H istory enthusiast Joel Patton always had a passionate interest in the ancestral migration of Ulster-Scots (referred to as Scots-Irish in the US) to Virginia and the colonies during the 18th Century and subsequently visited the state several times on vacation with his sons, Jonathan and Andrew. It was on their travels in the summer of 2001 when they visited Colonial Williamsburg that they decided was the place they would set up their New World “Homestead.”
In July 2005, after a lengthy wait on immigration proceedings, all six members of the Patton family relocated to the United States from Northern Ireland (Ulster). Joel explains: “Moving to America from our small home town back in Ulster, where our family had lived for more than 300 years, was a real wrench, but we have no regrets.” The Pattons come to Williamsburg with a wealth of gardening knowledge under their belts having successfully operated a garden center back in their own country for 40 years.
On January 1st, 2006 they opened the Ulster American Homestead Garden Center on a 5 acre site they purchased on Rochambeau Drive, west of Williamsburg. It was not long before the garden enthusiasts of the Historic Triangle began to make the new garden center a regular place to visit for all their gardening needs.
It became evident after 5 years in business that the Patton’s expertise in growing plants, in particular annuals, perennials and herbs played a key part in the decision to create a nursery. When a suitable property in New Kent County was secured in the summer of 2011 the garden center embarked on a fall and spring growing program and increased their productions of plants in subsequent years.
T he Ulster American Homestead Garden Center is open all year round and takes a particular pride in personal service and personal attention they provide for all their customers. The plants on offer are grown in our own nursery or sourced from some of the best growers of shrubs, annuals, perennials, herbs and vegetables in the region and upon arrival at the garden center the quality control, care and presentation are very much in evidence.
The Patton Family of Ulster American Homestead Garden Center, Williamsburg, Va.
The range of plants is the most extensive in the Williamsburg area, prices are keen and the retail greenhouse is invariably alive with color, offering the largest display of spring and fall annuals and perennials to be found locally.
F amily friendliness is a trademark of the garden center, and this family whose historical background is firmly rooted in the Ulster-American connection encapsulates this feeling with the description of their garden center as a place “Where Traditional Roots Grow!” Customers speak of a shopping experience reminiscent of a by-gone age and leave the Ulster American Homestead Garden Center with fond memories of the unique Ulster accent and charm enlightening their day and vowing to return!
Joel Patton of Ulster American Homestead Garden Center