The Latest

The Latest

At James River Nurseries we occasionally plant sunflowers in our open fields as a groundcover in the summer. The primary benefits of using a groundcover include improving the soil structure through increased soil organic matter, preventing soil erosion as well as helping to suppress weeds. Once the covering is cut back, it is then tilled into the ground at which time the nutrients held within the plant’s tissues are released into the soil and made available to the trees we then plant in that area.

However, aside from the practical benefits of planting these sunflowers, there is also something that happens that is a little more mystical in nature. From ancient mythology to modern times, the sunflower, with its unique splendor, has captured the imagination of artists and writers alike. Long a symbol of loyalty, joy, adoration and happiness, there is something about being in the presence of a field of sunflowers that somehow lifts the human spirit.

Perhaps it is the eye catching abundance that almost always invokes a double take or maybe the way it so effortlessly displays Mother Nature’s magnificence that allows it the power to, if only for a brief moment, take hold of your senses, wash away the cares of the world and make you feel lighthearted.

Although we know there are practical reasons behind the planting of these sunflowers, we do feel fortunate and take pleasure in being greeted each day (for a couple of weeks) by such a beautiful display as we arrive to the nursery. We also know that many who travel along Ashland Road enjoy the display. How do we know? Well, because of the parade of visitors to the nursery who have stopped by to take photographs, some asking permission and others just doing their thing, and then there are those who stop in to tell us how much they enjoy driving by the nursery and seeing such a beautiful field. We even had someone take the time to send us a message on our website saying that the sunflower display “brightens my morning commute to the West End.”

Of course there is nothing like seeing a field of sunflowers with your own eyes, but we realize that not everyone has that opportunity, so we created a short video of our sunflowers in an effort to share some summertime happiness.

James River Nurseries is getting ready to start landscaping a new state-of-the-art Medline distribution center, the latest business to establish roots in the Meadowville development. Once referred to as code name "Project Bulldog," this new distributions center is now nearly ready for business.  For those not familiar with Medline, they are “the largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of healthcare supplies in the United States, providing more than 350,000 products that serve the entire continuum of care.” Based out of Chicago, the company’s new distribution center sits on a 65-acre site and consists of approximately 400,000 square feet.

Meadowville, a 900-acre development located in Chesterfield County off I-295 just southeast of the Varina-Enon Bridge, has found big-time success in bringing growth to our area including an $85 million dollar investment by Amazon for a fulfillment center as well as a $150 million dollar investment by Capital One to open a new data center. Amazon began shipping products from the fullfillment center in October of 2012 and the new Capital One data center officially opened in March of this year. Additionally, Northrup Grumman built an information technology facility that has been operating in the park since 2007.

Strategically located on the East Coast transportation corridor (10 miles from I-64; 5 miles from I-95; 15 miles from I-85) and 15 miles from Richmond International Airport, this development has gained national attention not only for the location but also because our region has been recognized as an area capable of attracting and and retaining an educated workforce.  As stated on the Meadowville website, "Meadowville-area employees work in a business-friendly environment rich with training opportunities.  Ancillary employment costs, such as workers' compensation and unemployment insurance, are among the lowest in the nation." 

According to an article published by Mark Fausz, “Meadowville Technology Park, at its build-out, will look like a campus of high-tech businesses employing an estimated 7,200 workers and a private investment totaling $2.9 billion and 14.9 million square feet of office and industrial space; the construction of the buildings and infrastructure alone will generate 1,000 jobs in the construction field."  The Meadowville website reveals that "future plans include over 8 million square feet of data center, logistics, research, manufacturing, office, and hospitality neighborhoods connected to a vibrant Towne Center and Sustainability Park." 

At James River Nurseries we are excited to watch this development continue to make strides in fulfilling that ultimate vision.  We would like to specifically recognize the efforts of the Chesterfield Economic Development Authority (CEDA), which owns the undeveloped property in Meadowville, the Chesterfield County Department of Economic Development, which handles the day-to-day management of the development projects, as well as Timmons Group, a multi-disciplined engineering and technology firm that has been a strategic partner since the CEDA began acquiring land for this development in the 1990s.  This successful collaberation of talent professionals is a great example of people working together to not only enhance the economic strength of our region but to add so profoudly to the quality of life for those who live and work in the area.

James River Nurseries recently completed the landscaping for a new gourmet grocery store called Southern Season.  This new store, located in the Libbie Mill development on Staples Mills Road, touts itself as a “Food Lover’s Paradise.”  The first response that comes to mind hearing that is…ummm, yum!

According to their website, “Southern Season is the premier destination for specialty food, gift and entertaining items.  Since its creation in 1975, Southern Season has been known for the breadth and quality of its gourmet food, wine, houseware and cookware.  A food lover’s paradise with exciting and innovative products from vendors local to international, Southern Season offers over 80,000 items sold in-store and online.  With a belief in Southern hospitality and a passion for the art of entertaining, Southern Season prides itself upon great tasting and distinct products offered by a knowledgeable and friendly staff ready to help you find exactly what you need.”

Additionally they will house a cooking school that provides an “epicurean education paired with a heaping serving of expertise and style,” formal and informal wine tastings, and located adjacent to the store will be Southerly Restaurant which features an open-air patio where you can “expect casual yet refined feel fit for every occasion, whether an afternoon lunch or a special event.”

Hats off to Gumenick Properties, developer of Libbie Mill, for attracting such an awesome gourmet marketplace to our region!  We can't wait to get over there and check it out!

For additional information on the Libbie Mill development you could read a previous post on our website or visit the developer’s site at Gumenick Properties.

For additional information on Southern Season, please go to:   Southern Season


The folks over at Eagle Construction are celebrating their 30th year in business and clearly they are still having fun!  From a fledgling company co-founded by Bryan Kornblau and Bud Ohly in 1984, to the conglomeration of businesses that now includes Eagle Construction of Va., NAI Eagle, Eagle Commercial Construction, Eagle Realty of Virginia and Markel|Eagle Partners, this duo continues to have a significant impact on the real estate landscape of Central Virginia.

Several of us here at James River Nurseries have had the good fortune of knowing Bryan and Bud since those very early years.  We have watched them successfully navigate the sometimes treacherous tide that can exist in a volatile real estate market.  They continue to set the bar very high and represent the best of what it means in business to be patient, observant and confident in the ability to seize cloaked opportunity.  When others are zigging, they are oftentimes zagging.  These calculated moves, made under the watchful eye of these men, have created a multi-business success story that continues to have a positive impact on the lives of those who live and work in our area. 

We recently ran across a YouTube post made by Eagle Construction and appreciated the fun and sense of humor they displayed despite their shrewd entrepreneurial prowess.  It’s pretty cool when you see people who really like what they are doing, are very good at it and can be both serious and lighthearted in their approach.

In the video description, they state that they are “optimists who believe our best days are ahead of us.”  At James River Nurseries we would recommend not betting against that!


James River Nurseries is a residential and commercial landscaping & hardscapes company that has been serving Richmond, Va. and the surrounding counties for over 30 years.

Our company began with two guys, Mike Hildebrand and Al Jones, two employees, a pair of trucks and Mike’s kitchen which served as the office.  However, the legacy that this company continues to value and grow upon is not the number of people or trucks or even the location of the office, but rather a philosophy adopted early on by Mike and Al which includes firm commitments that stand as a solid foundation for our company.  Those commitments are to the clients we serve.  They include a 100% customer satisfaction guaranteed approach, offering high quality plant material at a fair market price, and providing courteous & dependable service.

From the very early days to the present, these commitments, now woven deeply into the fabric of who we are as a company, have allowed James River Nurseries to become one of the largest and most successful landscaping/hardscapes companies in Central Virginia.  We are constantly humbled by the number of requests made to handle projects both large and small.  From an individual homeowner, to many of the area’s best developers, builders, general contractors and landscape architects who time and time again tap James River Nurseries to be the landscape/hardscape contractor for the job, we work hard to live up to those commitments to our customers. 

Last summer we celebrated being in business for 30 years.  We could not have reached that milestone without our clients…so for that, we offer our sincere appreciation and say Thank You!  We look forward to many more years serving this great community and celebrating the milestones along the way!

Mike and Al still keep their first truck as a reminder of the fledgling years.  The photo to the left shows that truck.