A new plant nursery and garden center is opening with a focus on cultivating strong communities through healthy environments. 

Cultivate | Garden + Harvest is located at 3666 Guess Road, previously known as Benson Nursery. The 15,000+ square foot exterior space will feature a wide variety of unique and native plants, indoor plants, socially distanced seating areas, and art for sale from local Durham artists. Customers can browse through a personal horticulture library while enjoying a cup of coffee or hot cider. 

Cultivate was formed from a partnership of two local Durham-centric businesses, Haven Ventures, a certified B Corp and parent company of Haven Developers, Haven Design|Build, and Haven Modular, with Artistry In Plants, a garden design and implementation firm with over 15 years of experience. 

In July, Haven and Artistry came together based on a mutual interest in creating healthy spaces for their community while simultaneously providing employment opportunities for individuals experiencing barriers such as homlessness, addiction, adjudication from the courts, and international refugees. 

Founder and Director of Artistry In Plants, Wendi Gale, expressed her hopes for Cultivate by saying, “The times we are living in right now are not easy but can be enhanced by the power of biophilia. Cultivate will be a small place of hope where we reconnect with others and the environment. We have structured the exterior space in a manner that respects social distancing and safety.” 

Artistry In Plants will be Cultivate’s in-house garden design and implementation service provider, specializing in the utilization of native and healing plants, as well as trees and shrubs with architectural interest. Artistry also provides extensive work with elaborate hardscapes and complex drainage solutions. 

Durham resident Drew Helm, a co-founder of Haven Ventures and the managing partner of Cultivate, said, “Our intent is for Cultivate to be so much more than a plant nursery. We want to offer the space to the community as a place of refuge from the homes we are all stuck in. We want to engage the community by partnering with local organizations and artists while providing regular, COVID appropriate, outdoor events such as yoga in the garden, organized plant swaps, night in the nursery, gardening classes, and family events.” 

Come and relax in the outdoor space while shopping for your next plant at the Grand Opening on September 26th from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. There will be light refreshments, family activities, opportunities for customer discounts, a Japanese maple giveaway, and a Q & A with Artistry In Plants’ expert gardener, Wendi Gale. 

Katelyn Belch
Author: Katelyn Belch

Founder of Best of the Bull and Shop Durham. It’s my chief goal to keep you in the know about all things Durham.