Ken and Alice Drogin started Canyon Nursery in picturesque Castle Valley 32 years ago when their daughter was born. Now, every February 1st, their daughter’s birthday, they start their seeds for the growing season. Alice grew up in New York City and studied at UC Santa Cruz before moving to Utah and finishing her degree in biology at Utah State University in Logan.

Canyon Nursery has been selling veggie starts and culinary herbs to Moonflower for the last 5 or 6 years, and just this year they have branched out into a new venture: flower farming. Alice is calling her new project “Bodacious Blooms.” Every morning she handpicks an array of flowers from the garden to create beautiful bouquets, rich with pops of different colors, patterns, shapes, and textures, a visual and olfactory treat. The flowers must be picked early in the morning while temps are cool and the plants are well hydrated. Sometimes, Alice finds various bees and pollinators still sleeping in the flowers!

Most of Canyon Nursery’s business is contract growing for local businesses. They also provide landscape design/consultation, perennial plants, shrubs and trees, herb and vegetable starts, custom flowerpots, and pollinator gardens. Alice creates her seasonal bouquets and flower arrangements for parties, weddings, funerals, and other special events. She also has a seasonal CSA “subscription service” for those who want to add a touch of color and visual interest to their space on a regular basis.

Ken and Alice start the majority of the dazzling variety of their plants from seed. The starts are cultivated using organic fertilizers, without herbicides or pesticides. They have also experienced some pleasantly surprising success with certain biocontrols of pests. For example, Alice has found that tossing the expired blooms of marigolds, a natural pest deterrent, into her tomato patch has kept the tomato hornworms at bay. They also leave their greenhouse empty in the summer and winter, and the intense heat and cold sort of “sterilizes” it, killing bugs and pests for the growing season. Seeds are started in the greenhouse, then starts are moved to a “halfway house,” then outside to become hardened off.

Ken and Alice use their passion and decades of experience to grow happy, healthy, hardy plants that are well adapted to our extreme climate and conditions. Canyon Nursery is open to the public on Saturdays. You can find their flowers, herbs, and veggie starts at Moonflower on a seasonal basis.

We are so grateful to partner with local businesses such as Canyon Nursery, providing our community with gorgeous plants and enhancing community resilience.