a black thumb when dealing with plants help

hello, i have a black thumb when it comes to plants but my sister is super with plants but not great when it comes to finding newsgroups lol. so i am asking for her and will e mail her any posts on any of the following. even one point of this post answered will be a help.
thanks for any and all help on this.
she wants to know of some online sites that others have used to order plants and trees. yes i could look this up but i want to be sure they are really selling plants and etc.
also if this is not to much to ask does anyone know is it easy to grow olive trees. we are in the south of the USA in Arkansas. the big thing where she lives are huge magnolia trees, and she wants some so i told her to just go ask around for cuttings and not order these off line.
i think maybe i should go look up info on these two kinds of trees and see what i come up with to pass along also.
thanks for any help and/or tips!!!
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You might also want to ask here about peoples' favorite books. There is sometimes the impression that if something's written on the web, it's somehow more accurate than what you find in books. No. So:
In my experience, the best seeds come from: www.burpee.com They don't carry quite as much variety as they used to, but their product still produces the best germination rates. Order direct. Local retailers sometimes abuse the seeds through improper handling & storage.
Good source for perennials, trees & shrubs. BUT: They carry quite a few "exciting new cultivars" which will cost you an arm and a leg. Study their offerings for older varieties which are just as good, and much cheaper. www.waysidegardens.com
As far as the magnolia trees (or trees in general), just my opinion, but I'd drive 2-3 hours to buy locally before I'd have live plants stuck in a box and thrown all over a series of delivery trucks. There HAVE to be local sources down your way. Call your local cooperative extension service. Or, check your yellow pages for landscapers (not the guys who just cut lawns, but the ones who actually install real gardens). They may know a few sources.
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doug thanks for taking the time with all the helpful info in your post. i will pass it alot to sis and i know it will give her lots of help. we really thank you. also i have already found some useful posts from this group to pass on to her also.
you had said its better to buy trees locally and i think that is wise, i think my sister needs to be better informed before going on her own so with alot of what i have found online and this group she should be good to go soon. thanks again
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Poke around this link, too. You might find some useful information.
www.garden.org/home
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thanks doug for the link! who knows by the time i get done for sis i may be able to grow something myself.
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Everybody can grow things. There are no black thumbs.
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