SOURCE: W. Atlee Burpee & Co.

June 20, 2012 17:30 ET

Port Gamble S'klallam Tribe Buys Heronswood Gardens and Nursery

WARMINSTER, PA--(Marketwire - Jun 20, 2012) - The assets of Heronswood Gardens and Heronswood Nursery were sold to the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe, the Native American Tribe that has its ancestral land on the location of the Garden's 15 acres on the Kitsap Peninsula, in Kingston, Washington.

In a statement released by George Ball, Chairman, W. Atlee Burpee & Co., which has owned Heronswood for the past 12 years, Mr. Ball expressed his gratitude that both the Gardens and Nursery were purchased by Port Gamble S'Klallam. "We couldn't be more pleased with our association with the new owners," he said, "and we are especially delighted by their commitment to preserve this national treasure.

"The Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe," Mr. Ball noted, "has agreed both to preserve the historic gardens, and to use the facilities to educate their members, as well as the public, about native plants. We hope to assist it in carrying out its mission," Mr. Ball added, "with support from the Burpee Foundation, since it is entirely consistent with the work we are currently involved in throughout the nation."

The Heronswood Nursery, including all its direct-marketing assets such as the website, picture catalogues and trademarks were included in the sale. "Our rare and unusual perennial business will continue under the Burpee brand, as it has for 136 years," Mr. Ball said. "We have reached an agreement that we have exclusive rights to use our past Heronswood varieties and collections, along with their names. There is no present or potential conflict of interest in this sale."

The sale resulted from a sealed-bid auction conducted by Sheldon Good & Company, which was completed on June 15, 2012.

"The Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe had been discussing the possibility of purchasing the property for several years," Mr. Ball said. "I am very happy that both the gardens and nursery are in such good hands, since our interests mesh with theirs."

The Burpee Foundation was chartered to provide horticultural education to the public and, in particular, youth and children. "The Tribe intends to do both," Mr. Ball noted, "and we shall help them."

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