A lot of people are ordering plants online this year, and although I’ll always suggest you check an independent garden center first, there are a lot of reasons to order online (from what are almost always also family-owned small businesses). But if you’re new to ordering online, it can be a little scary.
Fortunately, I’ve spent the last 15 or so years doing extensive online plant shopping research all for the purposes of writing this post. Someone has to do this hard work, you know.
The first time I ordered plants through the mail there was a catalog order form involved, so that gives you an idea of when that was. What showed up were the puniest, most pathetic little plants I’d ever seen and they stood no chance of surviving, which they didn’t. It was many more years before I dared try again.
A lot of things have changed in remote plant shopping since then. When’s the last time you saw an order form stapled into a catalog? The plants are bigger, the shipping is quicker, the packing is better and the selection of plants you can find is absolutely outstanding.
And that’s why I buy plants online. The things I’m buying usually can’t be found near me. Often I shop at specialty nurseries whose owners are an absolute wealth of knowledge and if you call in the off-season they’ll be happy to share that knowledge with you (don’t expect this level of attention if you call in March through May when they are probably working 14-hour days shipping and caring for plants).
I’m going to share my mail order experiences with you in a bit, but first, a word about what you should expect from mail order plants.
- They are likely to be smaller than you might expect. They might be shipped out of their pots, or have a smaller rootball than you’re used to seeing in nurseries. It’s all about the shipping costs. Look for information on the site about pot and plant sizes and how plants are shipped so you know exactly what you are getting. I once bought a $35 grafted ginkgo and it showed up as a 6-inch tall stick in a 2-inch by 4-inch pot. When I called to inquire, the company directed me to their pot size information and sure enough, it was all there. Lesson learned.
- The plants might be cut back before you receive them. This means that they won’t look very exciting when you see them, but it’s easier to ship them and for some plants better for the health of the plant.
- Get them out of the box as soon as you can, even if you can’t really deal with them yet. There will always be planting or care instructions in the box, so follow them. Usually you’ll want to water them and put them in a protected area out of baking sun, high wind or extreme temperatures.
- Understand the company’s warranty before you buy. Pretty much every company will guarantee that they’ll arrive in good condition, but more and more companies are eliminating guarantees. My guess is that this is because people don’t take care of a plant and then they call to complain that it didn’t live. DON’T DO THIS! You’re ruining plant guarantees for everyone. Be honest about plant guarantees when they are offered. If you did everything right and it still died, that’s when you use the warranty. Wow, bit of a sidebar there. Anyway, know what the company’s policy is before you buy.
- Shipping costs are going to make you want to throw up a little. I bet they make nurseries do the same. The fact is that shipping plants in a way that protects them requires very specific packing materials and a lot of them. Plants are also usually sent in some sort of expedited manner because they don’t love hanging out in a dark box being knocked around by 14 different drop-kick shipping specialists, so they need to get to you quickly. All that costs money.
- If it seems too good to be true (unless it’s at the end of the season) it probably is. Approach non-nursery sellers such as those you find on Etsy or eBay with extra caution.
I promised you a list and a few comments about companies I’ve ordered from, but my best tip for shopping for plants online is to check the Garden Watchdog on the Dave’s Garden website before you order. Here you can search for reviews from real customers on just about any garden-related company. If you find it useful, return the favor and leave a review there after you order so the site continues to be a great resource.
Companies with whom I’ve work before or who have sent me plants for trialing or use in my garden are marked with an asterisk. I can’t think of a case in which I’ve received plants from a company gratis that I haven’t also paid for an order from, so I have experience from the “anonymous customer” side of things as well. For the purposes of not looking like the insane middle-of-the-night online shopper that I am, I’m limiting this to plant and bulb purchases, not seeds or other gardening essentials (and they are all essentials).
Agrecol: This is a lovely native speciality nursery in Wisconsin. They specialize in growing plants for a lot of local landscapes, but they do mail order as well. A couple years ago I needed several Echinacea pallida STAT (as one does) and I gave them a shot and was really impressed with what showed up. A bit of a hidden gem for natives.
Annie’s Annuals: A longtime, well known nursery in California that offers interesting and different varieties for when you’re sick of the same old. I’ve gotten very cool plants from them including the old hairy balls plant and my favorite basil that I use for ornamental purposes, ‘Wild Magic’. Shipping is a killer but it’s worth it to get my hands on almost impossible to find plants.
2022 update: I’m disappointed to tell you that of the six ‘Wild Magic’ basil plants that I ordered from Annie’s last year, three were DOA. All of them were very wet, so I think several days in a cool, dark box with really wet soil just did them in. When I contacted them they offered me store credit only, but I would have much rather had a refund, particularly considering the cost of shipping from Annie’s. Another friend had a problem with their order as well. This is not typical of my experience with Annie’s and I think last spring many nurseries were completely overwhelmed with orders, so it won’t keep me from ordering in the future.
Arrowhead Alpines: Nice stuff. Another small nursery offering difficult-to-find plants. I was impressed in this review I wrote.
Avant Gardens: I have zero recollection of this order (I found it by searching my email notifications from years past) but I do remember the plants I got and they were great.
Bear Creek Farms: I ordered dahlias from them this year. Nothing to report year other than that they are here.
Bergen Water Gardens: I dipped my toe into the lotus-growing waters in 2021 with an order of two lotuses. The tubers I received were great and everything grew very well. They also have good information on their site (helpful for lotus beginners like myself), although their website isn’t the easiest to use. I placed another order of lotuses for 2022. Shipping costs go up tremendously if you add in pots or other bulky items so I’d advise sticking to plants and picking up the other stuff closer to home.
Bluestone Perennials: Bluestone is a big operation and they have a huge selection of plants. Look for sale opportunities or their multiple-plant discounts to make the prices more in line with what you receive. I always feel like the plants are pretty small from here, but they are in good shape. If they aren’t in good shape, they seem to have a no-hassle replacement policy. The one time I had to call they just reshipped the entire order, including plants that were in good shape. They also use coir pots, so they get bonus points for eliminating plastic where possible.
Breck’s*: I’ve gotten dahlia tubers and bulbs from them. Good selection with highly approachable prices and everything seemed great when I received it.
Broken Arrow Nursery: I ordered my rare Aralia elata ‘Silver Umbrella’ from here and damn, it’s good. Another plant I got at the same time was a disappointment, but I should have read the size information more thoroughly.
2022 update: I haven’t seen Broken Arrow carry ‘Silver Umbrella’ for several years now but they have lots of plants you probably won’t find elsewhere.
Brushwood Nursery: I buy almost all my clematis (five this year alone) from this clematis specialist nursery. They ship big one-gallon size plants that are mature and full of roots. Order early because they sell out quickly. Free shipping on a one-gallon plant, but honestly I think the free shipping is just because makes the math easier in the end. You will pay more for a clematis here than you will in a local garden center, and it’s worth every penny.
2022 update: Brushwood is the only place I shop for clematis these days. Their plants are completely different from what I’ve received from any other source. Prices have gone up a touch (mostly to accommodate higher shipping fees and still offer “free” shipping) and I still think it’s worth every penny.
Classic Viburnums: Sick of the same old viburnums? Call this family-owned nursery and then just tell Gary where you live, what you’re looking for and then buy what he suggests. I learned more about viburnums in a phone call with him than I knew from growing them for years. You’ll have to call or email to place an order and you’ll be better for it. (Here’s a post I wrote about it.)
Dancing Oaks: Everything I got was healthy and great. They offered some more unusual varieties, which is always nice.
David Austin Roses: Because I’m a glutton for punishment, I order bare root roses almost every year. I am so impressed with them. They also have a 5-year guarantee, which I’ve used once. You won’t get a replacement plant until the following year, but they are fair about it and I appreciate that. These bare roots grow better for me the first year than any potted roses I’ve ever gotten, via mail or locally.
Digging Dog: Another nursery to find unusual plants and that’s why I go to them. Their website is not fancy, but they know their stuff. I’ve had problems in the past with plants not being available when they go to ship, but it’s a small operation so I get how this happens. The only thing I didn’t love was that when they had to split my order into two shipments I had either pay shipping twice or hold the entire order until everything was ready a few weeks later.
Eden Brothers: I’ve only ordered dahlia tubers from here. Twice I was sent the wrong tuber (which you discover in the middle of summer when it’s far too late to do much about), and I didn’t have the greatest customer service experience when I called to rectify the situation. But what I received were healthy and grew well and the prices were good.
2022 update: I ordered several tubers from them again last year and all were a disappointment. I guess I have to learn my lesson every few years. There are so many good dahlia tuber sources out there these days, that I probably won’t use Eden Bros. again for those.
Forest Farm: This is another order I don’t remember, but I apparently ordered Viburnum plicatum toment. ‘Shoshoni’ and there is no way that plant is in my garden anymore.
Garden Crossings: A good selection of Proven Winners and other varieties, annuals, perennials and shrubs. If you are really hot for a new Proven Winners release this is one of the only places you’ll find it before it has wider release. Impeccable packing, good size on the plants if you order the large size. I order from them at least once a year. (Here’s a post I wrote about one order).
Geraniaceaa: I ordered this year when I just HAD to have a couple of geraniums I was looking for. It was an interesting experience. They don’t charge you before they ship. Instead the include an invoice and you pay when you get the plants. I sort of love that approach. Neat plants and literally the only place I could find the one I was really looking for.
2022 update: I ordered from them again last year and it was an even better experience than my first order. Highly recommended.
Graceful Gardens: It’s been a number of years since I’ve ordered from here, but I had to look it up to share a delphinium source with someone today. Plants are small but you buy by the flat and things do really well from the get-go. A good way to get a cottage garden look on a budget.
Heirloom Roses: I ordered a potted David Austin rose from them one year when one of my DA’s kicked the bucket and I had a hole I had to fill quickly. The plant was very pricey and much smaller than the bare roots I get from David Austin directly, but it was healthy and still going strong in my garden. I hear great things about them among rose lovers.
Joy Creek Nursery: Good plants, both unusual and easy-to-find. I got large, mature (dividable) perennials from them when I ordered, but the clematis I ordered from here was pretty skimpy (and also priced appropriately). Here’s a post on an order.
2022 update: I’m very sad to say that Joy Creek closed last year.
Jung Seed*: I’ve gotten excellent bare root plants from here. So long as you’re ready to go with planting them when they arrive, they grow well. I found excellent currants here a couple years ago and they are fabulous. Good size on everything.
2022 update: Jung has become one of my go-to sources for seeds, but also plants. Onion starts I got from them last year were excellent, and a bareroot pear I ordered was one of the best trees I’ve ever received via mail order.
Logee’s: The place to go for cool houseplants and tropicals. Plants are not huge, but super healthy and they carry things you will not find elsewhere.
Longfield Gardens*: My go-to for dahlias and bulbs. Really good prices, and most things are packaged in nice quantities. Order early so you don’t miss your favorites. They also have unusual plants (like Eucomis) that can be difficult to find. Their amaryllis selection and quality is second to none and their fall-planted bulbs are reasonably priced and offered in some nice collections.
Plant Delights: The only problem with the famous Plant Delights is that you are going to want everything. Owner Tony Avent is an esteemed nurseryman who offers plants you truly will never get anywhere else. Shop for unusual things here and pick up the more common plants somewhere else. You will become a better gardener just by reading the catalog. Tony’s descriptions are full of amazing information, including less savory bits. There’s no glossing over a plant’s faults here. I love that. Their plants are not large, but they are incredibly healthy. I can’t resist placing an annual order.
Pond Megastore: This one didn’t go well. They got my zone wrong on my order, shipped my plants a month before I could do anything with them. The plants were just not wonderful to begin with and trying to hold them in a warm place for a month didn’t make the situation better. Full disclosure, this was my very first foray into water plants so I’m sure that didn’t help. I also didn’t contact them after the mistake, so they were never given an opportunity to correct the mistake.
Rarefind Nursery: I had a great experience here several years ago. I ordered a ‘Venus’ dogwood when it was first on the market and impossible to find here. I spoke with them on the phone and they were able to figure out a way to ship me a pretty large tree. The tree lived for many years until the polar vortex pushed it too far.
Romence Gardens: A good place to pick hard-to-find Proven Winners plants at a better price than almost any other online nursery. I got beautiful, big plants last year from them.
Santa Rosa Gardens: I ordered from them back in 2014. I don’t really remember much about it, but I think it all went well.
Select Seeds: Ordered plants for the first time this year. I’ll update after I receive plants.
2022 update: The plants I got were small (3-inch pots) but healthy and did well. Since they are a great source for hard-to-find things, it’s great that they are offering some things as plants.
Silver Star Vinery: I used to buy clematis from this one-woman show specialist nursery, but I think Deb is starting to wind the business down because she seems to have a lot smaller selection than she once did. On several occasions early in my clematis addiction I spoke with her on the phone for recommendations and she was extraordinarily helpful and kind.
2022 update: Last year it looked like they had very few offerings and now it appears that the website no longer works, so I think sadly this is another nursery that has met its end.
Song Sparrow: This nursery, which was owned by Roy Klehm (great peony breeder among other accolades), is now under new ownership. I haven’t ordered since Klehm owned it, but the plants were top notch. I have a tree peony and a small Japanese maple that I got on a late-summer sale from there and they are both still outstanding in my garden. I have also ordered very spendy tree peonies as gifts and they’ve been great. UPDATED January, 2021: I believe Song Sparrow has gone out of business.
Stonehouse Dahlias: This place sells rooted dahlia cuttings, not tubers. The benefit to this is that they can offer varieties that are so new that there isn’t a big enough tuber quantity available to sell them that way. So you can get your hands on the latest and greatest. The cuttings grew very well in 2021 but sadly only one of the very expensive ($25) cuttings produced savable tubers. I was considering those cuttings investments and then planning on saving tubers but alas it was not to be. That could be grower error, or something that can happen when growing from cuttings, so I’m not placing blame. I ordered from them again for 2022.
Swan Island Dahlias: Amazing selection of dahlias, but quite spendy. This is where you’re likely to find varieties you can’t find elsewhere they do send bonus tubers on medium to large orders, which is quite fun.
Triple Wren Farms: I ordered dahlia tubers from here for the first time this year. The tubers looked great and sprouted nicely. That’s all I have to report so far.
2022 update: A great source for unusual dahlias. They sell out very quickly so it’s best to sign up for their email notifications and set a calendar notification for their sales. I had a problem ordering this year and my order got a late shipping date on it. I wrote to them about it to see if it could be rectified and haven’t received a response. This is not a criticism; they are a very small operation and they were swamped with orders. It’s just note and I think something you just have to be OK with rolling with when you order from smaller companies.
White Flower Farm: This company is one of the mail order nurseries that has been doing it for a LONG time. Last year I ordered a hard-to-find ‘Haas Halo’ hydrangea and I was impressed with the plant they sent. It was big and in great shape. Pricey, but hey, that’s plant shopping for you. I also ordered a pot that was great with reasonable shipping. Dahlia tubers I ordered were another story … of the two I got, neither grew. A plant friend who visits the nursery in person says they put a lot of care into their plant selection and growing.
Whitman Farms: This is my absolute favorite place to buy trees online because I simply adore Lucille Whitman, who runs the show. She’s not much for the internet (her nephew helps a bit with the website), but the best way to place your order is call Lucille and leave a message. She’ll call you back when she’s out of the field and she’ll tell you exactly what the tree you order is going to look like and she’ll also tell you if there’s something you should probably be buying instead. This woman is a gem and you should do yourself the favor of ordering something from her. I’ve ordered several trees from her including the Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’ that steals the show in my garden fall and the ‘Autumn Moon’ maple I ordered a couple years ago.
I’m certain I’ve missed a few places that I’ve ordered from and I’ll try to go back and update this post as I remember more or order from new places.
I hope this helps a bit as you contemplate online plant shopping. Just remember: You’ll never receive plants via mail that look the same as plants you buy locally, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t great plants.
I love Longfield. I found them through you and have been ordering Dahlias and some fall bulbs from them for several years now. Great experience.
Same! My dahlia tubers from them are always productive and beautiful.
I’ve used Longfield too. And I also find Bluestone Perennials to be good – and their customer service is great. One of the best no-frills online garden centers is Gilbert Wild. Again, it’s no-frills – most plants are field dug and trimmed for shipping and wrapped in newspaper or packing material. But their stock is amazingly healthy and hardy. I’ve gotten 3 fan daylilies, potted hosta, bare root perennial geranium, and allium bulbs from them and they all thrived. My neighbor was appalled that freshly dug and trimmed daylilies from a shipping box would grow. She’s the type that leaves her plants in their original containers and rarely plants them in the earth. She never knew what real daylily rhizomes and roots looked like. Anyway, real gardeners realize that it doesn’t matter what the plant looks like going into the ground, it matters that they are from healthy stock. I’d rather get a 2 or 3 year old daylilies rhizome dug from a field than a scrawny no-name daylily in a pretty pot from a local garden center. She’s amazed that I have divided my my original daylilies twice and have a gardenful now! And the perennial geranium have spread to surround the base of them.
I wanted to start a hosta garden, but did not want to pay high prices for them. I ordered 15 or so hostas from Gilbert H Wild. They were small when they arrived (and packed very well). This is now their 3rd season, and they look amazing! I would highly recommend if you are on a gardening budget (what’s that??!!).
Longfield is great. They have white eranthus, which I could never find.
Thank you for taking the time to gather this information and sharing. I appreciate it. ?
What a fantastic list, thank you! There are some that I’d never heard of so I’ll have to give them a try. But drat, you given away Longfield Gardens! Glad I’ve already put my fall order in.
Not sure if you like coleus, but I tried a specialty mail order coleus nursery called Rosy Dawn Nursery this spring. I was amazed at the selection they have and extremely pleased with the quality of the 4 different varieties I ordered. I will definitely use them again as it’s very difficult to find trailing coleus in my local nurseries.
I had a good experience with Rosy Dawn, too. I ordered for the same reason you did, the trailing coleus selection.
I will be checking many of these for sure! I hope you’re happy with Triple Wren Farms… they are literally 3 miles from my house. Went to their Dahlia Festival last year and added to my large dahlia collection after seeing so many in person. Last year my Pennhill Watermelon from them was amazing! Thanks for what you do!
WOW! Excellent post. I’m saving this in a couple of places… (because, well… I figure if I save it in two places chances are I’ll find it quicker at midnight when I’m frantically needing to order a TREE or something!) Thank you so much.
Thank you for all this information. We bought a very old, but beautiful home last year and it needs so much work outside. I can’t wait to start getting my hands into the earth, but first a plan of action.
Yay, fun post. I’m excited to see Select Seeds and Bluestone featured…. both excellent seed and plant quality in previous orders and both companies are prioritizing environmentally friendly plant and order packaging which is important to me. I also highly recommend Morning Sky Greenery, Lupine Gardens and Prairie Moon Nursery for Midwest natives plus High Country Gardens for a focus on great plants that need less water and Broken Arrow Nursery for really cool species with some North American natives.
Useful list, many of which are new to me. For native plants, I would also add Prairie Moon in Minnesota.
Oh my gosh! Thank you for taking the time sharing this list . I will save this info! ?????
Thanks so much for the list! There are a lot of companies that are new to me so I’ll have to peruse them. Yay, more plants!!! 🙂
I’ve bought from Bluestone Perennials and they really take the time to pack the plants carefully. They are a great source for chrysanthemums!
I’ve also bought many plants from White Flower Farm. They are a big operation as well but their customer service is outstanding. I have had great luck with anything I’ve bought there. Currently, I’m waiting for some heleniums to arrive that I can’t find locally. Shipping is delayed (understandably right now) but I know they will arrive in perfect condition!
Now I have to remember to NEVER delete this post. I was very slack and ordered nothing this year except a sassafras tree…don’t yet know if it will live.
thank you Erin!!!! thank you to others who took the time to post reviews. money spent!
This is a great post. Do you ever sleep? Or are you just ordering plants.
Thank you for all the info..I ordered for the first time from a catalog I received in the mail-Burpees.. I am very disappointed in the plants-herbs actually! Lost 3 of the Basil,1 Rosemary, a new little Marigold for use with herbs and 1 Oregano.. I ordered simply because they advertised herbs I had not found anywhere else, but I am very
unhappy with them all ..I notified the company but have not heard back yet and there is supposedly a 120 days to let them know…oh, well we all learn something new all the time..again thank you for all you gave us..
I’ve never had a bad experience with Bluestone, and I love the half price sales they run on select plants. Their plants always arrive in great condition although they are small. I ordered several plants from Select Seeds this year and was pleased. The plants are very small. Plants I ordered from Burpees were not well packed and arrived in terrible shape, they have not responded to my complaint. I have ordered plants several times from Park Seed and they were healthy plants and well packed. I have seen terrible reviews on Hirts, but have ordered from both their Amazon and Etsy stores and had good luck. I ordered supertunias through the Proven Winners Amazon store last month and got free shipping.
Prairie Nursery was fantastic. My order seemed to have been nuked in transplant, and they were pathetic dead things when they showed up to my door. Very well-packed dead things, but dead. they reshipped and every single plant was green and happy. Furthermore, they all came back this year. I would definitely order from them again.
Plants of the Wild is another great nursery specializing in natives. Funky packaging, but it worked well and everything survived.
Raintree Nursery should be avoided like the plague. Never. Ever. Again.
Perfect timing! I was just having a long conversation with an old friend about suggestions for a long border she has, and she was asking me recommendations on where to buy plants. I gave her some of the same advice, but I was also able to forward this to her. Just perfect. One bit of advice I gave her was to not mail order plants that she could put into her car (locally). Other than that, the sky is the limit. Maybe someone mentioned it – but I have also heard good things about Mr. Maple, a mail order maple tree company. I don’t have any personal experience with them, but a friend also in the industry did, and was quite happy with her order. Thanks!
Love that you shared this information with us. This was extremely helpful and I will be keeping your list so I can reference it. I was just thinking, I sure wish I knew something about where I could order plants. This came at the perfect time. Thank you VERY much!!!
I think that plant below Joy Creek is Primula kisoana. You have ordered from way more sites than me and I thought I did a lot. What geranium did you get. I got a few from her with mixed luck. Tiny plants that kept being dug out bun critters. Rabbits are currently eating one of the few of hers I still have.
Thanks for this insightful post – it’s nice to get the low down from someone who knows! I’ve gotten beautiful plants/bulbs from Jung and Brecks.
Excellent Thanks so much!
Thanks so much for posting the list and for providing the links too. That’s so helpful!
Classic Viburnums is a gem! I needed to find arrowwood viburnum varities that had compatible bloom times with two that I already had. Try explaining that to a lot of sellers. Good luck. Gary was incredibly helpful and the plants he shipped were beautiful and extremely well packaged. They arrived in great shape and took off. Now I have scads of berries for “my” catbirds every summer so we’re all happy. I had to stop looking at their plant list because I just don’t have space…
what a nice blog spot
What a lovely blog spot
I’m fortunate to live a one hour drive from Annie’s Annuals in Richmond CA. A must do trip every year for me. Sooooo many things to see, touch and buy! Even during this difficult year their display tables were well stocked. Writing from Napa Valley, CA, yes currently known as “wildfire country”.
Great and very informative post. Plants By Mail is another resource to order from. Beautiful plants, packaged well, low shipping cost, and great customer service.
I’d appreciate any recommendations for a mail order source for ornamental grasses
This is such a useful list but sadly no use to me in the UK (I’m assuming most apart from David Austin) don’t ship tomUK. Do you, by any chance, know where there’s a similar list for UK? Or maybe for Europe though I think many Europ an nurseries won’t ship to us now since Brexit.
I cannot agree with Erin’s recommendation of Plant Delights. The plants I received from them arrived in terrible shape with potting medium spilled everywhere. The worst thing about this nursery is its practice of bait and switch. I ordered two hard to find double bloodroots. I received plants that bloomed as the common everyday easily found for much cheaper single bloodroot. A costly lesson for me as the company’s customer service is nonexistent. I do not recommend purchasing plants from this company. They do produce a nice catalog with pretty pictures of plants that don’t look like the ones you receive, and pay top dollar for.
I can attest to how wonderful Classic Viburnums is. I needed to find a couple “Little Joe” plants to be pollinators for an existing plant that I inherited. They were so helpful. I’ve ordered from Great Garden Plants and High Country Gardens with great success as well.
I totally concur with this!! I also ordered two Little Joe viburnums from Classic Viburnums. Gary was SO helpful and it was a great experience.
Thank you so much for this list and sharing your experiences. I’m a fan of Longfield as well, and I’m trying Brushwood for the first time this year – thanks for the introduction! As an Ohioan, I appreciate the praise for Bluestone. I’ve ordered from them several times over the years and never been disappointed.
I’ve done a fair amount of online shopping and think a well packaged healthy plant is worth every penny of the shipping costs. My favorites are Garden Crossings, Bluestone Perennials, Longfield, Brecks and Eden Brothers. I’m totally going to check out Brushwood and some of the others. What a great comprehensive list to reference. Thanks for doing so much to help the rest of us!
I find Bluestone Perennials very kind people but VERY pricey for what you get. Perhaps they should knock their marketing materials budget down a bit because they always have so many glossy cards and printed materials, none of which I truly need.
I adore Longfield Gardens, excellent bulbs to be had from them.
Springhill Nurseries is ok but they seem to nickel and dime you a bit. Also very pricey but some deals to be had.
I will not count out a good ole fashioned Home Depot order. I have purchased many shrubs and trees and all have been excellent. You need to watch for a good brand on there – some of the best are Southern Living Plant Collection, First Editions, Daylily Nurseries, Flowerwood Nurseries, and also Brighter Blooms (possibly affiliated with FastGrowing Trees.com.) Stay away from Online Orchards at Home Depot. They are no good.
I adore US Perennials out of Bloomington Indiana. Very kind and excellent service.
FastGrowing Trees is fairly good. 6/10 for me. Decent and healthy shrubs and trees. They are cheapskates though and when a magnolia tree I received was a mess and rotted through its burlap I had to pull teeth for them to make it right. Very bad impression there. But all of my foundation plants from them besides the magnolia were good and still thriving.
I no longer trust American Meadows, too expensive, too small, not good stock from them.
Thanks for the very informative article. Since you are such a Clematis fan, it would be fun to see a video sometime of the various Clematises that you have in your garden and why you chose those over others.
Hi Erin, I am looking for an aralia elata or silver umbrella. Where did you get yours?