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SHOPPING FOR “SPECIAL” PLANTS

Anne K Moore
Photographs Anne K Moore

If you have been a gardener for awhile, you probably have heard about Burpee, Park Seed, & Wayside Gardens. There are a few more, lesser known companies that have been around for years. Maybe you haven’t heard about these specialty catalogs; the places you can find the unusual, the heirloom, the native, that perfect plant that will fill out your flower border or bring oohs! and ahhhs! from your gardening buddies.

Here is a list of a few of my favorite catalogs (I probably have missed some) and their contact information:

GARDEN PLANTS
Woodlander’s Nursery specializes in rare native and exotic plants. www.woodlanders.net Co-owner Bob McCartney wrote about our native Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) for a GardenSmart E-newsletter. Look for another article by Bob in January’s E-newsletter. Woodlander’s Nursery is open by appointment only, (803) 648-7522.

Klehm’s Song Sparrow Farm and Nursery area of expertise is unusual and specialty plants. Their catalogs feature bright and bold photographs, a banquet of luscious colors. They have a large selection of tree peonies and hostas. There are more selections online than in the print catalog. www.songsparrow.com  (800) 553-3715.

Plant Delights Nursery, Inc. at Juniper Level Botanic Gardens. The cover of this catalog, sometimes controversial, is highly anticipated every year. The listings inside are a hoot to read. On their ordering information page (who reads ordering information for fun?) “Advisory: if you have already run your credit cards up to the limit, we suggest that you get a higher credit limit before reading through this catalog.”  www.plantdelights.com  (919) 772-4794.

GARDEN SUPPLIES
Gardens Alive has been around for a long time. It is a good go-to guide for pest control. Their online insect and disease guide will help you tell the good guys from the bad. They specialize in environmentally friendly products. The catalog is here http://www.gardensalive.com/ or request a print catalog (513) 354-1482.

Gardener’s Supply Company stocks all of the things to make your gardening easier and more fun, from seed starting supplies to decorated wellies and bright garden clogs. It’s a small catalog packed with goodies. www.gardeners.com  (800) 876-5520.

BULBS
LushLife Nurseries is a small family business run by Jenks Farmer. They concentrate mainly on Crinum Lilies. You can contact them at 803-386-1866.

For good, healthy bulbs, both spring and fall blooming, shipped quickly you cannot beat Brent and Becky’s Bulbs. I have been buying from them for years. www.brentandbeckysbulbs.com  (877) 661-2852.

SEEDS
Wildseed Farms sends out a fabulous wildflower reference guide incorporated into their seed catalog. Each entry shows a picture of the seedling so you know it from its weedy neighbors. This company is also a favorite of many state highway departments. www.wildseedfarms.com  800-848-0078.

Every year, Renee’s Garden sends out a listing allowing us garden writers to choose some free seeds from her catalog. The seeds perform well enough and the seed packets are pure art. www.reneesgarden.com  (888) 880-7228.

Speaking of beautiful, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds consistently sends out a mouth-watering catalog full of delicious looking vegetables and lovely flowers, some shown in full page photographs. Who knew squash or cabbage could look so enticing? www.rareseeds.com  (417) 924-8917.

Although Heavenly Seed, is a fairly new resource for heirloom vegetable seeds, plants, and flowers, owner Mike Watkins has been in the seed business for forty years. www.heavenlyseed.net  (864) 209-8283.

Last, we come to the gardener’s first choice in vegetables… Tomatoes. Tomato Growers Supply Company has every tomato you could possibly want to try growing. Many peppers and a few eggplants round out the offerings in this catalog. www.tomatogrowers.com   (888) 478-7333.

And, don’t forget to visit GardenSmart’s sponsor The Suntory Collection for information on the many selections of annuals. The January GardenSmart E-newsletter will have an article on Million Bells (Calibrachoa) which were developed by Suntory.


Posted January 4, 2013


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