After the bright light of the solstice fire has settled down to the warm glow of coals and
the excitement of the holiday season has worn off, I start to truly feel the chill of winter.
The gray skies seem to get lower every day, offering what little insulation they can
against the cold frosty ground.

It is time to begin to dream of spring…of bloom…of buzz.

With tea in hand and feet by the fire, I look for inspiration, whimsy, connections, and
resources. Listed below are some of my favorite New England Tropical Glass Houses,
Old School Plant Catalogs, Online Blogs and Native Plant Nurseries that get me feeling
creative and ready to plant come spring!

Visit a Glass House!

  • Lyman Estate Greenhouses: Located in Waltham, the Lyman Glass Houses are known for their Camellia collection which is definitely worth a visit.

  • Logees: You will be blown away by the selection of indoor tropical plants here, a secret of professionals for years. Located about an hour West of Providence.

Flip through a Catalog!

  • Sylvan Nurseries: A stalwart of Westport for many years Sylvan has been providing plants wholesale and retail to the community. Get a hard copy catalog or download a PDF from their website.

  • Issima: A boutique nursery in Rhode Island, Issima grows amazing and unusual plants. Their catalog is online only. Issima has long been part of the Sakonnet Garden Plant Sales.

  • Fedco Seeds: This catalog is by far my favorite catalog to hold in my hands by the fire! It is a classic that everyone should have. Each year it is adorned with new hand drawn pictures that make it a joy to flip through and inspiring to order from.

Read a Blog Post (or two)!

  • Garden Foreplay is the Blog written by Kathy Tracy who, along with her partner Chris, runs Avant Gardens in Dartmouth. It is hard to describe how amazing their place is, so if you haven’t visited, put it on your list for 2024. They are growers, designers, masons, horticulturalists and all around amazing people with a very special property.

  • Plant Stories: Sakonnet Gardens is definitely a special place and it is amazing they were able to open their doors to the public a few years back. Again if you haven’t been, get it on the list for 2024 and check out their blog archive from last year.

  • Blue Stem Natives: Our native ecosystems never stop humming along and we can always do more to improve our home gardens and landscapes so we can enjoy the winter months even more. Check out the very active blog over at Norwell-based growers Blue Stem Natives!

Nothing But Natives!

  • Butterfly Effect Farm: This Westport plant shop opened just last year and had an amazing first season. Check out what Emily has going on in 2024 and support your local pollinators!

  • Tree Talk Natives: Also new to the South Coast last year, Tree Talk Natives arrived in Rochester selling native trees, shrubs and perennials. See their website for details for what’s coming in the 2024 growing season.

  • Wild Seed Project: Some folks just like to grow their own and the Wild Seed Project based in Maine has got what you’re looking for.  All things native seed, this organization has many additional resources–plant guides, programs, and events–to help you get from seed to success.

photo credit: NickyPe,