Talk to me about building a perennial garden from the ground up. I'm a fairly new gardener, and have recently bought a number of plants online. This worked well, because we have a small but complicated garden layout (in terms of sun/shade/water) and I can figure out specifics without getting overwhelmed. I also enjoy being present in a nursery to see the plants in person, but the good places are a fairly long drive away and weekend crowds can drive me insane.
Given a list of desired plants, how do you go about buying them? What is the most cost effective way of doing this?
After some research and experimentation, I've developed a "wish list" for 50+ plants that I'd like to grow. This won't happen overnight, but still, I'd like to be a bit strategic in terms of effort and money.
None of the nurseries have all of the plants on my list. Some have a few of them, with some overlap. But prices aren't the same, and neither is shipping.
Can you think of a way to figure out the nursery with the most
number of plants on my list? Can that be tweaked by price?
The plant database on Dave's Garden has a feature where you can see which nurseries are selling a particular plant
. Is there some way to cross-search those listings, either on that website or another one?
If there's no tech solution here, how have you done this manually? I've considered starting a little spreadsheet with the name of the plant, a few places it can be purchased, and price. This seems like a decent method for a few dozen plants, but not for 50+ plants at once.
Is that just impossible? Should I send the list to a local nursery and see what they can supply? Do people do that?
It's not imperative to buy them all now, and it would be totally fine to order a selection now, e.g. 25 which are available from one particular nursery. Is that the best way to go?
Any other tips on building out a garden? We started with a giant rectangle of sod, and have basically ripped that out to build a more natural and water-wise environment. We don't have any gardeners in our families and we're researching & experimenting as time allows. I'd be very grateful for any tips about best practices for "building a garden from scratch."