Munchkin Nursery is excellent for shade plants. On Garden Watchdog they have 33 reviews, all positive. One of the things that makes them truly stand out is the size of the plants. I ordered blood root from them and another purveyor, and Munchkin's were literally three times the size. I have ordered a number of ferns and perennials and all have been great.
If you are looking for shrubs for shade, I heartily recommend Plant and Gnome. 34 reviews, with 33 positive and one neutral. I just received 3 three foot oakleaf hydrangeas for $20 each and $10 shipping (they weighed a ton - I don't know how he managed Fed Ex ground). Forest Farm quality and size plants with cheap shipping.
These two companies are really wonderful. But perhaps they were your sources.
I have had success with ordering from Gardens of the Wood of Grassy Creek. She specializes in native wildflowers and what she terms"distinctive and hard to find perennials." The plants which I ordered last fall have all started coming up and looking good this spring (an early spring here in Western NY zone 5a). Another suggestion I have is Amandas Garden, with the caveat that I have not yet purchased anything from them. They come highly recommended by local master gardeners and native plant enthusiasts. She is located about an hour from our place so I plan on driving out soon. They do ship plants and they specialize in perennials native to the northeast.
DonnaMack, thank you for your recommendations. I had not checked either Munchkin Nursery or Plant and Gnome out and they look very nice. I particularly appreciate Munchkin advice on transplanting and her suggestions for companion plants.
Thank you DonnaMack and Roberta1977. I am new to DG and there is so much I don't know about yet (like the watchdog).
neither of the nurseries I just ordered from are on the list; I will reply with a 'review" after I receive my plants. Thanks again!
I'm always looking for good on-line sources for shade plants too - thanks for the tips. I had heard good things about Munchkin before, but haven't checked it out yet. Two and three years ago I ordered from Lazy SS Farm - they specialize in perennials, mostly quart size. All but a few made it through the first year, and are now maturing nicely. They have really good reviews in Garden Watchdog too. http://www.lazyssfarm.com/
Two recent great purchases from nurseries that sell plants for shade:
I ordered a 3-yr old camellia (Camellia X 'Ashton's Snow') from Camellia Forest Nursery: http://www.camforest.com ; all aspects of the transaction went smoothly. I received excellent help when I emailed them for selection advice, it shipped quickly and was well-packed, and the plant seems very healthy and sturdy. I will let everyone know how it does this Fall (it should bloom a little as a three-year-old I believe).
I also ordered several plants from Niche Gardens: http://www.nichegardens.com . They shipped quickly as well and were really well-packed.
Far Reaches Farm in Port Townsend, WA, has lots of unusual choices. I live near them, so I have the benefit of going there in person and seeing their amazing demonstration shade garden in person, but they also started doing mail order a year or so ago. I have never seen a plant for sale there that didn't look healthy and robust, and I've had 100% success with the plants I've purchased from them.
I have to second Munchkin Nursery. Gene has a wonderful collection and is quite the character to boot! I just took him a load of "worm poop" last week because he had mentioned in a blog back before Christmas that was what he wanted from Santa!!!