I began looking for a deer proof, drought resistant short border plant last year to replace some Pulmonaria that couldn't take the dry (sunny) conditions where they were planted by a local nursery. I was looking for pinks or purple with grey green leaves and though I like it, I thought Autumn Joy was just too large for the space. I discovered Sedum Pure Joy, did see one plant last fall at a nursery but it was sold. I couldn't find the plant in local nurseries and finally found it this spring at Sunlight Gardens. I took a chance ordering on line, and this company was fine to deal with. The plants were shipped promptly and arrived in excellent planting condition. They were planted immediately and are happily growing and expanding. This nursery seems to specialize in wildflowers, so I may return again as I look for interesting plants for my garden.
corvus141 Knoxville, TN (2 reviews) January 11, 2017
Sunlight Gardens is very accessible to Knoxville via the interstate, only a 30 minute drive from downtown. I think they have a very good selection of plants. They mostly carry natives, but also have some species from abroad that are of interest.
Sunlight Gardens seems to have better selection of sun loving plants or prairie type plants, than they do for woodlant plants. So going here during the late spring or summer is a real show.
They've got some great native clematis vines, a couple of varieties of leatherflower or vase vine that have been really dynamite and attracted hummingbirds to our porch.
I've purchased multiple species of bee balm that have done well, in addition to lobelias in different shades, including some that the nursery has hybridized on site that are pretty unique. I recommend the Haley's Comet cultivar of the florida anise tree... It tolerated the severe drought we had here very well and had showy flowers earlier in the year, while being evergreen in the winter. They have some native grasses that have done well, including white and blue eyed grasses, and muhly grass. I like the native evergreen blueberry species they carry, john blue darrow's blueberry.
mrickett Lawrenceville, GA (7 reviews) October 5, 2016
I have been looking for dwarf buckeyes in my area and no one has them in stock. I did find them at a few retailers online, one of them being Sunlight Gardens. I'm always a little apprehensive about ordering plants and shrubs online. I called before placing the order to find out the size of the buckeyes. I was told they would be shipped bare root and about one to two feet in length including the roots. I ordered them online and was immediately impressed by how quickly they were shipped. They arrived extremely well packaged and in excellent condition. The quality of the buckeyes exceeded my expectations. They are substantial and have an excellent root system. I plan to make future purchases from Sunlight Gardens and highly recommend them to other gardeners.
My latest order from Sunlight Gardens was for five pawpaws and one dwarf wild blue indigo. Andy sent an email informing me she'd delay delivery until the plants were big enough to ship. When they arrived yesterday I was very glad she did so. The pawpaws (two plants in each of the five pots for a total of 10 plants!) are big and healthy. Ditto for the dwarf wild blue indigo, which is already looking great in my garden. Can't wait to plant my pawpaw patch.
I've recently purchased a home that has a back yard covered in poison ivy. I've been hand pulling it for the last 2 yrs. I wanted to plant natives and found the perfect website-Sunlight Gardens! They have the best selection, their prices are great, the shipping was quick and all of the plants in the box were superbly packed! I will order from this company again and again! Highly recommended!
Just received my first order from Sunlight. Was very happy with the quality of plants. Also with the (temporarily) free shipping--saved over $30. Especially liked the 2-page planting instructions they included. Best I have seen from a mail-order company. Will definitely order again.
maureench Philadelphia, PA (4 reviews) September 28, 2013
A++ Andy is terrific. Beautiful, healthy plants received within days of ordering. Carrier was rough with the package, one plant was badly damaged, reported problem to Andy and he made it all better. Nice catalog and even got a free bookmark! Highly recommended.
This is the second time I have ordered plant material from Sunlight Gardens. Both times I have been very pleased with the plants that they have sent and how they were very carefully and well packaged for shipment.
The plants did extremely well after repotting too!
I ordered 3 Geranium plants from this company to test them out. I got beautiful, large, well-rooted plants. I was delighted. My reorder was also very good. The Brunnera were beautiful, although the ferns were not as robust. However, this has been my experience so far any time I order ferns. I think it just may be the nature of the plants. I would definitely order from them again.
Went there in person today. Holy cow I've never seen that many different critters that happy under one roof. Actually, 8-10 hoop houses (3 were growing houses, nothing for sale.) If you need a restroom you may need to hit the woods. Kinda bare bones. Squeaky-clean plants & knowledgeable staff. Can't wait to go back, so happy they're nearby.
I was exceptionally pleased when I received my very well-established plants from Sunlight Gardens. They were neatly and protectively packaged and arrived in excellent condition. I had requested a particular shipping date and they did accommodate me on that request. I am very happy with this company and will certainly buy from them again.
Good sized, healthy plants.
Will order from again.
Rollandh Wilmington, NC (13 reviews) September 22, 2012
Posted on September 22, 2012, updated September 22, 2012
Very pleased with my 7 plants, carefully packed in a small box weighing only 8 pounds. Plants were healthy, bushy, significant root growth. They endured well for a couple of days while I decided and prepared for their location. I was impressed with the fothergillas, less than a foot tall yet multiple branches filled them out. The blueberries were so fresh-looking--no damage or stress on any of the plants. I will definitely placed another order soon as I want more of these reasonably priced healthy hard to find plants.On September 22nd, 2012, Rollandh added the following:
Just an addendum to this entry: found out about Sunlight through a book titled: Best native Plants for Southern Gardens, by Gil Nelson, 20101 U of Florida Presses. In the appendix Sources of Native Plants for the Southeastern United States. There is a good list of vendors arranged by state location. I highly the book, technically, practical, scholarly, comprehensive, great photos.
Ispahan Chicago, IL (Zone 6a) (55 reviews) April 6, 2012
Just received my first order from this company, for Dodecatheon 'Aphrodite'. Plants were just breaking dormancy but had very healthy, full crowns and root systems were incredibly well developed. These were beautiful specimens and I hope they will grace my garden for years to come.
All in all, a great, hassle free ordering experience. I would definitely order from them again!
blitzems New Canaan, CT (1 review) October 9, 2011
Posted on November 12, 2009, updated October 9, 2011
largest,healthiest ,least inexpensive plants I have ever received. Have been ordering from them for maybe 15 years and am still going strong, A move allowed us to start again with them.
I have received gift certificates once in a while from so-called important nurseries and those plants certainly didn't hold up to a comparison.Delighted to be able to broadcast this opinion. thank you.i On October 9th, 2011, blitzems added the following:
I have ordered from them very successfully for years and the last order was something I hope others will not have to face. I ordered this last Monday and shortly received an email from ups that they would arrive thursday- great-- When nothing had arrived on Sat. I contacted ups and had numerous emails back and forth. They insisted they had been delivered on thursday. Finally today Sunday , they were brought here by a neighbor who had ignored the package. Of course I opened it with trepidation about the possible condition of the plants. especially because he said they had been out in the sun in 82 degree temp. Lo and behold they looked as if they had just been packed. Flowers blooming away and leaves intact !!!!! Hooray for Sunlight Nursery
Posted on April 23, 2011, updated June 19, 2011
I received my first order from this company several weeks ago and am extremely pleased. It was by far one of the nicest experiences I have had with ordering plants by mail. The order was shipped to me on time, well packaged, and the plants are very healthy looking and of a nice size (much larger than what I've gotten from other mail-order companies). I planted them and they took right off growing well. The company's email communications have also been prompt and thorough.
Sunlight Gardens has some interesting plant selections for our region of the country. I am more than satisifed with my first order and have already placed two more orders!On June 19th, 2011, Cville_Gardener added the following:
I just received my fourth order from this company and I have been thoroughly pleased with all the orders. When a box arrives from Sunlight Gardens, I can't wait to open it and see how wonderful the plants look. And I have not once been disappointed. Quite a pleasant change from the 3" fig "tree" I received from another company or those miniscule plants that take years to begin to really take off and thrive, if they ever do. The one back-order was filled in a timely fashion as soon as that plant was able to be shipped. Quick responses and great communications with this company too. They are truly a pleasure to deal with ... AAA+ in my experience.
psychloman Brooklyn, NY (Zone 7a) (50 reviews) May 21, 2011
This was my first order with this company and I was very pleased with the plants I received. Shipping is prompt, packaging is great and the plants are good value for the money. Interesting selection of plants.
This was my first order from Sunlight Gardens. E-mail communication in advance was quick and complete. Plants are exquisite, large, fresh. They were packed better than any plants I've ever received. The paper catalog is a work of linguistic art; website includes very well presented information. They must really love what they do.
dreamgreen Weaverville, NC (6 reviews) October 6, 2010
Wonderful firm to do business with. My plants arrived on schedule and in beautiful condition. The roots were strong and healthy and not pot-bound -- a cinch to plant. The tops were just as fine. Highly recommended.
I received my order today, less than a week since I sent in my check! I am extremely pleased with the condition of the plants that I pulled out of the box. They are all healthy and in great shape, having been well packaged for shipment. My 'Goldflame' honeysuckle is already about to bloom! :) I highly recommend this company, as I will be a repeat customer myself.
testostx3 Norwalk, CT (1 review) November 16, 2009
I have ordered from Sunlight Gardens for many years and am totally impressed with the quality, size and condition of their plants. The plants are packed very well and the customer service is great. Also, their prices are really reasonable. I recommend them highly and will order from them again.
KSBaptisia Beatrice, NE (Zone 5b) (6 reviews) September 12, 2009
Probably my favorite nursery for native plants/cultivars of native plants. Prices are very reasonable, plants are large (especially considering how slowly many native plants grow) and healthy, and the selection is great.
Plants large and healthy. Very pleased with this company. Will order from them again.
StellysPapa Dothan, AL (Zone 8a) (26 reviews) May 11, 2009
Sorry about the negative rating, but, all but one of the ferns I ordered earlier this year, never recovered from their dormant stage. No, I did not contact them to let them know, the only reason being because I have so many ferns already, and a few not coming up was not going to hurt me. I am only writing this review to let others know.
As for promptness in filling the order and shippment time, those were not a problem.
There was one particular fern, a Log Fern, that I placed at the front of my fern bed where I could watch it. While all other ferns were emerging and starting to put out young frond shoots, this one did nothing. So, I started to check all the ones I had gotten from Sunlight Gardens, and only one of them was up and growing. On May 11th, 2009, StellysPapa changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
I retract the negative and for the time being am using the rating as positive. It was only 2 out of 3 ferns that did not come out of their dormant stage. The other plants I got with this order, 4 Joe Pye Weed, and 1 bush honeysuckle...Diervilla, are all growing nicely, each about 20 inches tall and bushing out. So, after further thought, 2 dead out of 8 plants total, is not reason for a negative rating. My apologies to Andy.
Ordered from Sunlight Gardens two years in a row. Plants arrived in great shape and haven't lost a one. Good prices. They were out of a couple items but I did receive a refund check after emailing them through this site. Would order from them again.
I placed an order with Sunlight Gdns this Spring on-line. I received an e-mail to say that they were swamped with many orders and a shipping date was given. The plants came on time and were in good shape. They were also shipped in pots and were packed very well. The plants were also bigger than I expected and healthy. I will definately order from them again after this initial trial order. Ben L., Beach Park, IL. Zone 5a.
CHILIHEAD Huntsville, AL (Zone 7b) (2 reviews) April 30, 2007
I really can't say enough about these folks. I just found them and they had a specific plant I was looking for ,also I had a special request. They were so very nice and polite in their E-mails and phone calls and went out of their way to help me.
I received some of the nicest plants I have ever gotten from any mail order company and got them fast.
I really didn't beleive that there were still businesses like this around.
I HIGHLY recommend this company.
Having dealt with a number of mail order sources, I can safely say that Sunlight is among the finest. Sunlight offers an extensive selection of native plants at very attractive prices. Further, the quality is superb with well-rooted plants with lush growth. Finally, thier shipping practices are excellent. I highly recommend Sunlight Gardens.
tbuff Nellysford, VA (Zone 6a) (36 reviews) March 29, 2007
Plants received were very healthy and a good value. Owner was very helpful. Would definitely order again from this vendor.
Ms_Carolina Lexington, NC (Zone 7b) (1 review) November 17, 2006
I ordered a number of vines and plants from them in September and all but one variety of plant was shipped. I was impressed with the health and size of the plants I received and all are doing well. The back ordered violets arrived a couple of days ago and they're healthy and beautiful, nice size plants. They were worth the wait. I will place future orders and recommend them highly.
Tigernach Charlottesville, VA (Zone 7a) (13 reviews) January 6, 2006
Impressed with their selection, I ordered several rare plants that I'd not seen anywhere else. At the same time, I also ordered some plants from another native nursery. The difference was striking...
The plants from sunlight gardens were really healthy and well packaged. They continue to be among among some of the first I direct visitors to my garden to see. The plants from the other unnamed company, although less expensive, came bareroot, and most were already dead upon arrival.
I'd recommend Sunlight Gardens to anyone interested in Native Plants, and I eagerly await their availability list for 2006! (I hope they finally have the native Monkshood or another species of sedum!)
It took several requests to get a catalog and I ordered promptly. I did not receive my complete order, even though they were listed in the catalog. I was given no help on how to receive the remainder of my order. Although this company had several items I have been looking for, they did not give me any hope of filling the rest of my order.On May 25th, 2006, Motex added the following:
After trying to have Sunlight complete my order, they have failed and refused and apparently have no intention to do so. I cannot recommend this business.
A few weeks ago I ordered from Sunlight Gardens for the first time. The plants arrived when promised and look great: perfectly packaged, well labeled, and healthy. Plus, the prices are great. I will definitely order from this company again!
terri1106 La Vergne, TN (Zone 7a) (6 reviews) April 24, 2005
VERY high quality plant received! They were very helpful to me when I had questions regarding my order. They shipped my order right when they said they would and it looked great when I received it.
floraline Sleepy Hollow, NY (Zone 6a) (4 reviews) April 14, 2005
I received my first order from Sunlight Gardens yesterday, and was impressed with the care of packaging and quality of the the plants. They have a wide selection of native plants and a nice catalog and website. I'll definitely order from them again! A+++
dbarron Hindsville, AR (Zone 6b) (13 reviews) January 15, 2005
I've ordered from them twice and anticipate ordering a large order in a few days. I've been very pleased with their stock, it's well grown (well established) and ready to thrive.
Nothing I've ordered from them could be described as puny (assuming you know the plant).
They've been very good and prompt in answering email inquiries as to plants they might have in stock (but not on the website). And yes, often the plant is there or is in production and will be available soon.
I consider it my best source of eastern native plants!