Do other gardeners have the same problem that I do of finding specific plants? I’ll hear about a particularly cool native plant, fall in love with it, must have it…..and then I can’t find it anywhere. This is very annoying. I do not like spending a million dollars for a bareroot plant in a fancy catalog. And I intensely dislike driving all over New England to look for plants or randomly calling nurseries in the phone book.
But I found a cool tool while doing some research recently for a garden that I’m creating for a client. It’ll be very useful for those of you (in the northeast part of the country) that wants to to find native plants at a nursery near you.
American Beauties is “a collection of native plants that makes it easy to use trees, shrubs, vines, grasses and wildflowers that are beautiful and good for wildlife.” Two nurseries, Prides Corner Farms of Lebanon, Conn. and North Creek Nurseries of Landenberg, Penn. created American Beauties to promote the use of native plants in home gardens. The nurseries teamed up to create four native plant gardens “guaranteed to bring life to your landscape by providing food and habitat for a variety of desirable critters.”
Plants in the American Beauties Collection have a special identification tag, and are sold by participating garden centers. The website includes a tool that allows you to type in your zip code and tells you which garden centers near you carry the plants. Each nursery won’t have all of the plants on hand, but at least you have a specific nursery to call–they may be able to special order certain plants.
The best part is that American Beautifies donates 25 cents, 50 cents, or $1 of each plant sold (depending on the plant) to the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) to fund their home habitat work and outreach programs. NWF is well-known for its efforts to help home gardeners create wildlife-friendly outdoor spaces.
American Beauties includes four collections of plants for bird, butterfly, dry/shade, and moist/sun gardens. You can also search by type, such as ferns, grass, deciduous trees, etc. Or if you want to find out about a specific plant, you can search by common or botanical name.
If you live in the northeast, check out the American Beauties website and start shopping for native plants. If not, the good news is that they hope to expand the program to other regions in the near future, so stay tuned.
Photos & graphics courtesy of American Beauties LLC.