What is my best bet for purchasing unusual flowers in PA?

zinniafanJanuary 2, 2008

Hello all and Happy New Year!

I have only been gardening a few years, but would like to try some plants that my local greenhouse does not carry-- I live in rural central PA.

I was thinking of ordering some perrenials that are hard to find through a catalog: manhattan poppies(purple), double coneflower (razzmatazz), royal heritage helleborus, and globe thistles (echinops).

Spring Hill Nurseries, Burpee, and Jung Quality Seeds all offer some of the varieties mentioned above, but none offer all of them. I am considering ordering from one of them-- it seems like spring hill will send the most plants for the least cost, and that all have good return policies. What are your thoughts?

Do you know of a local place where I could likely find these items? I visited the Philly Flower Show and Longwood Gardens last year, which were amazing and showed many unusual varieities, but didn't really seem to sell this type of thing. Is there a place in central PA that carries unusual varieties?

I'm also thinking if I get to my local greenhouse earlier, maybe a month before the last frost, they may have more of what I am looking for-- but how to keep my plants healthy until the danger of frost is gone? For these reasons I have thought Spring Hill my best bet, but would love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you! Sincerely, Zinnia Fan

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wolfe15136(z6 PA)

There is a great garden center just east of Gettysburh called Season's Past that specializes in unusual plants.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 11:12AM
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floragal(z5 PA)

I'd stay away from Spring Hill Nurseries. Their plants have teeny tiny root systems and have a high mortality rate. Two of my favorite mail-order nurseries are Graceful Gardens www.gracefulgardens.com and Bluestone Perennials www.bluestoneperennials.com. They both have nice selections and strong, healthy plants with bog root systems. And their prices are good.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 10:21AM
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Mike Larkin

Martin's Greenhouse, Narvon, PA is a great place for unusual plants. Not a fancy place , but Marian the owner always has something unusual that I have never seen - she is extremely knowlegable and can also tell give you plenty of helpful plant care information. Always a stop that I make in the spring when looking for new plants.
There are plenty of other greenhouses in the lancater county area near Martins that are filled with quality plants. I usually get a van and go to several nurseries and greenhouses in Lancaster County in sping to stock up of annuals, perennials and nusersy plants -

Here is a link that might be useful: Greenhouse

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 4:31PM
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pat4750(Zone 6 Cen PA)

If you are near Harrisburg, there are a few very good garden centers.
Highland Gardens usually has unusual plant material - Trees, shrubs, conifers, perennials. They have a particularly good selection of shade perennials and many kinds of annuals. This staff is very knowledgeable and helpful.
Ashcombe's Farm near Dillsburg has a very good selection of trees, shrubs, perennials and again the staff is very helpfu as well as knowledgeable. They also have a homey restaurant and interior decor items which makes a whole day for me!
Country Market is very near Ashcombe's and has in the past had a wonderful selection of unusual annuals. They were bought last year by Stauffer's of Kissel Hill so their stock may be different this year.
Hope you find what you are looking for.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 5:33PM
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peaches20(6 PA)


I second the vote for bluestoneperennials.com They are very nice to deal with and are located in Madison, OH. Although I did order double deck cone flowers from them, they never did double deck. And I waited to long to complain about it.

If you want to try seeds, I use

Thompson and Morgan and

Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 11:23AM
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