December 2023 Newsletter

December is the time to shine for hollies. They add beautiful color to your garden and screening for the winter months, provide cover and food for birds, and can add some cheer inside your home with their cuttings. If you are interested in adding some to your garden, we just received some beautiful balled and burlapped Satyr Hill American hollies in heights of 7/8’, 8/10’ and 10/12’ (see above), Maryland Dwarf hollies that are 4/5’ wide (see below) and female winterberry hollies 8/10’ tall (see below right), all freshly dug from a local nursery. 

For us here at the nursery, December can be a busy month--we are still helping nursery customers who are squeezing in projects while the weather holds while also wrapping up our season and planning for next year. We are also continuing to prepare the nursery for the winter-- winterizing our irrigation systems and covering our tunnels, and shifting plants either inside tunnels or tighter together and mulched to help protect them from drying out during windy, freezing winter weather.

Ilex verticillata (Winterberry Holly) B&BAnd, in addition to all of that, we are hard at work building a new website. In 2024, we have plans to launch a new website that lists all of our plant material with up-to-date inventory counts, pricing, photos, descriptions, and sortable fields. We hope this will make it easier for you to discover what plants work best for your garden.

As we are winding down the year and heading into the holiday season, we wanted to add a little reminder that even though we may have put our plants to bed, we’ll be open through the winter Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm. If you are looking for gifts for your garden-loving friend, please stop in --we have gift cards, pottery, statuary, windchimes and more. Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season!

Theresa Mycek, Production Manager

Mason Broderick photo

Meet the newest member of the Unity team, Mason Broderick! Just joining the Unity Church Hill Nursery team at the beginning of November, Mason has taken on the role of Nursery Sales and Production Associate, and will be available to help answer any questions on the products and services that Unity has to offer. 

Relatively new to the horticulture field, Mason is a young professional who comes to Unity from a cultivation position in the medical cannabis industry and from a long-term internship position with the USDA Agricultural Research Service focusing on sustainable futures for pest control. Originally a native of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Mason has lived in central PA and eastern WV, and has now transplanted himself into the Eastern Shore. 

Mason has a life-long background in natural science and botany and graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Juniata College. This combination of academic and hobbyist training has given him respect and understanding for the complex interactions of plants, animals, and people in the garden, and he is excited to share this passion for native plants and sustainability with everyone in his community and here at Unity.

 Unity Landscape Design and Build

Working with Melissa and Greg was a pleasure. They have a beautiful waterfront property on Tilghman Island where Black Walnut cove meets the Choptank River. Right away I knew we would get along when Melissa told me that they wanted to eliminate all the invasive species in the landscape and redesign with beautiful native plantings to enhance both the aesthetics and the biodiversity on their property. 

The front yard encompassing the pool and all the space in-between was our target area for renovation. 

As with all projects of scope, the first thing to do was create our design. I really had a great time designing this lovely botanical garden, which includes a wide range of native species, hardscaping, storm water management features, and low voltage lighting. I also took care of all the necessary permitting for the project, as it fell in the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area. 


McCarthy design plan

Once the demo was out of the way it was time to expand the usable hardscape around the pool. Melissa had expressed an interest in installing wrap around wooden decking and she sent over a photo to show me what she had in mind. As soon as I saw the photo, I suggested installing Techo-bloc Borealis pavers.  These pavers are designed to look like wood decking while providing all the benefits of paving stones. The result was a beautiful new paved extension to her pool patio that has the look and feel of a wooden deck and the durability of pavers, completely capturing the spirit of old Tilghman and Bay living!

While the hardscaping was taking place, we were also installing the storm water management features. This included downspout drainage and a French drain with a bioretention area to manage and naturally mitigate storm water run-off from the roof and the hardscaping.

Bed preparation including edging, grading and organic soil enhancement came next, followed by planting and installation of all-natural hardwood mulch. 

Once all plant materials were in place and thoroughly watered in, it was time to finish up with the low voltage lighting installation to add a beautiful ambiance in the evening.

This project really captures all the elements that I love to work on here at Unity and homeowners like Melissa and Greg really make a difference in our area. By installing a landscape that is environmentally conscious they are helping to preserve the native ecosystem that we love, and they are ensuring that it will be here for future generations to love and cherish as well!

TJ Morris,

Environmental Landscape Design and Sales

Sunset view from deck