The Latest

The Latest

Virginia Historical Society, the state’s oldest continually operating cultural institution, is welcoming in a new era, and James River Nurseries is proud to participate in the role of landscape/hardscape contractor for exterior modifications being made to the facility. Founded in 1831, the VHS is dedicated to “collecting and interpreting all of Virginia’s history – all areas, all time periods, and all people.” Their collection has reached nearly 9 million manuscripts, books, paintings, pieces of furniture, and other artifacts.

The exterior renovations are part of a $38 million dollar “The Story of Virginia Campaign.” The campaign has been broken down into a three prong approach consisting of $20 million for capital improvements, $8 million for programs and $10 million for an endowment that will help sustain the VHS well into the future.

Some of the capital improvements include renovations of all public space on the main level, a larger Story of Virginia long-term exhibition, the creation of a pedestrian-friendly Boulevard plaza, a new south entrance with better accessibility and the reorganization of existing space on the ground floor to create a multi-classroom learning center that will be named the “Carole and Marcus Weinstein Learning Center.”

Here at James River Nurseries, we are proud to be a part of “The Story of Virginia Campaign,” and would like to thank the Virginia Historical Society, Stewart/HG (landscape architect), Glavé & Holmes Architecture (architect), and Whiting-Turner (general contractor) for allowing us to participate.

Below is a short video of the project.

Thanks for all your hard work Dennis!!  32 years and counting!
At James River Nurseries, retaining skilled employees has played an integral role in our long term success. We believe by retaining our most valuable employees, we are able to nurture a company culture that is loyal, knowledgeable and highly productive.

We know without the ability to retain our best employees, the quality of our work would suffer, costs due to excessive employee turnover would rise (& need to be passed along), our customers would not be satisfied and over time would take their business elsewhere…none of which is acceptable to us.  

With that in mind, we make a conscious effort to maintain a work environment that is stable, positive and supportive. Competitive pay and benefits (including health insurance as well as a percentage employer match in a retirement savings plan) assist in our ability to create stability for our employees and their families. Additionally, we place high priority on adhering to company traditions which we believe help build a sense of belonging and comradery. Those include company picnics, a shared Thanksgiving meal, and a shared Christmas meal along with the raffling off of some pretty awesome gifts.

Lastly, and some may argue is that little something extra that makes all of the difference, we try to treat every employee as a special and important part of the team. Building upon their strengths, encouraging self-improvement through education and training as well as being understanding and supportive when, well, you know, life happens.  

This formula reflects not just what we do but who we are.  We feel strongly it contributes to our ability to retain the best employees which translates into consistency to our clients. Consistency in delivering the best plant material. Consistency in the installation of our materials. Consistency in meeting expectations. And consistency in customer service.

Here’s why we believe we are on the right track with our formula to retaining our landscape employees:
- 67% of our employees have been with us for 5 years or more
- 50% of our employees have been with us for 10 years or more
Also, take a look at our employees who have been with us for 15 years or more:
Dennis Stanley (32 years)
Theresa Johnson (30 years)
Tim Kellogg (30 years)
Gonzalo Valdez Aguilar (25 years)
Ben Johnson (22 years)
Jamie Spicer (20 years)
Gaudencio Ayala (18 years)
Jose Manuel Arevalo (18 years)
Efrain Meza (17 years)
Fidel Arevalo (16 years)
Ruben Velazquez (16 years)
Jose Javier Hernandez (15 years)
Phil Silver (15 years)


Be sure to check out our Facebook page to see more pictures of our progress!
Have you ever noticed there are those who see a problem and complain, yet do nothing, and then there are those who see a problem and instead of complaining, harness their talents and resources in order to do something about it?

At JRN we feel fortunate to be working with an organization that clearly fits into the latter category. The organization is Capital Trees and we’d like to share why we are proud to have been selected as the landscape contractor for their latest endeavor and why we should all be proud to have them as members of our community.

Founded in 2010, Capital Trees is a consortium of the four Richmond area chapters of the Garden Club of Virginia (Tuckahoe, Three Chopt, Boxwood & James River garden clubs). They began with a belief, fueled by a passion for our city, that they could make a positive impact by identifying neglected, rundown areas and bring the necessary resources together to rejuvenate those spaces.  It has become obvious their belief was not only on point, but that they have become an important and vital conduit between neglected areas in our community and the City of Richmond, corporate citizens, private foundations, special interest groups, the philanthropic community and individuals who also have a passion for our city and are willing to offer support.

Since their inception, they have played a role in rehabilitating several areas including the intersection at Cary Street & Three Chopt Road, 14th Street and Great Shiplock Park. Their sights are now squarely aimed at a neglected area down along Dock Street.

Their latest challenge (or as we believe they see it…opportunity) is a multiphase project dubbed the Low Line, and is a 5-acre linear waterfront beautification project with boundaries that include Dock Street to the north, the Kanawha Canal to the south, Great Shiplock Park to the east and the Canal Walk to the west. For far too long this area, particularly given its rich history, has been neglected, and Capital Trees is intent on changing that.

We will be posting pictures to our Facebook page chronicling our progress as we work to bring their vision to life for an area to be enjoyed by pedestrian, cyclists, residents, and others as well as acting as a stimulus to the revitalization of this historic stretch of Richmond’s waterfront.  We will also be posting additional articles about the project in an effort to highlight members of our community who are playing significant roles in assisting Capital Trees with the creation of the Low Line. 

It is our hope that not only will you follow along with the progress, but perhaps be inspired to join the efforts of Capital Trees as they work to “transform Richmond into a greener, more beautiful, more livable city.”

James River Nurseries would like to congratulate Eric Schlosser, a valued employee of our company, for recently earning the title Virginia Certified Horticulturist (VCH).

According to a statement released by the Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association (VNLA), “VCH designations require dedication and study. Candidates must pass a four-hour exam, comprehensively covering everything from basic botany to the study of insects. If they pass, VCH awardees must renew their certification every three years and prove at least 30 hours of sanctioned horticulture focused training within that timeframe.”

“The VCH designation offers many benefits to businesses and consumers as well. Consumers are assured they will receive professional services from a capable associate and the confidence that any business employing a VCH certified employee is a credible source for their nursery or landscaping needs.”

Additionally, according to Jeff Miller, Executive Director of the Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association (VNLA), “having someone with this breadth of expertise and knowhow in their community allows residents and businesses to confidently seek advice and assistance as they improve Virginia’s green landscape.”

At JRN we appreciate and applaud Eric’s desire to keep himself on the cutting edge of our industry and congratulate him on passing the exam to become a Virginia Certified Horticulturist!

To read more on Eric’s education and experience, visit Eric Schlosser

It may not be Disney World, but we believe we found a “Magic Kingdom” right here in Richmond, in Midlothian to be exact! The name of this kingdom is Hallsley and from all appearances, it is a place where imaginations run wild and the number one rule seems to be, Life's Short…Let’s Have Fun!

At James River Nurseries, we like that rule, so it was particularly gratifying to be selected as the landscape contractor assigned the task of landscaping the Residents Club and surrounding amenities. During the course of the project, we had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people who lived there.

Down to the last one, they spoke with such pride about this magical place and expressed what they liked about living in Hallsley. And what they liked, well, turns out everything. From the resort like amenities to the schools their children attend, from its location to the friendly neighbors, from the architectural style of the homes to the large homesites, they love it all. They particularly appreciate the integrity demonstrated by East West Communities, the developer, and the quality and attention to detail the builders offer in the homes. The residents we met believe Hallsley offers the best of everything.

Apparently, they aren’t the only ones who feel that way. Turns out this “Magic Kingdom,” uhmm, we mean Hallsley, was voted 2014 Best Community in the Richmond area. Pretty high praise indeed! Additionally, according to Daniel Jones, project manager for Hallsley, “they currently have 70 houses under construction and all but four of them are presold.” Sounds like they are hitting on all cylinders!

At James River Nurseries we are always excited to help spread the success stories of our clients and in this particular case, it was so glaringly obvious that what East West Communities is doing over at Hallsley deserves not only all the recognition they have coming their way, but also should be applauded for once again demonstrating why they have been a leading developer in our area for over 40 years.

So if you are looking for a new place to call home, you might want to add this community to your list of possibilities, we think you’ll be glad you did!

Check out this brief video capturing the images of our time spent at Hallsley: