I have a client who some people might refer to as a plant hoarder if they saw the amount of plants delivered to his house on a yearly basis. I like to refer to him as a “plant collector,” but I have joked with him on numerous occasions that he may have a problem.
Although he doesn’t buy all of his plants through our company, I am involved in the onsite placement of nearly every plant he and his wife purchase. I love the fact that he searches online, in catalogs, and around town for some of the most unique and unusual plants. Every time I go to work with him and his wife, I learn something. They challenge me and introduce me to new plants and varieties.
I am always a strong supporter of our local greenhouses and growers, but many catalogs and online website are great resources for information and for a plant selection you might not easily be able to find shopping around town. Now that it is after the holiday season, seed and plant catalogs start arriving in the mailbox signaling the planting season is only a few weeks away.
Although I don’t commonly order many plants online or from catalogs, I find them to be a tremendous resource for information. My wife often jokes that I just enjoy looking at the pictures in the catalogs, but along with the pictures, there also is a lot of valuable information. I use them to refresh my knowledge of plants and to see what is out new.
Every year, thousands of new varieties are introduced. Some are wonderful and some aren’t. It is great to read through the pages and view pictures to ignite new ideas or to be reminded of old favorite plants. I will admit that I can sometimes get stuck in the rut of using the same plants job after job, and it is nice to refresh my mind of all the plants out there, even though they might not always be easily found in the area when you want them. What I still love most about the local growers is that if there is something I am looking for, although they might not have it, they will do their very best to have it in the future.
There are many great catalogs and websites. Here are a few of my favorites.
White Flower Farms, Wayside Gardens, and Plant Delights — These vendors tend to sell living plants that they ship right to your door. Their selections run from the newest and hottest trends to the traditional tried and true favorites.
Burpee Seeds, Gurnery Seeds, and Park Seeds — as their name suggests, they tend to sell mostly vegetables and flowers to be grown from seed. I often purchase a few vegetable seeds for planting in my garden.
David Austin Roses — Several years ago a client requested a specific rose, which I could not find locally. Although it took nearly nine months to get them, they were well worth the wait.
Brian Wildeman is a landscape designer at Landscapes by Dallas Foster, Inc., 825 Canal St. He can be reached at 812-882-0719 and dallasfoster.com.