Column: Armstrong Nursery rose along with Ontario

A history of Armstrong Nursery, founded circa 1893 in Ontario and a presence in the city until 1982, is on view in an exhibit at the Ontario Museum of History and Art. Friday’s column hits some of the highlights.

(On a personal note, all the research was done in March, but I ran out of time to write this before my vacation, and only this week was I able to get to it. It’s a relief to have that, and Wednesday’s Upland walking tour column, out of the way!)

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  • Bob House

    Nice column on what was a very important landscaping source in the 50s, as the Inland Empire evolved from semi-rural to suburban. I think there are still plants growing in my parents’ yard in Claremont that were purchased at Armstrong 60+ years ago. If there’s a chance, I’d also like to know more about Van Ness Water Gardens in Upland (“since 1922″). I never visited while I lived in the IE, but online it looks very interesting and beautiful.

    • davidallen909

      It was an important story to tell, although my telling wasn’t very good. (I didn’t quite get a handle on how to present it.) I’ve heard of Van Ness, and Charles Phoenix once suggested we visit, but it never happened. There’s always the centennial in eight years, if I don’t get there earlier.

      • Nancy Charest

        I’ve never made it to the Van Ness Water Gardens either. It would be great to at least read a column about it.
        I miss Armstrong gardens in Ontario and then the beautiful “outlet” store in Rancho Cucamonga on Foothill. I was so excited to have a garden store close by, but it folded.
        Now we have to drive to Claremont and might as well go to Fuji store on Foothill in Upland. Their store is different and interesting with little bits of things lost or forgotten it almost seems. Their staff is helpful. They have been there a long time and are resisting developers inch by inch. They could deserve a column too! I bought my first chimnea there when you could only find them in high end Santa Fe Style catalogs.

        • davidallen909

          Mount Fuji’s 50th is in 2017, if I remember correctly, not that I have to wait that long. Thanks for the commentary, Nancy.

          • Nancy Charest

            Thanks for your interest. Maybe I’ll even get to Van Ness Water Gardens before your column. :)