Here are the sources I swear by for plants and seeds. We all have our favorites and I would really love to hear about yours in the comments!
Gerten’s. Minneapolis, MN.
It calls itself a “destination garden center” with good reason. TONS and tons of varieties and sizes of each variety over everything you can grow in zone 5 and below, great prices, all sorts of tools, fountains, pots, statues, the works. Loads of trees and a truly spectacular selection of shrubs. I’ve had great luck with all of my plants here and the variety makes it worth the drive to get there. We have a good number of local nurseries, but given the chance and the time, I’ll choose Gerten’s over all of them any day of the week (and twice on Saturday!).
We use this site to get really high quality, affordable native type shrubs and trees. They start small (5″ root cubes) but are of such good quality that by year three they are massive, healthy plants. We have bought everything from Poplars to Lilacs to Serviceberries and Oregon Boxwood from them with incredibly high survival rates. Plants are around $2.50 each but must be ordered in increments of 5.
We’ve only just started buying from them but they have come highly recommended from a local fruit grower who gets many of her trees from Fedco. Their varieties are superb and the descriptions should win someone an award. You can choose stock sizes in many cases. I will update this listing when we get our newest batch of trees this spring!
I couldn’t love the folks at Schreiner’s any more if I tried. Irises love (LOVE) our conditions so I grow a lot (A LOT) of them. I’ve ordered from Schreiner’s for three years now and have not had one single hint of an issue with any of the plants they’ve sent. The size of the rhizomes they send massive (racquet to tennis ball sized) and bloom BEAUTIFULLY the next year- some even the same year! They arrive packaged with love, are spotless and healthy, and they send along a really great booklet to help plant and troubleshoot them. The prices can’t be beat (compare what you pay for small iris plants at your local nursery) and the variety is staggering. Plus they send a bonus iris for every $75 you spend! Free plants! If you are at all in the market for irises, make Schreiner’s your first stop.
I also adore Brent and Becky’s. First, their customer service is top notch. Last year I put in a huge order and ended up changing the color scheme of the area. I emailed them asking to swap a bunch of my order for other bulbs and they happily obliged. Fabulous folks. Then, when the order arrived, the bulbs were packaged beautifully and tremendously healthy. All firm, plump, and unblemished. Nothing like what you get in those big box stores. Their variety is huge and their prices are very fair. There is also bulk pricing which is great for if you want to build a daffodil meadow or any project that would require loads of bulbs. They also have early ordering discounts which I love. They have a great search feature to winnow down the options that will work for your conditions and you can buy plants as well as bulbs if you don’t want to wait until fall. The selection is truly incredible- daffodils, tulips, lilies- come here first for all of your bulb and corm needs.
I’ve been buying from them for ages and have not been disappointed yet. We are trying their grafted heirloom apple trees this year- one of the varieties they offered for 2018 was created and named after my home town so, clearly, I had to buy it. Their seeds are packaged beautifully, the stories that accompany many of them are fascinating, and the work they are doing to preserve rare, heirloom seeds is really amazing.
I’ve also been ordering from Baker Creek for ages. Huge, beautiful catalogs. Very fair prices and tons of variety. Good quality and really reasonable shipping.
I like High Mowing very much. Their catalogs are full of super useful information and their descriptions are tremendously helpful. Lots of varieties you can’t find elsewhere.
My number one go to site for natives and prairie plants. Lots of these prairie plants need very specific conditions to germinate, but Prairie Moon gives you all of the information you need to be successful. We are lucky enough to have a local nature preserve that does a native plant sale every year so I get many of my natives from them, but if don’t have that option (but check if you do because it is a great way to support local preservation groups and they do all the hard work for you!)- look to Prairie Moon.
Sound off in the comments with your favorite sources for plants and seeds! I’d especially love to hear about great Midwestern Nurseries!