Labor Day 2010 has come and gone, marking the end of summer of many people. But for the home gardener, there is still plenty of planting and circulating to be done, whether it's starting your first winter squashes or rotating out one herb for another. To help you find supplies, native plants and plenty of advice, here are 12 of the best garden centres plant nurseries in cities across the US – and by "best," of course, we mean our favorites!
9701 15th Ave. NW 98117
This place is not cheap. Anything but, actually. To its many devoted fans, however, the high prices are worthy of the service and the healthy plants. Swansons also has an impressive selection of one-pot container gardens, with all different sizes and collections of companion plants. For those short on time and/or space.
5050 SE Stark , 97215, and 9000 SE Division, 97266
The Division location is the larger of the two, but both have a good selection of native plants. They also host classes that, for the gardening nerd, sound awesome: outdoor bonsai, winter vegetable gardening, planting for year-round flowers...the list goes on.
6250 Thornhill Dr. 94611
Experts with advanced degrees regularly lead workshops and seminars here, for those in search of more detailed gardening information. But it's entirely beginner-friendly, too of course, and you might walk away with an unusual hybrid: Thornhill gets its hands on some rare stuff.
4368 Sunset Blvd. 90029
You could find bigger nurseries, and you could find cheaper. But the employees at this smallish shop are brimming with knowledge and enthusiasm, and are willing to spend quite a bit of time discovering the benefits of, say, different tomato varieties.
Gethsemane Garden Center
5739 N. Clark St. 60660
One of those rare and breathtaking stores where the inventory numbers in at least the thousands, and the employees seem to have the location of every item memorized. And they know everything about every item. Perhaps the most comprehensive garden center in the city.
Barton Springs Nursery
3601 Bee Caves Rd., 78746
The selection of native plants here is extensive, and they're all grown in-house, meaning you can get them at different stages of growth and they haven't had any trauma from moving. Non-native plants are available, too: ask for the delivery schedule to get first pick.
From the Organic Authority Files
Buchanan's Native Plants
611 E. 11th St. 77008
This is a nursery after our own heart: Buchanan's is "dedicated to native plants and organic gardening." The selection of fruit and trees (and fruit trees) is especially extensive, and they can help you naturally remove any problems like pests and rust.
3810 Whites Creek Pike, 37207
Bates was founded during the Depression on seemingly little more than a whim. And a passion for plants, of course. In the many years since it has developed a reputation for very healthy plants – no promises, but you probably won't get any diseased plants from Bates.
Zone Ten Nursery
18900 SW 186th St. 33187
Open only on Sunday afternoons, this enormous nursery – almost more of an orchard – is owned by biologists who study tropical flora. They sell only tropical and subtropical plants: many are native to Florida, all thrive in Miami's climate.
4200 Wisconsin Ave. NW., 20016
Johnson's started first as a grocer, then as a florist, then made the leap into a full-fledged garden center. There are plenty of cut flowers, but the potted flowers are probably of more interest to the home gardener: they compose the artistic pots in-house to be taken home and planted.
28 E. 4th St.
Generally speaking, residents of New York City don't have a lot of outdoor space to call their own. Accordingly, PlantWorks specializes in greenery that does well in small planters and flowers that don't mind polluted air. Employees will also take the time to help you plan out your balcony (or secret rooftop) garden.
2225 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 02140
The garden store has a nice selection of starter plants and tools, and the attached gourmet market will revive you after a day of garden planning with made-to-order sandwiches and locally-made artisan products.
(image via fauxto_digit)