We’ll set the scene: you’ve begun the transformation in your outdoor space. All of the excess debris is cleared out and your plans are drawn up. Maybe you’ve hired a contractor (or a few), or maybe your sleeves are rolled up and you’re ready to DIY. There’s only one thing left to do- get your hands on the materials you need. If you’re ready to start your next outdoor project, you’re probably asking yourself “how do I find landscaping supplies near me?”.
While maybe not as complex as the process of finding a trusted contractor or landscape designer, there’s still some legwork to be done. Whether you’re shopping for plants, or looking for a truckload of mulch, knowing where to go will save you time and help you finish your outdoor space with confidence.
What To Consider When Shopping for Local Landscaping Supplies
The main considerations when shopping for local landscaping supplies will vary depending on what material you’re shopping for. Every material has its own marketplace. Maybe you’ll find no problem picking up a few bags of pea gravel from your local Home Depot, but don’t know where to turn to find quality pavers.
Whether you’re shopping for plants or pergolas, keeping products and people in mind will help guide you in your search for the right stuff.
Wholesale Nurseries vs Retail Nurseries
If the first stop in your backyard landscape renovation happens to be plants, you’ll quickly realize there are two kinds of nurseries- wholesale, and retail. At first, you may not think much about their differences. Afterall, if you can buy the same type of tree in both places, then what is there to think about?
We understand. Still, there are key differences between shopping at a wholesale nursery and visiting your local retail nursery.
Whether you’re in the suburbs or in the big city, chances are you have a retail nursery near you. In a retail nursery, you’re likely to encounter more than just the plants you are looking for. Birdbaths, kitchy fountains, potting accessories, yard sprays, ornaments, and more are all staples of retail nurseries in towns across America.
Retail nurseries can vary in size and flashiness, but at the end of the day they all have one thing in common- to provide a comfortable, retail experience. Often this comes at the expense of professional help.
Most retail nurseries are staffed by 9-5 workers who are in their job to service the general public. They may be able to direct you around the store, or pull plants and products if you know what you’re there for. But beyond that, their well of knowledge may quickly run dry.
This lack of professional experience can make it difficult for prospective buyers to get information they need. Questions such as “will this do well in the shade? How big can I expect this to grow? Is this plant going to become invasive?” may not be properly answered.
Still, retail nurseries have their time and place. Whether you know exactly what you need, are simply looking for more ornamental items, or just need to grab a few things, shop away. But for a larger selection and a more informed staff, you’ll need to find your local whole nursery.
If retail nurseries are flashy but lacking substance, wholesale nurseries may feel almost shockingly simple. At a wholesale nursery, there will be no lawn accessories. No fountains. Certainly no bug-repellant candles or patio furniture. Wholesale nurseries simply sell the plants you need without any of the gimmicks. But in trading off surface level aesthetics, you will be able to access something more valuable- qualified information from experienced professionals.
Those working wholesale nurseries are in the industry because they are aiming to work in their field. These employees spend their days servicing professional landscapers, giving recommendations, and learning the intricacies of the plants you’re looking for.
For beginners, this can all seem a little overwhelming and unapproachable. But in reality, this makes wholesale nurseries a great place to find the information you’re looking for. Here, you can get recommendations for your space and understand the difference between plant varieties. More than anything, you can feel confident that you are going home with high quality plantings that will work and grow successfully in your yard.
Where to Find Mulch
Chances are, if you’re spending time buying plants, you’ll need to find ground cover as well. If you’re in the market for dirt, mulch, or gravel, there are two main options available to you. You can buy directly from your local stone yard or wholesale garden center, or take a trip to your local hardware store.
Here, there may not be as much nuance, and you may have fewer questions. While mulch definitely comes in a wide range of colors and styles, at the end of the day it installs the same across the board. This can make buying from a big box store like Lowes or Home Depot feel like a logical option. And if you are covering a smaller space, it may be fine!
However, the larger your project, the more you should explore your local options. Branching out to explore local stone yards or wholesalers could save you two of the most important things in life- time and money.
At big box stores, you are guaranteed to buy products by the bag until you have the amount you believe you need. The more product you require, the more the price will drive up. And when the material you’re buying is dirt or gravel, that’s not a great feeling.
Stone yards or other wholesale resources will offer the same product with options to buy in bulk. This means you can fill a truck or trailer with however much gravel, mulch, or dirt you need, drive it home, and get straight to work. At the end of the day, this means less hassle, a better overall price, and a lower chance of time wasted with return trips to the store to purchase more mulch for your half finished garden bed.
Where to Find Pavers & Other Hardscaping Materials
Your approach to finding pavers and other hardscaping material can be based once again on what kind of experience you are looking for. Once again, you will have the option to buy from a big box or retail store, or shop it out at a local stone yard. The difference? Products and people.
Big box stores will usually run a small selection of items such as pavers. However, stock will likely be limited, and the source of their product may be questionable. Employees servicing you may not be knowledgeable in the field. If you know exactly what you’re looking for, and know that your local retailer has the product you need, this may not be a problem.
But for those who are new to the field, or are looking for a wide range of quality products to choose from, this can be frustrating and limiting. At the end of the day, you could spend a lot of time inside your local big box store and walk out with more questions than answers.
In comparison, stone yards exist to appeal to professional contractors. This translates to more knowledgeable staff, a wider selection of materials, and a chance to get an idea of what is truly possible in your space. While you may not be a professional yourself, you should walk out feeling like you now have access to the tools you need to make whatever vision you have for your yard a reality.
Choosing from Landscape Supplies Near Me
We know- finding landscaping supplies in your area is more complicated than simply knowing what kind of store to buy from. After you determine what retail experience you’d like to have, you need to physically know what’s out there. This is when the real searching begins. Thankfully, it’s easier now more than ever to find landscape supply options in your area. Whether you’re surveying a professional you trust, or scouring the web, the answer is probably only a few good questions away.
Word of Mouth
No matter how digital our world becomes, there’s still nothing better than a recommendation from a friend or family member. Word of mouth is so effective for a few reasons. Not only does talking to someone you know provide you with insight from someone you can trust, (rather than a faceless stranger online), but often you can see the result of their shopping first hand.
If someone you know has a great outdoor space, ask them where they got their pavers. Find out where they shopped for mulch, or the line of arborvitae creating a privacy wall at their property line. Chances are, their great customer experience could easily become your great customer experience.
Ask a Pro
Leveling up from friends or family testimony is getting advice from a professional source that you trust. Contractors in the industry all have their preferred landscaping supplies retailers. Finding out where the pros go can help inform you as to where you should look as well. From plants to pavers, talking to someone in the landscaping industry should provide you with a list of resources you may have never known existed as a member of the general public.
Ok, sure. Not everyone’s network puts them in contact with a professional who can point them in the right direction. When your personal circle of recommendations leaves something to be desired, it’s probably time to turn to an online resource.
When shopping out the competition, look for online spaces that offer reliable reviews. Yelp can give you insight into experiences from real people in your area. Better yet, there is little room for companies or retailers to adjust or skew these reviews. This will help you feel confident in reaching out to a service with great online ratings.
Beyond general review sites, there are options tailored more specifically to connecting you with landscape supplies in your area. For those looking to shop it out without ever leaving the couch, websites such as SiteOne are a good option.
SiteOne is a company that has taken over the landscaping world in recent years. Over time, SiteOne has bought out countless small local wholesale or private nurseries and stone yards and placed them under the SiteOne umbrella. The companies they absorb retain the same people and products, but the name becomes formally SiteOne. In recent years, they have moved online to make shopping for landscaping supplies even easier.
Now, the SiteOne website uses your location to show you what landscaping supplies are available in your area. Search by city or area code to narrow down your geographical region. Then, select what landscape supply product you’re on the hunt for.
The website will use this information to provide you with a tailored list of products sold under the SiteOne name in your area. From every type of plant, to hardscaping, irrigation equipment and more, SiteOne offers access to supplies you need both in person, locally, and online.
Product, People, and Overall Experience
Finding the right landscape supply company near you depends on the experience you are looking for. If you know exactly what you are looking for, and don’t anticipate having many questions- a big box store that provides that product could do the job. However, if you’re in need of advice, insight, or a wider range of products, you may need to look into wholesale nurseries or stone yards.
At the end of the day, you want to make sure you’re buying a quality landscaping supplies you love from people you trust. Any place that gives you that opportunity is a winner in our books.