Mountain of My Dreams

 

    Long Mountain Nursery came into being in the late 1970’s in Sandra and Richard Antony’s suburban Maryland backyard. At the time, both had good-paying jobs with the Federal Government, lots of wonderful friends and neighbors, and a comfortable three-bedroom house they had painstaking restored. Life was good.

   Despite all evidence to the contrary, the couple decided they needed to make some big changes.  In fact, they eventually decided to abandon their comfortable lifestyle to seek a simpler, more peaceful existence for themselves and their future children on a small slice of paradise located in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains.

    In the spring of 1981, the couple began constructing their Virginia nursery; at that point, their lives became anything but simple. In 1996, Richard began compiling some of the many adventures and misadventures they’d experienced along the less traveled road. The project quickly got out of hand turning into a 3-volume, 1000-page story.     

    Readers all seem to agree that Mountain of My Dreams is endearing, poignant, funny, sad, and absolutely memorable. If the thought of venturing off the well-traveled road has ever crossed your mind, you might want to read their story before doing anything rash. On the other hand, it might just convince you to take the plunge.

    With serious misgivings, after raising more than one-quarter million azaleas the couple closed down down their wholesale growing operation in May 2008.

    Hooked on story preservation, Richard continues to write about what was involved in shutting down the nursery (almost as much as building it) and what life after a nursery is like. He has completed volume 4 covering the period from when the nursery closed to when he retired from his professional career (2014). Volume 5 contains his retirement stories and is work in progress. As time permits he dabbles in volume 6 where he hopes to capture his personal life lessons. These latter three volumes will likely remain in the Antony family archives.

    In addition to growing azaleas and writing about them the couple has a lot of other interests, especially now that they are no longer spending 12-hour days caring for 30,000 plants. Some of these newer interests are reflected in the latest website updates.

    The website originally focused on the nursery and our experiences raising our family on Long Mountain in beautiful Rappahannock County, Virginia. Recent additions include a listing of current and past writing projects, as well as a gallery of oil paintings Richard did while discovering the joy of geezer art.

    We hope you’ll take the time to look through the entire site. If you like plants, you will find hundreds of photographs of the varieties we grew commercially, our infamous potting line, and our 500-plant arboretum. Please enjoy.

    Feedback and comments are always welcome (rtantony@gmail.com).