The following history of the genesis and goals of Fairweather Gardens was written a few years ago by co-founder Robert Popham. In May 2010, while recovering from a broken ankle, Robert died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism. Robert’s meticulousness and attention to detail were present in every plant we sent out and on every page of our catalogue. Visitors to our Open Houses never failed to comment on his stentorian voice and Ciceronian diction as he called out the Latin names of their plants. Currently Fairweather Gardens is on hiatus; however, we are leaving Robert’s history posted. We hope you will find it interesting. –Robert Hoffman
You never know when or where the gardening bug’s going to bite! Years ago we found ourselves gardening on a postage stamp-size bit of ground in Brooklyn, in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge. After we had finally used up the last square-inch of ground, we knew we had to either acquire more real estate or give up gardening. Well, giving up gardening was out of the question, so off we went to nearby New Jersey, where we had half an acre of mostly virgin territory. Boy, were we going to garden!
When the time came to start planting, however, we soon became frustrated with the lack of diversity among plants offered by local garden centers, and when we ordered from many mail-order sources, we quickly lost patience with the recently rooted cuttings only inches high or the anemic little plantlets that had to be put on life-support to survive and grow. That’s when we started thinking there might be a few fellow gardeners out there who shared our passion as well as our frustration.
In the late 1980s we relocated to a 6-acre property in southern New Jersey with the goal of growing plants to a size and quality that we ourselves had been hoping to receive when ordering by mail, a simple rule of thumb that still guides the operation of Fairweather Gardens. In 1992 we sent out our first catalogue, a black-and-white 10-page job! Well, a few things have changed since then, and our spring catalogue runs to a hefty 80 color pages, but there are still only two of us, and we still have the same commitment to diversity and quality. We think of ourselves primarily as gardeners and take pride in growing and providing superior plants that you’ll enjoy for many years after they leave our nursery.
We hope the gardening bug bites with this visit to our website, and we look forward to helping you achieve your gardening dreams!
Robert Hoffman & Robert Popham
P.O. Box 330
Greenwich, NJ 08323
Phone: (856) 451-6261
Fax: (856) 451-0303