Summer, even more than springtime, is for gardeners. Whether they are planting rows upon rows of vegetables or a few window boxes of flowers, however, gardeners need the tools, seeds and other materials to make their gardens grow and look beautiful. The long growing season makes Connecticut an ideal place for gardeners to experiment and to really get their hands dirty. To help spur their imaginations and help their dreams come true, there are many wonderful and friendly nurseries and garden centers throughout the state. Here are just five of the top spots to buy gardening supplies in Connecticut.

White Flower Farm
167 Litchfield Road
Morris, CT 06763
(860) 567-8789

White Flower Farm is famous not only in Connecticut but throughout New England as one of if not the premier nurseries in the region. They have been growing plants and helping gardeners in the Litchfield Hills for over half a century, and with their mail-order catalog and website have expanded their reputation and client base nationwide. Their plants, seeds and instructional booklets come highly recommended by garderners great and small. White Flower also has an extensive selection of tools, pots and even clothing to not only help outfit a gardener properly, but to make their experience and job as easy and as comfortable as possible. White Flower has everything from arbors to watering cans, and a staff that is always ready to answer questions and offer suggestions to those in need of a little help.

Harkens Landscape Supply And Garden Center
287 S. Main St.
E. Windsor, CT 06088
(860) 528-6806

From bulk stone and mulch to trays of seedlings and pots of individual plants, Harkens of East Windsor is truly, as their ad boasts, the “one-stop source for all your garden needs.” Amateurs and hobbyists with window boxes and kitchen gardens are treated with the same courtesy, attention and respect given to professional gardeners and landscapers, many of whom in the Greater Hartford Area come to Harkens to fill their pick-up trucks and hatchbacks with everything from landscape lighting and synthetic turf to the materials and designs to create waterfalls and ponds in their gardens. The nursery and gift shop are the best places for first-time visitors to start, and for those seriously into gardening there are many other departments which will call to them, including one that makes barns and sheds.

Earth First Nursery
6923 Main St.
Trumbull, CT 06611
(203) 261-3926

Earth First Nursery in Trumbull takes organic gardening and the environment especially seriously. The site of a family-owned farm stand and nursery since the end of the Second World War, the business was known as Wakeman’s until adopting the new name in 2009. The owners did so, as their website notes, “to reflect an emphasis on earth-friendly practices and concepts” and their commitment to “a more sustainable landscape lifestyle.” Gardeners seeking chemicals and scientifically enhanced plants should look elsewhere, for every shrub, tree, flower and other plant Earth First offers are green in more ways than one. Earth First can also design and create gardens and other landscapes, and has all the materials a gardener needs, including organic ferilizers and natural pesticides.

Related: Community Gardens in Connecticut

Uncle Bob’s Garden Center
191 Meriden Road
Middlefield, CT 06455
(860) 704-8414

It is impossible to say the name of “Uncle Bob’s Garden Center” without smiling. It just sounds like such a friendly, happy, laid-back and welcoming kind of place, and that’s because it is. The staff at Uncle Bob’s are there to help, not push, their plants, tools, mulch, fertilizer and garden nicknacks. Whether a customer is coming in with a truck for a bulk load of sand, gravel, or soil, or just wants a few hanging plants or some flowers to plant, they are treated like family. Uncle Bob’s has everything every other nursery and garden center has, but manages to offer it all with a smile.

Paley’s Market And Garden Center
230 Amenia Road
Sharon, CT 06069
(860) 364-0674

Gardeners and owners of summer homes by the lakes of the Northwest Corner of Connecticut are very fond of Paley’s Market and Garden Center in Sharon. They not only offer plants and everything needed to make a garden grow, but also offer workshops on just how best to do it. Those who stop by Paley’s to fill out their shopping lists can also take home fresh fruit, vegetables and pies and other treats, inclujding cheese, for Paley’s is not just a nursery but also a farm and orchard.

Related: Top Spots To See Spring Wildflowers In Connecticut

Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at