Charbrook Nursery is located on 100 acres of the historic Stimson Dairy Farm and successional hay fields in Princeton, Massachusetts. Situated at the foothills of Wachusett Mountain, the Nursery is a diverse mosaic of New England landscape typologies. In 2003, STIMSON began to think about this landscape in a new way: as a testing ground and a way to integrate in-the-field learning and research into our design practice.
The firm established Charbrook Nursery for native tree and shrub production. Low-lying wetlands, wet meadows, successional fields, glacial drumlins and dense woodland offer a rich template for siting selected species in response to the farm’s micro-ecosystems. The concept remains to focus on the cultivation of indigenous plant communities that are already thriving within the farm landscape. Our projects benefit from this unique knowledge of the research we are beginning to develop related to hybrids and cultivars, planted form, growth rates, and habitat value.
Charbrook Nursery provides a unique opportunity for our team to get out into the nursery field throughout the seasons. They experience the holisitic process of planting whips and bare root linestock, digging trees of various caliper sizes, the art of hand-lacing rootballs and the techniques of pruning for plant health. The Nursery encourages us to get out of the studio and into the field, and provides a living laboratory for on-going agricultural and horticultural experimentation.