Sunday, February 15, 2009

Buying Plants

Yesterday someone asked me, as someone with a huge garden just full of things, if I buy many new plants. Obsession is obsession and having enough doesn't mean you don't need more. Yes, we buy lots of plants, both to expand things, replace things that don't quite work and things which have died. There is also a fair share of things we just want and have no idea where they're going to go when we order them, though I've gotten a little better about that category in recent years. Hank, unfortunately has not, so we end up with a few potted things to water for awhile each year while we decide on homes for them in an already packed full garden.
The next question was just where we get things. Other than rescuing things from Lowe's, and buying from our local Athens County nurseries, there are a few places that we regularly order from almost every year - some get several orders a year. Despite the fact that I will probably leave someone out, here is an attempt at a list of places I shop.
For perennials:
Plant Delights Nursery Although in recent years they have tended towards more zone 7 plants, there are always some things I find that are new and different. That does get harder as you get more plants. I can sometimes go through a kind of generic catalog and find that I have everything listed.
For hostas:
Naylor Creek Nursery The listing is huge and the prices quite reasonable and if you order early, there is always a deal on cheaper or free shipping. Lots of things in their listing that you won't find at other nurseries since they seem to be introducing for a lot of small hybridizers.
For unusual things:
Asiatica Nursery There are also a lot of non-hardy things here like a huge collection of Aspidistras, but you'll find lots of Arisaemas and Asarums and terrestrial orchids on the site.
For daylilies:
Ashwood Gardens This one also comes under the category of local nurseries since Richard's garden is only about 15-20 miles from here, but I wanted to list it anyway since he has some really nice stuff - quite different from what is generally available. I especially like his lines that originally came out of 'Lights of Detroit', an older cultivar with a really flat face. He has a new pink and white one this year that I'll have to save some money for.
Heavenly Gardens Jamie Gossard is creating wonderful flowers right here in Ohio. If you like unusual things, unlike those mass produced things you often see that look like everything else, this is the place to go. Not cheap since he only sells his own introductions, but good, hardy plants that do well in the garden.
I have stayed away from southern bred plants in recent years because although some do well, the northern ones just do better.
General little bit of everything:
Forest Farm Nursery If you could only buy from one nursery each year, this would be the place to go. They have trees and shrubs, perennials, vines, ferns - a little bit of everything and at really good prices. Buy things in tubes and save a lot on shipping. Do go thinking that things in tubes are going to be tiny - that couldn't be farther from the truth. If they're not already big, they get that way fast once they arrive. We've been ordering from them for many years and always are pleased with their plants. This is probably the place we order from the most, often 4 orders a year. Their catalog is probably an inch thick, small print (no pictures) and will keep you busy reading for quite a long time.
I know there are more, some we order from occasionally and some more often, but off the top of my head, these are the ones we always order from. Hope you enjoy their websites.

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