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.
Want 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.
All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.
By Stacey Hirvela, Spring Meadow Nursery
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners/ColorChoice Shrubs
Landscaping is often an exercise in problem solving: we may have an ideal plant in mind, only to find that it won’t thrive in our yards because our site or soil isn’t suitable. Fortunately, plants are wonderfully diverse and adaptable, so you’re guaranteed to find beautiful, landscape-worthy shrubs that withstand most any of Mother Nature’s curveballs. Think of the plants listed below as the landscape equivalent of the old saying, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!” — they tolerate and even thrive under the difficult conditions commonly found in backyards everywhere. This means less work for you and a better performance from your plants!
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