While you can purchase almost any type of flower or plant already started at a nursery or garden center, there's something very satisfying about creating your own garden from seed. Once you've decided to go this route, you've got a myriad of choices of where to buy your seeds.
General Flower Seed Purchasing Tips
- Age of Seeds - When at all possible, buy new, fresh flower seeds. While some varieties will keep for quite a long time, others are perishable. Last year's stock, while less expensive, is also less reliable.
Number of Seeds - Plan your garden by mapping out sections, and take measurements of each one. When buying flower seeds, note the planting guides on the back of the packets. These will tell you how far apart to plant the seeds, so you'll know how many you'll need for your space.
Garden Conditions - While planning your garden, also note the growing conditions. Some sections will have more sun or shade than others, and one end of your garden may have better soil drainage than the other. Match the growing conditions of the flower seeds with the state of each section of your garden.
Type of Flower - Chances are that you have some idea of what you'd like your flower beds to look like once the flowers have sprouted and bloomed. For a garden that boasts blooms year-round, choose different types that bloom at staggered times. You'll also want a good selection of annuals and perennials.
Where to Buy Flower Seeds
In the springtime, flower seeds are available almost anywhere you shop, from hardware shops to grocery stores. Here are some great places to look for flower seeds, no matter what time of year it is.
- Nurseries - Plant nurseries are a terrific place to both purchase your flower seeds and speak to experts who will guide you in your choices. While nurseries generally specialize in plants that have been started in pots and planters, you'll find a wide variety of seeds to choose from as well.
- Seed Catalogs - Major seed companies usually have seasonal catalogs that they mail out to members and subscribers. Some good ones to look for are Burpee and Dominion Seed House. Catalogs are great for specialized or niche flower types, new hybrids, and exotic or hard-to-find seeds.
- Online - With the age of the Internet, it's easy to find your favorite seed companies online, and most of them have their catalogs available to view right from your computer. You can also order your seeds and have them delivered from the comfort of your own home. The only drawback to this type of flower seed shopping is the sheer volume of seeds available. It's easy to become overwhelmed by the selection. Try the sites above, or do a search for other companies that sell flower seeds online.
- Gardening Societies - Garden groups, horticultural societies, and other groups of flower enthusiasts often have seed exchanges, or sell seeds from their existing plants. If there are public gardens in your area, check there to see if they run this type of group. Otherwise, look in the phone book for your local horticultural society.