While not a horticulturist, I am in the especially lucky situation of working in a garden surrounded by flowers every day.
Each year, as winter progresses, I find myself sneaking off to the 1920’s historic greenhouse on the Stevens-Coolidge property to smell grapefruit blossoms and steal pieces of summer. Last week, as I worked from my “home office”, the lack of greenery and fragrance hit especially hard and I became determined to acquire a house plant, preferably from a local black-owned business.
January is the time when gardeners become especially excited and ambitious, putting in their seed orders for the coming spring.
Trustees Horticulturist Kristin McCullin recognizes the necessary optimism in a gardener:
“There is so much hope in a tiny seed, even as a professional every spring I am surprised by the magic of germination. The simple act of putting a seed in the ground and seeing its fertility is empowering.”
From offering hundreds of varieties of veggies to specializing in all things dahlia, from all-level home gardeners to growing for markets, everyone can start planning for a beautiful and delicious summer with the help of these vendors.
We polled our horticulturists in our public gardens and at City Natives to learn more about their favorite seed sources.
- Burpee seeds and plants are available for all growing zones and for all seasons.
- For the discerning gardener. A great source of unusual flower and vegetable seeds from the UK.
- A seed co-op from Maine offering a host of seed for flowers and vegetables that perform especially well in the New England climate.
- Family-run flower and seed company, specializing in unique, uncommon and heirloom flowers.
- Dahlias a specialty.
- Every seed is open pollinated, many are heirloom and organic, and they are never GMO.
- Committed to growing organically, sourcing locally and sustainably, and preserving crop diversity by selecting unique, rare, and hard-to-find varieties.
- Non-GMO Seeds.
- Local, New England Company.
- 100% Employee Owned.
- Specializes in Asian vegetable seeds.
- On of the oldest seed companies in the US.
- Offering seeds from over 1,100 different flowers, herbs and vegetables.
- A source for native New England plants.
- Renee’s Garden offers only non-GMO varieties.
- This seed line is unusual seed choices of time-tested heirlooms, certified organic seeds, international hybrids and fine open-pollinated varieties.
- A wide array of seeds of flowering plants and vegetables.
- BIPOC Owned.
- SSE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving heirloom seeds.
- Seed Saver Exchange is also one of the largest seed exchanges available to the public.
- All profits are used for protection of seed biodiversity.
- Specializes in heirloom flowers, fragrant flowers, open-pollinated annuals, bee-friendly flower seeds and plants, flowering vines, and rare annuals and perennials.
- Family owned.
- Family-owned and operated organization.
- Works to preserve plant varieties by locating, growing, documenting and offering rare, open-pollinated, non-GMO, non-hybrid, heirloom seeds to home gardeners.