Date Published: 1/10/2011
Our founder, Ray Allen, has been a gardener and working in the mail order business for a long time. Born in Florida, and gardening in New England since 1981, he’s created perennial gardens, herb gardens, and many a wildflower meadow over the years, in climates from the subtropics all the way to Canada, and ordered most of his plant material by mail. Operating American Meadows for over 20 years has introduced him to a lot of people in the lawn & garden industry, and also in the wide world of catalogs and websites. By now, we usually know a good internet or mail order company when we see one. So here are some we recommend. Some are large, some are small. In fact, some are tiny, but we know and like them all. We can’t vouch for the info or merchandise from any site, but we either know or have investigated all these companies, and are happy to recommend them.
Click on the following sections to view links:
Gardening Info Websites
Better Homes and Gardens One of our finest national magazines has one of our best websites. This site is one of the biggest and most complete for gardeners. They have wonderful discussion (message) boards, an excellent article archive, and really useful gardening newsletters.
Dave's Garden.com This unique site allows gardeners to set up their own Gardening Journals, and contribute comments and photos to what's becoming the biggest plant database on the web. As of 2004, the site had over 100,000 members and over 70,000 plants listed. It's fun and really informative to read about members' enthusiasm for certain plants they've grown, and also see the prized photos from their gardens.
Floridata.com This beautiful website is run and was created by our friend, Jack Scheper. Jack is a tireless gardener, excellent writer, and careful archivist. His own photography illustrates the site, and he now has a database of "plant profiles" most other sites can only dream about. The site is easy to use, authoritative, but still lots of fun. Specialties are perennials, trees, shrubs and palms.
GardenWeb The No. 1 (largest) gardening information site on the internet. A wonderfully-run website that's easy to use and always up to date. Includes their famous "Forums" where gardeners exchange info on every subject from Achillea to Zinnia. You’ll enjoy the forums on Meadows & Prairies, Native Plants, and more. Now owned by iVillage.
Gardening Know How Get your gardening questions answered by an expert gardener. Learn everything from vegetable gardening for beginners to how to xeriscape your garden. Grow the garden you want after reading these articles packed with gardening advise and gardening tips.
IcanGarden.com This is Canada’s leading gardening site, built and operated by Donna Dawson who is a true plant expert and master gardener. The site is extremely well put together, and the information is clear and complete.
National Gardening Assn. One of the best sources of all kinds of gardening information. Their well-known national magazine, National Gardening, is no longer published. However, their extensive information base, research and writings still set standards for industry. NGA publishes a great "Kid's Gardening Catalog" which has been used by teachers and families for years. And they are nationally known for their annual national survey of gardening trends.
PlantExplorers.com A great new site that has wonderful biographies of the pioneers in botanical exploration, always interesting to wildflower enthusiasts. The site also has info on the history of botanical art, and many other articles of great interest to any serious "plant person."
Wildflower Associations & Organizations
Lady Bird Johnson National Wildflower Center This is the famous place outside Austin, Texas, which was formerly called the National Wildflower Research Center. They actively promote the use of native plantings in landscapes nationwide. We've been enthusiastic members for years. It's a great place to visit, and they'd welcome your membership.
Native Plant Trust This is the granddaddy of all of America's native plant societies, and the operators of the largest native wildflower garden in the US, The Garden in the Woods at Framingham, MA, just west of Boston. Really a national organization. We've been members for decades. Great information, publications, memberships.
Reputable Wildflower Plant Nurseries and Hard-to-Find Seed Sources
GardenMakers.com Hard-to-find Eastern Wildflower Seed Packets. This is a quite complete, no-nonsense site in Massachusetts with a very long list of packet seed of woodland species, uncommon wildflowers, grasses, and lots of natives you won't find most places. They also provide an expert "germination guide" for each species, which the gardener often needs for many of these species. It's great to see important native seed like Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), Wild Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) and lots of others readily available for wildflower gardeners.
High Country Roses: An excellent species rose source in the West. This mail order nursery is the outgrowth of High Country Rosarium which was begun in Denver in 1970 by Dr. Bill Campbell, a nationally-recognized rose expert. Today, Dr. Campbell's daughter and son-in-law operate High Country Roses from Utah.
National Wildflife Federation is a great organization, and not only has very important programs to protect wildlife, but also distributes carefully selected native wildflower seed to current and prospective members, nationwide. They're also the leaders in helping homeowners create "Backyard Habitats" with lots of easy "how-to" information, and a certification program second to none. This is the program's 30th anniversary year, and it now has tens of thousands of North American backyards and businesses listed as "certified wildlife habitats." (Our 6-acre Vermont Wildflower Farm is one of them.)
Wildflower Reference and Photo Sites
Dereila Nature Inn. A fantastic site for wildflower photos and any naturalist interest, W. Canada. I recently discovered this amazing site, and you'll enjoy it. It's what the developers call a "Cyber Nature Inn,", in other words, a place to check into when you'd like to learn about, look at, or simply enjoy nature. You'll be treated to page after page of spectacular wildflower photos, stories, journals, and much more. There is the "Bird's Nest Lounge" with everything about birds, then you can take the "Lagoon Trail" or "Woodland Pathway", and see and read about all sorts of great things. Beautiful web design, and fantastic photography-- and you don't need a reservation. Enjoy!
Enature The Audubon Wildflower Guides Free Online! At this great site, operated by the National Wildlife Federation, you'll find all the Audubon Guides, photos and descriptions, online and free for all. This means almost 2000 wildflower photos in the Eastern and Western Editions, combined. And that's not all. You may browse the Guides for mammals, trees, birds-the whole set. Enature also has a gift shop and other useful features.
Martha Stewart.Com. The lady needs no introduction, but her excellent Plant Database does. Martha's website is as tasteful as you'd expect, but there is at least one hidden gem: the Plant Database, one of the best on the web. There, you'll find really useful gardening information, great photographs, and really good gardening information. Simply click the icon above, scroll down to and click the 'gardening' link (it's in a grouping under "learn"), and then click on the link labeled 'Encyclopedia of Plants' ...and you're on your way!
MyWildflowers.com This is an amazing photo ID site created by a Pennsylvania woman who bicycles with her husband and takes photos of wildflowers along the way. The bike paths of their area, plus an incredible photo database are now on the site. I like this site because it shows ONLY the wildflowers they've found, and that means it shows the one you'll see out on a country road or on a walk through the woods--not thousands you'll never see. But this couple has really built up quite a gallery... and you can buy any of her photos if you like! She transfers them to tote bags, mouse pads, notecards, etc. A really fun personal wildflower site. Enjoy.
Sunshine Farm & GardenThis is a unique nursery in West Virginia that propagates over 10,000 plants. Operated by Barry Glick, who is not only a fine nurseryman, but also an artful photographer. He has put literally thousands of his exquisite plant and flower photos on his website, and if you know the botanical name of the plant you want to see, it's there.
Wildflower Folklore and Crafts
Alexa-Jayne Flower Petal Crafts. This is a very elegant site by a woman named Pam Roberts who is an artist with flower petals. Her framed monograms of carefully-arranged, dried flower petals are truly unique and incredibly beautiful. There could be no more thoughtful and unique wedding or anniversary gift. Imagine a three-initial monogram all done in a rainbow of real flower petals, all beautifully framed-and each one done as a custom-made gift. They are "flower paintings" you must see to appreciate. Enjoy.
Arnold Grummer's Paper Making Make your own paper! Use petals and ferns from your garden or add seeds to pulp and make paper you can plant and grow! Easy to use kits, award winning "Seed Paper Flowers" set for children, supplies and projects.