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Martha's Favorite Shade Plant Resources

Martha Stewart Living, March 2011

Mail-Order Nurseries

Not every nursery can supply every shade plant that I need, so I rely on mail-order sources such as these in addition to my favorite local nurseries.

Broken Arrow Nursery (brokenarrownursery.com) in Hamden, Connecticut, supplied the Victoria Lady fern I'm about to plant in the photo. The owners, Dick and Sally Jaynes, have bred dozens of beautiful mountain laurels. Even though Broken Arrow ships plants, the fantastic nursery is well worth seeing in person. You can watch a video of my recent visit there at marthastewart.com/article/broken-arrow-nursery.

Hillside Nursery (hillsidenursery.biz) is wholly dedicated to selling charming woodland wildflowers and Cypripedium orchids. That is where my beautiful 'Gisela' lady's slipper came from, and the nursery has many other orchid hybrids to choose from.

Avant Gardens (avantgardensne.com) offers a huge range of perennials for all types of gardens. Its hosta selection is especially outstanding.

Local Nurseries

I am fortunate to have many wonderful nurseries within a few hours' drive of my farm in Bedford. Over the years, they have provided a wide selection of quality plants and excellent service. They don't sell through the mail, but they are very much good places to shop if you are in the area.

Glover Perennials (gloverperennials.com) is a specialty wholesale nursery on the North Fork of New York's Long Island. It grows a broad range of perennials, and many of its ferns, hostas, and gingers have become established and spread beautifully in my shade garden. The nursery is not open to the public, but you can find its plants at numerous nurseries throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.

Poundridge Nurseries (prnurseries.com) is my local plant shop, located just a few miles from my farm. It sells healthy, large plants that make an instant impact in the garden.

Each year, I look forward to attending Trade Secrets (tradesecretsct.com), a plant and garden antiques sale held in May in Sharon, Connecticut. I have purchased many beautiful woodland perennials at the event. One of my favorite vendors for shade-garden plants is Garden Vision Epimediums, where I buy the gorgeous epimediums bred by former owner Darrell Probst. If you can't get to Trade Secrets, you can still buy many of Probst's varieties through Plant Delights Nursery at Juniper Level Botanic Gardens (plantdelights.com). Proceeds from Trade Secrets benefit victims of domestic violence.