Monday, September 29, 2014

Local and Specialist Nurseries: My Favorite Places to Shop

When it comes to buying plants, I really value the specialists. They truly love the plants they work with. They strive to give them an excellent growing environment. They love to educate their customers so that the plants they sell continue to thrive in their new gardens.
I am blessed to have several tropical nurseries in the area, and one, my favorite, grows and sells only native plants. I'm happy to drive for an hour to stock up at such a nursery. The prices are usually a very good value for the high quality you get.  And if you have any follow-up questions or concerns, you can just call the nursery; they are nearly always extremely helpful.

Access seems to be the only downside to buying plants from the specialists. Not everyone has several special nurseries in their area. I know of some gardeners who make annual treks to far-flung nurseries to stock up on their favorite plants. However, online sales sites are becoming more common, and that will get a separate post. What I particularly love is that I can often find unusual plants from the specialists, such as this Rue, and Patchouli:
No Big Box Store is ever going to sell these guys! For those of us who like to learn everything we can about a particular group of plants (say, medicinals, or mesembs), specialists are our gurus. They don't have an easy time these days, as small businesses are under pressure just about everywhere, but they have their customers' eternal gratitude.

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