John S. Snowden researched the state of native plant landscaping in Texas and surrounding states while earning his Master of Science in Horticulture from Texas A&M. He discovered that there was a severe dearth of ornamental native grasses in the trade. Upon finishing his degree, a word-of-mouth reference and an immediate large sale convinced Snowden to start his own native, ornamental grass nursery. It hasn't slowed down since!
Snowden combines talents and skills garnered from a lifetime of outdoor activities, an intense interest in learning about the natural world, a bachelor's degree (from Texas A&M again) in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, and a willingness to listen to experience. The underlying philosophy of BLUESTEM NURSERY is to promote natural habitat rehabilitation through education and the use of attractive, native, ornamental grasses. Imported species and non-grasses are included only due to market demand, and natural substitutes are used whenever possible. Efforts on Snowden's own property yield at least one previously unseen animal on the land each year and occasionally plants previously unknown on the 40-acre site. When you can walk out your back door on a fine April evening and see a young Tom Turkey walking across your driveway for the first time in 36 years, that's progress!
Still, the plants must be esthetically appealing to all, not just a few, in order to appeal to a broad market. Snowden learned color evaluation during his Master's thesis and applies his knowledge to color selections of native grasses. Most are very well received and in increasing demand.
The Texas environment produces only a finite amount of rainfall, yet the population, and therefore the demand for drinking water, is booming. The net result is less water available for irrigation purposes and a greater need for adapted plants requiring less or no watering once established. The native ornamental grasses fit this demand admirably. If properly placed in conditions similar to their natural niche, most thrive on little or no watering.
BLUESTEM NURSERY prides itself on providing high-quality, species (or selection or cultivar)-specific plants to its customers. We always strive to make sure the customer gains from our interaction, rather than simply exchanging money for goods. Education provides the greatest part of the BLUESTEM NURSERY experience, and is freely given to all purchasers, to promote further use of our products by an educated customer and greater habitat restoration. We are also available as consultants for landscape design advice, habitat restoration, prairie recovery, or wildlife habitat management. Our hope is to encourage others to help us improve the living conditions for both humans and animals, for both our benefits. Rabbits play in our yard nightly, insects whir in the trees, yet little damage is seen in actual nursery stock. No sprays are used in the nursery. Natural predators are encouraged.
The nursery is open only by appointment, to ensure that the customer enjoys our full attention during the visit. Once an appointment is set, the customer will be provided with a map to the nursery and further instructions to help ensure an enjoyable and profitable experience. We are entirely a wholesale operation at this time. Regrettably, we are not large enough to welcome a flood of retail customers. Landscape Architects, Designers, other Growers, Installers and similar green industry members are encouraged to contact us.