85 Years and Counting!
How it all began...
Stadler Nurseries was founded by Paul and Rebecca Stadler in 1932. Paul was a Swiss immigrant who arrived in the United States with just a few dollars in his pocket, not knowing a soul or a word of English. He started his career as a personal gardener working for people living in Georgetown and growing plants for his customers. He met his future wife, Rebecca, while landscaping an inn in Washington where she worked in the kitchen. A shift from personal gardeners to landscape companies led Paul and Rebecca to turn their attention to growing trees and opening a garden center. The original Nursery was located in Wheaton, Maryland, where Brookside Gardens is today. The Stadler house is still on the grounds. Even now, customers reminisce about Rebecca digging up their plants from the "azalea hill".
Paul and Rebecca's son, Peter and his wife Janet moved the nursery from Wheaton to Laytonsville, Maryland in the 1960s and over the following years grew the business into a full-service garden center and landscape business with over 300 acres in tree production. The expansion of the landscape business led to working with customers such as the National Park Service, the Smithsonian, the National Zoo and the White House among many others.
Several years ago, the management of the Stadler Nurseries passed to the third generation of the Stadler family, Peter and Janet's son, David, and daughter, Lisa, who have continued to expand the business. The addition of a division of native reforestation production is now meeting the growing need for and interest in planting native species.
Today Stadler Nurseries has three locations, in Laytonsville and Frederick, Maryland, and in Manassas, Virginia. You'll notice that the buildings at the garden centers are designed in the likeness of a Swiss chalet, which pays homage to the family heritage.
What are the favorite plants of nursery professionals Peter Stadler, David Stadler and Lisa Stadler? Can they even narrow it down to just one?
Lisa says her favorite plants are any that are planted in the right place and allowed the space to grow to their full mature size, like the big Riversii purple beech in her garden. She also enjoys masses of color and fragrance. Her garden at home is filled with a variety of plants but she says she probably loves the evergreens best.
David likes Leatherleaf Mahonia because of the big, bold texture and the bright yellow flowers in early March followed by purple grape-like fruit loved by the birds. His favorite tree? No contest, it's the October Glory red maple. He loves the consistent fall color and the silvery gray bark. But we all know what Dave really loves most... his dog, Maggie!
Like Lisa, Peter said he doesn't really have a favorite plant. But after some thought, he decided on the European weeping beech and here's why...
After Peter built his house in Laytonsville, he asked his dad, Paul, if he could have the European weeping beech that was growing at the nursery. His dad said "You don't want that tree. It will be too big for your yard".
Well, when Paul was out on a landscape job one day, Peter went over to the nursery, dug up that beech and planted it in his yard! That majestic tree is over 50 years old now and Peter has enjoyed it every year since he planted it, probably more so because of how it came to be there!