As you start looking for the perfect perennials, annuals and veggies to fill your yard, consider taking your shopping online. Companies have perfected the art of shipping living, growing things, so they arrive perfectly healthy and ready to thrive. And online shopping may be the solution if you can’t find unique or special varieties at your local garden centers.

I pulled together my favorite online companies — many of which I’ve used — where you can feel confident placing your order. My biggest tip is to order early, especially if you’re after something specific, because once these companies sell out for the season, that’s it.

Great Garden Plants. I love this company for their large variety of coneflowers, available in shades of green, red, orange, yellow and more. They also have an excellent supply of other perennials, and all the plants arrive healthy and in large pots.

Annie’s Annuals. This company is a favorite among gardeners, and they recently added lots of perennials to their offerings. I’ve always liked them for the unique sunflower varieties they offer. You can order actual plants from them — not just seeds. This can be surprisingly hard to find when it comes to annuals. Go online to order a free catalog.

Burpee. They are a staple in the plant world. Hardly a year goes by where I don’t order at least a few things from Burpee. They have a great selection of pretty much everything. I like ordering veggie plants versus starting from seed, and they’re one of the few companies that offer this. Also, you can usually get pretty good deals from them like free shipping or money off your entire order.

Pre-planned garden designs are great for newbie gardeners. Pre-planned garden designs are great for newbie gardeners. (Photo: Courtesy of Bluestone Perennials)

Bluestone Perennials. Hands down, they are one of the best sources for perennials. They are an excellent company with great customer service. I love their pre-planned garden designs, which are great if you’re just getting started. You can get a few dozens garden plants for a nice price by going this route.

Logee’s. This company is known for their tropical, rare and fruiting plants. So if this is the year you’re going to add a lemon tree to your collection, this where you should buy it. They have many other great tropical plants, including orchids.

Brent and Becky’s Bulbs. Yes, Brent and Becky are real people, and their company has the best selection of bulbs online. While many bulbs are traditionally planted in fall, there are lots of options you can plant in spring, too. Check out their spring catalog.

Lazy S’s. I love smaller companies, and this is one of the best. Lazy S’s is a husband-wife team, and they’ve been in business for more than 40 years. They might not have a fancy website, but they do have an excellent collection.

Prairie Nursery. If you’re trying to add native plants to your backyard, then this is an excellent source. They also have some great options for pre-planned gardens.

Territorial Seed Company. Looking for a good source for veggies? Territorial has a huge selection of both seeds and plants. They also have a great supply or organics.

Want to grow the Molokai purple sweet potato? Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds can help. Want to grow the Molokai purple sweet potato? Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds can help. (Photo: Courtesy of Baker Creek Rare Seeds)

Baker Creek. If you’re into unique, rare or organic, this company will probably have the seeds for it. They are one of the most recognized and reputable seed companies in the entire garden industry. Their catalog alone is worth ordering — the photos are gorgeous, and the selection is impressive.

Stacy Tornio spent 10 years as the editor of Birds & Blooms magazine, so she knows a thing or two about gardening.