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Anne K Moore
Photograph Anne K Moore

There are some stunningly beautiful catalogs out there.  Garden catalogs have long been a source of good gardening information.  They are also beautiful picture books.  You might never attain the perfection shown in the photographs, but Wow!  Just contemplating these artful flowers and vegetables is eye-candy for winter-weary gardeners.

If you are on a budget, consider what some of these photographs could do for your walls.  Matted and framed, they become true pieces of art.  Use the small pictures cut out and pasted into a collage, then framed.  They make instant color and impact on an otherwise drab wall.  And, many catalogs are free for the asking.

Aside from the nationally known Burpee, Park Seed, Whiteflower Farm, and Wayside Gardens here are some of my all time favorite browsing catalogs, just for their beauty.  No deep thinking allowed, although there are plenty of choice plants to choose from in these works:

Klehm’s Song Sparrow Nursery
Stokes Tropicals
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Tomato Growers Supply Company

For all around fun with garden descriptions, you can’t beat Plant Delights Nursery.  You might even want to save the catalog covers.  They are usually cutting edge and often laugh-out-loud funny as they spoof national figures.  You are charged a fee up front for the first issue, but then subsequent issues will come your way payless.  The fee is 10 stamps or a box of chocolates.

This one isn't pretty, but for sheer mass of paper and information, you should browse through Territorial Seed Company’s catalog.  It is not glossy, just weighty with tons of choices.

For a lesson in growing wildflowers, you cannot go wrong with Wildseed Farms catalog.  This beautiful catalog will tutor you in natives with photos, maps, and growing instructions. 

Yellow daffodils, Copyright 2008 2010 Anne K MooreWant to know about heirloom bulbs?  Old House Gardens is passionate about the old garden staples.  Get their catalog and/or subscribe to their e-letter for past-times flowers.  On line or in hand, Brent & Becky's Bulbs catalog shows a fine collection of all things bulbous.  They carry a veritable warehouse of different bulb flowers.

You don’t have to spend on books to learn about gardening.  Most of these catalogs are full of information and many are yours for the asking or for a nominal fee.  Many of us old-timers enjoy holding paper in our hands when we read.  If you are of the new techie generation, you can access these beauties online.  (In fact, Renee’s Garden catalog can only be seen online.)  Either way, plant yourself in front of some good and plentiful reading with color that will light up your winter.

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GardenSMART Featured Article

By Justin Hancock, Costa Farms Horticulturist, Photographs courtesy of Costa Farms

Gardening indoors and out come with their own sets of challenges and opportunities, making it easy to master one and struggle with the other. If you're one who puts your focus outdoors, but you want to enjoy the beauty and air-purification properties of houseplants, start here! Read more...

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This exciting journey will be hosted by nationally known host Eric Johnson, of Public Television's blockbuster show GardenSmart. Your river cruise begins in Amsterdam where you'll see works by Rembrandt and Van Gogh, Anne Frank's House, and see the city's most famous gardens. Then spend a full morning on the grounds of the most beautiful spring garden in the world-Keukenhof! Visit the picturesque Belgian towns of Bruges and Ghent as well as Kinderdijk, with the Netherlands' iconic collection of 19 authentic windmills that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, history buffs will experience a captivating tour of the WWI trenches of Flanders and WWII Arnhem Battlefield of A Bridge Too Far fame. You won't want to miss this extraordinary garden adventure to Holland and Belgium.

Book by November 15, 2017 and save up to $1200 dollars per person!

To register call: Alki Tours at 800-895-2554

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