Monday, April 25, 2011

Special Delivery

It used to be that if you lived in Alaska and lusted for mini orchids, or if your home was in Georgia but your heart was with rare desert cactus, you were out of luck. Not anymore, thanks to the fact that so many plant clearinghouses and specialist growers have gone online and will ship high-quality specimens nationwide.

The websites themselves are a pleasure to peruse, with gorgeous photographs and a wealth of information about the plants they provide; many also offer expert advice via e-mail and phone.
Here are some of the best websites to visit...

In late winter to early summer, Puya venusta (shown) sends up a 40-inch-long, deep purple bloom. It’s available with other California wildflowers and heirloom plants from Annie’s Annuals and Perennials.

If you live in an area with little water but lots of sun, try Simply Succulents for an extensive selection of drought-resistant hardy plants, including an array of sempervivum (hens and chicks), shown.

Rock or trough gardeners score dwarf conifers like the variegated Juniperus squamata ‘Floriant’ (left) through Tiny Treasures.

Rare Find Nursery focuses on unusual hardy plants, including woody shrubs and trees like the Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Pee Wee,’ shown. During fall foliage season, this charming dwarf form of the common oakleaf hydrangea packs loads of visual impact into its three-to four-foot form.

And if you’re hankering for something utterly new for your garden or containers, Plant Delights offers nursery introductions like this Agave schidigera ‘Shira ito no Ohi,’ a slow-growing plant that’s great in a pot.

Article by Lindsey Taylor from Garden Design Dec 2010.
Photos by Todd Coleman
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