The plant pundits at Green Outdoors Landscaping and Nursery, who double as landscape contractors certified by North Carolina, equip gardeners with the proper accouterments and know-how to surround homes with verdant thickets of abundant life. Anchor unoccupied lawns with a red winterberry holly ($29.95) and a rhododendron ($29.95), or minimize trips to the supermarket by embedding gardens with bounteous blueberry plants ($9.95–$29.95) and bushes that sprout sausage links. The mugo pine makes an excellent container plant and earthy addition to rock gardens ($24.95), and varieties of azaleas provides a healthy dose of color to any drab flowerbed or meat locker ($3.95–$19.95).
An ethnobotanical enterprise for more than 30 years and member of North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association, Reems Creek Nursery purveys tools, seeds, flats, and more to help gardeners and landscapers dote on the earth's appendages. After a lengthy interview process including thorough, situation-based lines of questioning, the team of specialists at Reems Creek personally selects from a diverse offering of attractive, climate-suitable, and goal-oriented flora. The plantatarium specializes in jackson and perkins roses, shade perennials, herbs, and flower- and vegetable-bedding plants. The lynwood gold forsythia ($29.99) comes firmly rooted in a three-gallon pot and a conservative family background, and the camellia lemon glow ($12.99) highlights gardens in yellow. Further accessorize a natural nursery with Virginia bluebells ($5.99), vegetable starts ($2.49/four-pack), and 32-plant flats of pansies ($14.99), or get herb-encouraging equipment such as a brightly painted metal watering can ($17.99) or Espoma plant-tone fertilizer ($5.99 for 4 lbs.).
Sprawled across more than 200,000 square feet of retail greenhouses, Painters Greenhouse shelters nearly 700 varieties of flora, all cultivated start-to-finish by a staff of knowledgeable green thumbs. Retiring from their 320-acre farm in Pennsylvania a few years ago, owners Brad and Deenie Owen sojourned to North Carolina to helm Painters Greenhouse, where they aim to increase the production of native plants, vegetables, and water garden plants—all with sustainability in mind. Their vast inventory of perennials, annuals, herbs, and shrubs is joined by an impressive variety of native species—plant life that occurs in the area naturally and is beneficial to the local ecosystem. Blooming baskets and potted ferns mingle with decorative planters and space-saving gardening containers, while aquatic plants provide good hiding spots for squirrels scuba-diving inside Painters' decorative fountains.