Online Plant Nurseries

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Online plant nurseries are little more than old-fashioned plant catalogs in a new suit. The nurseries themselves are the same as they always were and probably always will be. The greenhouses are the same. The care of the plants is the same. The horticultural expertise is the same. The packaging is a little different. The marketing is different.

There is no printing, no mailing of samples and information, no driving anywhere, no losing the catalog, no inadvertently throwing the catalog away, no subscribing to the catalog. That is, online plant nurseries are convenient. They may not be local, but they are definitely convenient.

The first hurdle is always getting started. You might want to start with a landscape design idea--a small shade garden, perhaps, just beyond the deck. A crepe myrtle is already there, and a fairly young beech tree. What ground cover should you use? What shade plants will share the soil that the crepe myrtle is obviously thriving on? Just as you'd ask at a local greenhouse, be prepared to "ask" the same questions as you look as online plant nurseries.

Choosing Online Plant Nurseries

What are the criteria? You want the same qualities in an online nursery as you do in your town or city nursery. Look for extensive resources, both information and referrals. Ideally you'll find both Q&As and fact sheets. You should be able to search by common name and scientific name. Data on the plants themselves should include a clear and vivid photograph, uses and characteristics, ideal setting, growing conditions, and appearance.

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