Mail Order Nurseries

Listed here are articles from previous newsletters on some of the mail order nurseries from whom I have ordered plants. If you would like to learn more about one of these nurseries, please click on its link shown below.

Plant Delights         Gossler Nursery       Forest Farm
    J.W. Jung Seed Co.
High Country Gardens

Plant Delights Nursery, Inc

Last fall I enjoyed listening to Tony Avent of Plant Delights Nursery, Inc. talk about the plants he sells and about his special style of landscaping which is planting in "drifts of one". Even though this method is usually frowned upon, for him it works very well as shown by the many slides of his gardens at his home and nursery. Actually, he prefers to plant mostly perennials with a few small evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs as accents.

Tony likes variegated plants so his catalog is chock full of them. This nursery is on the list of the nurseries that Chanticleer Garden recommends for buying the many unusual plants they use in their own garden. The nursery also specializes in aroids, epimediums, asarums, and hostas.

Physostegia virginia 'Miss Manners' is available from Plant Delights NurseryThe catalog is a concise encyclopedia with a lead-in paragraph on the genus (such as Buddleia) and then separate listings for each cultivar carried. Culture information is given as well as suggestions for use. What more could you want from a catalog! Actually this catalog is two catalogs: a spring catalog and a fall supplement.

The catalog is now available on the web at The online catalog has lots to offer. It provides a search capability that allows searching for plants that fit specific requirements such as fragrant plants or variegated plants. Complex searches are allowed too. You can order online as well.

There are links to the American Conifer Society and the American Hosta Society as well as to the J C Raulston Arboretum in North Carolina.

If you like to plant unusual plants or just want to learn about them, this is definitely one of the catalogs to have.

Plant Delights Nursery, Inc.
9241 Sauls Road
Raleigh, NC 27603
Phone 919-772-4794
Fax 919-662-0370

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Gossler Nursery

At one of the Horticultural Society of Maryland meetings early last year I picked up a copy of Gossler Farms Nursery's catalog. Disanthus cercidiphyllis is available from Gossler NurseryIt turned out to be a real find. Gossler's has nice selections of Hamamelis (witchhazels), Hydrangea, Magnolia (4 pages), and Viburnum. It is the catalog to use if you're looking for something different or rare. Some of the rare or unusual plants listed are:

  • Acer tegmentosum 'White Tigress' (striped-bark maple) has white and green vertical stripes on the bark - 2 gallon container for $25.00.
  • Cercidiphyllum magnificum 'Pendula' (Weeping Katsura Tree) has golden yellow- pink fall color - 2 gallon for $35.00.
  • Cytisus Battandieri (pineapple broom) comes from Morocco. I first saw this plant at Chanticleer where it has been hardy for several years now. It's gorgeous in bloom with scented yellow flowers - 2 gallon for $20.00.
  • Disanthus cercidifolius (no common name) is growing at Chanticleer and has lovely purple, red, orange fall color. Disanthus is one of Michael Dirr's favorite plants - 1 gallon for $22.00.
  • Heptacodium micinoides (seven sons tree) grows near the kitchen door at Ladew Topiary Gardens and is stunning with its white bark - 1 gallon for $10.00.
  • Parrotia persica 'Vanessa' (Persian ironwood) is a narrow-growing Parrotia that fits much better into smaller sites than the species - 1 gallon for $22.50.

The nursery also carries some perennials (including phormiums) but I feel that their forte is woody plants.

I purchased a few plants last spring and was pleased with the packing and shipping. Since the nursery is located in Oregon, I was concerned that the shipping fees would be too high, but they were equal to or less than shipping fees charged by other nurseries.

As the nursery is located in Springfield, Oregon, and as hardiness zones are not always noted, be careful to make sure that any plants chosen for purchase are hardy in our area.

If you're interested in something new and different or a special Magnolia, this is the nursery to contact. They don't have a website (not even email), and it's a small nursery so when you call them, you'll usually talk to one of the owners Eric, Roger, or Marj Gossler.

Gossler Farms Nursery
1200 Weaver Road
Springfield, Oregon 97478-9691
Phone 541-746-3922

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Forest Farm

We've been getting the Forest Farm catalog for several years now. Actually, it's not just a catalog but a concise encyclopedia of plants. It comes in two sections: spring and fall. Because their "ordering information" is a little confusing to me, I always hesitated ordering from the catalog even though there must be at least a hundred plants in it that I want to purchase and try in my own garden. Unless a plant is very common, I really prefer to study a plant first-hand before suggesting it to someone else rather than taking other's suggestions in magazine articles or catalogs.

This past spring as I was surfing the internet late one night, I just happened to come across Forest Farm's internet site. I thought I'd take a look and it didn't take long for me to find four plants in their "tube" size that I just had to have. Actually, ordering by phone or the internet is probably the way to go because of their confusing instructions. I was surprised how fast the plants were delivered to me even though the nursery is in Williams, Oregon. The plants were in perfect condition too.

Forest Farm ships "tubes' and one gallon sizes. They also carry larger sizes for pickup at their nursery. The tubes have better root systems than "liners". I found the tube size adequate for spring planting. They don't recommend tubes for fall planting.

The listings are broken down by the type of plant, such as trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, grasses, sedges, and fruit-bearing plants. As they do sell plants that are not hardy in our hardiness zone, gardeners must be careful to check the hardiness zone for each plant before ordering.

To give you an idea of the scope of the catalog, they sell 57 different dogwood species and cultivars. This includes the shrub dogwoods as well as trees. Here's the listing for one dogwood:

Cornus kousa ‘Snowboy' - Variegated Chinese Dogwood - deciduous plant - hardy to zone 5 - useful as a cut flower. A showy, bright border of creamy-white along with occasional splashes of yellow make this small (to 15 feet) tree attractive all season, even after its many white ‘flowers' has passed. Cultural Requirements: Sun to part shade and medium soil. Available in tubes at $17.95 each." I happened to see ‘Snowboy' at the J.C. Raulston Arboretum in North Carolina several years ago and I thought it was a knockout then. The description is accurate and this is a plant I definitely would like to purchase in the future.

The catalog price is $4.00. The spring 2000 catalog has 520 pages and I use it as a quick reference. No pictures are included.

I was impressed with the shipping and the quality of the tube plants and I definitely recommend this mail order nursery to other gardeners looking for something different to light up their gardens.

Forest Farm
990 Tetherow Road
Williams, Oregon 97544-9599
Phone: 541-846-7269
Fax: 541-846-6963

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J.W. Jung Seed Company

I've been getting this catalog for some time but always threw it out because it says "seed" in its name and I'm no longer interested in starting plants from seeds. One year, though, I thought I'd take a look through it to see what it offered. I liked what I saw. Besides pages of vegetable and flower seeds and accessories, this company sells perennials, trees, shrubs, and vines. The plants are bareroot. The perennials are small but the woody plants are of a good size. So, if you're looking for "woodies", take a look at their listings before buying from more expensive catalogs.

I've been perusing the catalog for some years now and I notice that the "woody" plants don't change much, but I usually find one or two plants that I want to buy. Since they are located in the midwest they have a nice selection of tough plants including lilacs. They have Fairytale™ Lilacs such as Tinkerbelle™ and Sugar Plum Fairy™. They're smaller growing lilacs rounding out to about six feet high and wide.

The catalog also has lots of roses including "Own Root" roses which they say is an advantage in their cold climate.

In vines, they have 11 cultivars of clematis including the new Piilu™ which starts out as a pink double and then the later flowers are single. They sell two-year old plants for between $9 to $11 each. Lonicera heckrotti (Goldflame Honeysuckle) and Lonicera x brownii ‘Dropmore Scarlet' (Scarlet Honeysuckle) are also available at $7 to $8 for two-year old plants.

In hardy dwarf shrubs, they have a miniature mockorange, yellow-leaf barberry, several spireas, and a dwarf cranberry viburnum. For the worst place to landscape which is at the bottom of a slope in terrible soil, they have both cut leaf sumac and gro-low sumac. Chanticleer gardens uses the cut leaf sumac at the bottom of their parking lot and they take a lot of abuse.

Their lilac page includes an unusual lilac, Syringa x prestoniae, in tree form for only $8.95. This is a real bargain if you have priced tree form lilacs from other catalogs.

Yes, I do enjoy perusing this catalog and dreaming about sugary sweet white corn and plump ripe tomatoes and all of the other good things that will come my way once summer is here. I will also order a plant or two of something different even if I have to grow it in a container because there is no room in my garden, and I'll get free seeds with every order!

J. W. Jung Seed Co.
335 S. High Street
Randolph, WI 53957-0001
Toll free phone: 1-800-247-5864

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High Country Gardens

Plants for the Western Garden - Your source for Water-Wise Plants. Over 280 Perennials, Shrubs and Grasses.

While surfing the web for email garden newsletters I came across this website. Why would I be interested in plants for the western states? I looked a little deeper into the website and found an article about plants for dry shade. That's one of my important garden interests. I read the article, liked it, and signed up for the quarterly newsletter.

Then I received their spring 2003 catalog in the mail. It was attractive and had a lot of plants I hadn't seen anywhere else. If you are even slightly familiar with the plants from the western states, you will recognize Castilleja or Orange Indian Paint Brush, Zauschneria or Hummingbird Trumpet, Agastache or Hummingbird Mint, Salvia or Sage, Penstemon, Sphaeralcea or Orange Globe Mallow, Fallugia or Apache Plume, Chilopsis or Desert Willow, and many others.

Now, how do I figure out what will grow in clay soil in Maryland? Looking carefully through the catalog I noticed on page 55 a paragraph explaining how to decide which plants will grow well in non-western states. It noted that in the table of contents, the editors have included a "USA" symbol in the comments column for those "plants that perform well in the eastern half of the country". They even note those plants that do well in clay soil. Marrubium rotundifolium

As the shipping and handling charges were very reasonable for a nursery in the western U.S., I ordered six plants but not all from the "USA" list. In their hillside garden, Longwood Gardens grows Marrubium rotundifolium or Silver Edged Horehound. It's such a beautiful little plant I thought I'd buy one for planting in a pot since it's hardy in zones 5-9. It wasn't recommended, though, as a "USA" plant because it needs very well drained soil. That's why Longwood Gardens grows it in the gravelly soil of their hillside garden.

The plants arrived in a carefully packed box and looked great after their trip from Santa Fe, New Mexico. I thought I would never have a reason to purchase plants from a catalog for the western states . Now I know better. We never know where our next great plant will come from!

Great web site too with much information on xeriscape gardening. There are also lists of deer resistant and rabbit resistant plants. I took a look at the rabbit resistant plant list and it is accurate for the plants that I grow. Take a look around their website. If you like what you see, sign up for the newsletter. I'm glad I did.

High Country Gardens
2902 Rufina Street
Santa Fe, NM 87507-2909
Phone: 800-925-9387

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