Though I support the concept of buying local, there are times when a particular plant is nowhere to be found except in the pages of a mail order catalog. I've generally had good luck with the nurseries I've ordered from. Some, like Klehm's Song Sparrow Nursery, consistently offer outstanding plants, shipping and service. I never hesitate to buy from them.
Lately I've found myself looking at the online catalog of tempting nurseries around the country even though it's late in the season. I am searching for the perfect apricot-colored foxglove. So every time I see one for sale, I bite! Thus I took the plunge and ordered a few things from Avant Gardens in Dartmouth, MA.
I bought two Digitalis purpurea 'Faerie Apricot' from Avant Gardens for $9.95 each (in the foreground below). I also got a pair of foxgloves from K&A Greenhouse locally (on the upper step). They were on sale at 3/$30, so essentially the same price as my mail order plants not counting shipping.
The plants from both businesses were also the same size. Avant Gardens did note that plants ordered at this season may sometimes be larger than the spring shipping size because they've been growing all summer. My plants were much larger than I had anticipated, so I am a happy gardener and will definitely be buying from Avant Gardens in the future. Even though shipping adds to the total cost, with plants this nice that I haven't seen locally I am happy to pay a little extra to get something special. And they sent along a nice size Heuchera 'Beaujolais' as a treat!
How about you? What kind of luck have you had with buying plants on-line? Over the years I've ordered from all of the following businesses, most of them multiple times which means I've been happy with my plants and the process: