I am from the Piedmont of North Carolina, so I will list some places there first. All of these places are run by really nice people. I have been pleased by my past purchases from them and can recommend them with confidence.
- Tony Avent's Plant Delights This well-known mail order nursery carries nice stuff that appeals to all tastes. I especially like it for unusual aroids, amaryllids and off-beat perennials. The nursery is not far south of Raleigh. The public is invited for several open houses a year. The catalog is a reflection of Tony Avent's wonderfully crusty sense of humor. The covers are guaranteed to offend and delight!
- Niche Gardens Niche offers tough perennials that grow well here in the Piedmont. My parents order quite a bit of stuff from them; they live in Ann Arbor, MI. The outdoor art displays at the nursery are very nice. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly.
- Camellia ForestThe Piedmont is Camellia country. There is a wonderful selection of Camellias here. The bumpy ride to the nursery adds to the fun.
- Green Hill Farm This nursery is has moved from the north side of Chapel Hill to Franklinton, NC, not far from the Triangle. They carry a nice variety of big robust hosta divisions, as well as other perennials. They have a big sale around Memorial Day.
- The Unique Plant is worth a visit for unusual trees and perennials. It is just north of Chapel Hill on 4207 Oak Hill Road. They carry Japanese Maples, Stewartias, and other interesting trees and bushes. They also have a small selection of nice perennials. Two of their Stewartias are growing in my yard.
Here are some other places I like across the US.
- Bluestone Perennials is a good source for perennials. Most plants are fairly small (but easy to establish) , and the prices are reasonable and the plants are very healthy. They are based in Ohio.
- Brent and Becky's Bulbs is a great place for buying spring and summer bulbs. They are based in the Tidewater region of Virginia.
- Arrowhead Alpines is a great source for wildflowers, unusual perennials, and interesting conifers. It is in Fowlerville, MI not far from Ann Arbor and it's well worth a visit. It was founded by the late Bob Stewart.