February 17, 2009

Daylily and Iris Specialty Nurseries

As promised, here is a review on several of the specialty nurseries from which I've ordered and been pleased. Today I'll focus on four nurseries, two of which sell daylilies and two that sell iris. The Garden Watchdog reviews on all four of these nurseries are completely positive - no negative comments at all! Click on the nursery name to get to their website.

Oakes Daylilies
I found this nursery on the Garden Watchdog Top 30 list and was impressed with their huge selection of daylilies. Perhaps such a large selection might be overwhelming to some, but I was happy to search through dozens of pink daylilies to find just the perfect one(s) for my garden. I ended up placing an order for six daylilies - all in shades of pink! Of course they carry plenty of other colors, too. Oakes Daylilies prices vary greatly depending on the cultivar. Several of the ones I ordered were less than $10, but 'Smoky Mountain Autumn' didn't make it from wish list to order since I couldn't stomach spending $40 for it. Sigh - it's really a beautiful daylily. Anyway, Oakes ships large clumps of daylilies and includes a bonus daylily equal to about 20% of your order total. You can cut apart the clumps to make several smaller plants or leave them together to get a nicely sized plant. If your budget isn't too tight and you prefer to order larger plants, this is a great nursery for you. Order a free catalog here.

Bloomin Designs
If your daylily budget is tight or you prefer to start with smaller, less expensive plants, you might appreciate Bloomin Designs Nursery. I've ordered daylilies from them several times and been pleased with the service I received. The bareroot plants I have received from this nursery were smaller than the ones from Oakes. However, 'Siloam Double Classic' sells for $30 at Oakes and just $8 at Bloomin Designs. There are a few crazy-expensive daylilies listed on the BD nursery site ($80/plant), but these are rare or new cultivars. Overall their prices seem lower than other sources. This nursery also sells hostas, groundcovers, roses and some perennials. I include them here because their daylily selection is very large. Click here to print a catalog, as they don't mail catalogs.

Schreiner's Iris
This nursery specializes in tall bearded iris, but also carries numerous other types of iris. Last year I placed an order for a bunch of bearded iris - mostly blue - and was pleased when the rhizomes that arrived were fat and healthy (isn't it nice when 'fat' is a positive attribute?). Like all of the nurseries in this post, Schreiner's has a huge selection of their specialty plant. I spent hours trying to figure out which blue irises I wanted for my garden - it was great fun. The key to getting good prices from Schreiner's is to order one of their collections or place an order above $80. In either case your order will be discounted 50% from normal individual prices, and orders above $80 also qualify for bonus irises. Click here to order a free catalog.

Joe Pye Weed's Garden
This nursery specializes in siberian iris and includes many newer introductions by the owners themselves (Schafer and Sacks). I oohed and aahed over their website photos for a couple of years before we bought our house and I could order some for my garden. If 'Caesar's Brother' is the only siberian iris you've seen, you'll be pleasantly surprised with the range of siberian iris colors available from JPW's Garden: purple, blue, white, yellow, peach, pink, maroon and various combinations of those colors. The incredibly saturated blues are my favorite. Check out this photo of 'Mister Peacock.' I love the way spiky upright siberian iris clumps punctuate perennial beds. JPW prices range from $35 for this year's introductions to $6 for older cultivars, and they guarantee at least a 3 fan division will be shipped. They also include a bonus iris. When my order arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to find my bonus was 'June to Remember,' which I loved but hadn't ordered because it was then priced at $30 (currently $15, though). That kind of generosity cements my loyalty. Click here to print a catalog, or follow the instructions on the home page to order a $2 print copy.

I hope you'll enjoy looking into these excellent nurseries. If you have ordered from any of them, please leave a comment and tell about your experience.


  1. I think that I will just go ahead and buy one of everything....... sigh.


  2. Both of these are plants I need more of in my garden. This is great information.

  3. VW,
    We really appreciate your kind words. As a Mom and Pop operation (that cannot afford to have a color catalog printed), we depend on our customers saying good things about us.
    Linda and Mike

  4. VW, I know what you mean about Snapdragon.. that is why I put the 'definition' of it with the picture. I also use a lot of photos of flowers that I really like to break up the sidebar. I like the garden definitions you have ... a little education. We have a Daylily Farm close by...they have Daylilies and Hostas primarily. I love to go and visit. http://www.forestlanebotanicals.com/ nice folks.

  5. What a terrific post, VW ! I bought three pink- hued daylilies last summer, all three from different nurseries. I didn't know they came in pink. I've shied away from daylilies in general because of that washed out orange color or the frustrating (to me) habit of 'Stella de Oro.' I don't do much mail order but sure appreciate a TRUSTED assessment/endorsement. Hope you'll review more. Thanks.

  6. You really do post up some informative stuff.

    Daylilies are so beautiful. You know I posted up a plan for underplanting my pergola, a definitive plan, a 'that's it I'm running with it' kinda plan, guess what, I might tweak it a bit and put some daylilies in there! Oh and guess which link I clicked first through this post? Exactly, ((((the 80 dollar one))))


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