Garden Variety

The Market at Grelen offers much more than landscaping services.

A table setting for an event inside the Market at Grelen’s Orchard Overlook Tent.

Photo courtesy of the Market at Grelen

Driving into the Market at Grelen parking area, guests see rolling orchards and rows of blueberry bushes criss-crossed by walking paths. (The property has five miles of trails linked to the Montpelier Trail System.) The market itself is a European-style garden shop housed in a renovated farmhouse flanked by bluestone pavers and lined with a dream collection of seasonal foliage. 

“We wanted to create a warm and welcoming environment that celebrates open space, agriculture, cuisine, creativity, and design,” says CEO and creative director Leslie Gregg, who opened the Market and the Casual Café with her husband, Dan, and Grelen’s landscape manager, Zeke Galvin, in 2013. “I’m all about eye candy, so when I’m stocking the store, I like to mix a varietyof styles that will surprise guests.”

In spring, flowers abound; in fall, pumpkins of every shape and size are ripe for choosing. Visitors can mull over which plants are destined for their home-scape or design their own moss terrariums in the shade garden, all while sipping freshly brewed coffee or tea, or indulging in homemade ice cream in tempting flavors like key lime pie. 

The café offers a daily menu of farm-to-table nibbles, such as the adult grilled cheese panini (hello, prosciutto!) and the power salad loaded with farro, edamame, pepitas, tarragon pesto, and goat cheese. Wine, cider, and beer selections are all sourced locally from Virginia, and private, customized tastings may be scheduled in advance with the resident wine expert and concierge director, Emmie Woody.

If you want to stay the weekend, there are two guesthouses available to rent nearby. Last year, Gregg opened a second retail shop in downtown Orange. Nestled on Main Street amidst an array of antique shops, Grelen Downtown features a curated selection of gifts, from artwork to chic baby booties. TheMarketAtGrelen.com


This article originally appeared in our April 2019 issue. 

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