The Latest

The Latest

James River Nurseries would like to give a shout-out to Mike Hildebrand, the owner and founder of our company, for being presented with an “Alumni of the Year" award by the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Mike graduated from Virginia Tech in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science degree. His horticulture concentration was in Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design. After graduating from Virginia Tech, Mike worked for Lairds Nursery here in Richmond and then in 1983, he and Al Jones founded James River Nurseries. For over 30 years Mike has worked tirelessly at building one of the most successful landscaping companies in Central Virginia.   

Along the way, Mike has never forgotten his roots. He has been an active alumnus contributing time, money and resources to Virginia Tech throughout the years. In addition, Mike, being an avid Hokie, can be found at Lane Stadium for nearly every home football game and has traveled to many of the bowl games to support the team. Mike’s interest in the school’s athletics is not limited to football, and can also be found in attendance of other sporting events as his schedule allows.

His loyalty to the school has been so strong and consistent that even his wife Susie, a University of Virginia alumna, has, for all practical purposes, adopted the school as her own. In 2008, Mike and Susie donated an EZ-Go Workhorse cart to the Hahn Horticulture Garden which the students affectionately named “Susie.” Over the years, Mike & Susie have participated on many committees and campaigns on behave of the school including being members of the Virginia Tech Capital Campaign as well as members of the Agricultural and Life Sciences Steering Committee. In addition, both he and Susie are currently active members of the Ut Prosim Society, an organization created to " recognize donors who are leaders within the community of philanthropy that sustains Virginia Tech, the distinguished alumni and friends who comprise the membership of the Ut Prosim Society are those whose unwavering support of the university epitomizes the truest sense of the Latin phrase that defines the spirit and mission of Virginia Tech: Ut Prosim (That I May Serve)."  Mike also currently services on the advisory board for the Virginia Tech Department of Horticulture.

Mike's commitment to Virginia Tech is a testament to his fondness of the institution and expresses these feelings not only in words, but in deeds as well.  It is gratifying to know that the sentiment is not just a one-way-street.   Congratulations again Mike on being presented an “Alumni of the Year” award!

James River Nurseries would like to recognize Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden on all of the accolades it keeps receiving!  In case you have missed some of the praise that is being showered upon the garden, take a look this:

Ø  Canadian Garden Tourism Council – named the garden among the “10 North American Gardens Worth Traveling For”

Ø  Travel Channel – chose the garden as one of the “Best Botanical Gardens in the U.S.”

Ø  CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg – listed the garden as one of the “World’s Best Gardens in Bloom Now”

Ø  USA Today Travel’s 10Best Reader’s Choice award – selected the garden as the second-most beautiful garden in North America

Now that's impressive! Think about it! One of the most beautiful gardens right here in our own backyard. The awards listed above have been read by garden enthusiast from around the country and in Canada. Some of them will even put Lewis Ginter on their travel itinerary. Luckily for us, the only thing we need to do to enjoy the beauty is to block out a little time and take a very short drive.

Again, we tip our hats to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden for being recognized as one of the country's premier gardens and for earning a reputation as a "must see" attraction!

To read a previous post on our “The Latest” page about creative gardens and to learn how James River Nurseries could help create a garden like feel in your own backyard, please visit: Creative Garden Ideas

To learn more about Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, please go to: www.lewisginter.org

James River Nurseries would like to congratulate Doug Rodes, a valued employee of our company, for passing the exam to become a “Virginia Certified Horticulturist.” This rigorous four-hour exam typically takes up to 6 months to prepare for and covers a broad range of horticulture subjects including basic botany, soils and fertilization, diseases, pesticides, plant propagation, trees and shrubs, perennials and annuals, landscape design as well as many other related topics.

This designation certifies not only the knowledge of a wide range of horticultural subjects, but symbolizes the recipients desire to be informed on the latest developments in the industry allowing them to be well positioned to provide their clients with accurate and reliable information.

Doug graduated from Virginia Tech in 2008 with a degree in Landscape Architecture. After graduating, he worked for 3north, a local design firm, and then began working for James River Nurseries in 2010.  Between his education and experience, Doug brings to the table a wealth of talent which he is able to translate into unique and interesting landscape designs for our clients. We appreciate Doug’s continued interest in honing his skills and congratulate him on passing the exam to become a “Virginia Certified Horticulturist.”


James River Nurseries is currently landscaping a new apartment community being developed by The Breeden Company.  This new complex, called Marshall Springs at Gayton West, is located off of Gayton Road North in Short Pump.

According to the website, this gated community will offer an extensive list of property amenities including outdoor cabanas with fireplaces, furniture & plasma TV's, outdoor grill area, dog park with watering station, resort-style pool, state-of-the-art media center, billiards room, bocce ball court, fitness center, and more.  Sounds really nice!

If you would like additional information on this apartment community, please go to:  Marshall Springs at Gayton West

James River Nurseries would like to welcome Stanley Martin Homes to the Richmond area.  In case you are not familiar with Stanley Martin Homes, this company was founded in 1966 and according to their website, "Stanley Martin Homes is one of the Washington, DC, area's most recognized names in new home construction and development, with over 10,000 families living in our Virginia and Maryland communities.  Since 1966, our core values have remained constant: superior services and craftsmanship at a fair price."

In 2013, Stanley Martin Homes successfully expanded into the Charlottesville market with the acquistions of Piedmont Realty and Construction.  According to a recent blog post by Stanley Martin Homes, they "sold 79 homes in that market and will grow to 12 neighborhoods in 2014."  In addition to expanding into Charlottesville last year, the company plans further expansion into the Raleigh area and "will also enter the Richmond market through efforts that will span from 2014 to 2016.  Richmond will become the fifth homebuilding division for the company."

James River Nurseries would like to thank Drew Holzwarth, President of the Southern Region for Stanley Martin Homes, for the continued support of our landscaping services with his new and successful relationship with Stanley Martin Homes.  Our working relationship with Drew began when he was owner of Piedmont Realty and Construction prior to being acquired by Stanley Martin Homes.   We appreciate his continued recognition of our company as a go to landscape contractor and look forward to this company breaking into the Richmond market.