sprinkler system and focusing on improving your soil structure. Let nature do the work: lay down cardboard to attract worms; mulch early in the season after a good rain and, most importantly plant plants where they want to grow.



Full Shade:

Direct sunlight is not required; plants should not receive more than four hours of sun per day.

Part Shade:

Plants should receive between 4-6 hours of direct sun per day.

Full Sun:

Plants require a minimum of 6 hours of direct sun per day.



These plants should be planted directly into the pond. Planting depth varies - please look for information on the individual plant.


These are moisture-loving plants. They should not be submerged in water, but their roots should not be allowed to completely dry out either. These plants are ideal for the bog garden or for any low area that does not drain well.


These plants are happiest in average garden conditions: reasonably fertile, moist but-well drained soil.


These plants are ideal for the low water garden. Many are Mediterranean plants with small silvery or fuzzy foliage which reflects the hot sun; succulents with water-storing leaves; or prairie plants with deep taproots.


A rock garden, or rockery, is not a garden for rocks. It is a tiny re-creation of the mountainous environment in which specialty Alpine plants grow. These are those specialty Alpine plants. They require full sun and excellent drainage to look their best.



These are generally large plants with defined lines, bold foliage, or striking bark that make a clear statement in the garden.


See-through plants are the opposite of architectural plants. They add a soft, romantic haze to the garden. They are often quite tall, but they never block the view.


Groundcover plants are quick growers that can rapidly spread to fill in an area. Most are between 1 inch and 4 feet in height.


Native plants are all the rage and we love it! Many of the plants that we grow are U.S. natives. That said, we never blanketly apply the term ‘Native’, as it means relatively little given the enormous geographical expanse of our country. Instead, we encourage you to seek out plants that are native to YOUR unique area of the country. We added a ‘Native Region’ filter to our website to make it easier to shop for natives.

Not sure which region to select? Check out the map.

Shipping & Delivery


Shipping costs* can add up quickly. Rates are most reasonable when bundling same size plants.

4” pots:

1-6 plants / $15.00

7-12 plants / $18.00

13-24 plants / $25.00

25-36 plants / $40.00

1 gallon perennials:

1-2 plants / $18.00

3-4 plants / $25.00

5-6 plants / $40.00

trees and shrubs:

$25-40 per plant


flat rate $56.00

*shipping costs are subject to change based on carrier


We regret that we cannot ship internationally or to the following states: AK, AZ, CA, CO, FL, HI, ID, OR, MT, NV, UT, or WA.

We kindly ask that you do not place an order for local pick-up if you live in one of these states and cannot pick-up from the nursery.


We ship plants when the weather permits - generally this will be spring and fall only. You may place your order anytime to reserve plants. If you place multiple orders, we will combine plants into one box (or as many as are needed) and any extra shipping charges will be refunded when we ship.

We only ship plants when the max temperature in your area and ours is under 85 degrees.

If we hold plants due to weather, we will check in with you before shipping as we always want to make sure that you receive your plants at a time that is convenient for you to unpack and plant them.

We ship on Mondays and Tuesdays. Delivery generally takes between 1-4 days, depending on your distance from the nursery.

spring shipping

We will begin shipping plants as soon as they are ready in spring. Expected dates are noted on each product page. If ordering multiple varieties, we will hold until all plants are ready to ship together. If you would like to receive plants sooner please reach out.


Plants can be collected from the nursery M-F from 10am-4pm or Sa-Su from 9am-5pm. We prefer 24 hour notice to get your order together and will email you when ready for collection.


Interested in Local Delivery?

Please send us an email including your address, plant selections, and requested delivery date. We will get back to you with a rate.

Return Policy

We guarantee that all plants sold by The Old Dairy are healthy and true to name when they leave the nursery. We grow our plants with integrity and know that they will thrive in your garden provided they are given the right conditions. That said, we cannot offer a guarantee on plants as we cannot control your specific site conditions or the weather (as much as we would like to). We are always happy to talk you through the planting and proper care of each plant.


We package our plants with the greatest of care, yet shipping damages do occur on occasion. Please contact us within 48 hours if your order was damaged in transit.