Friday, January 25, 2013

Garden Catalogs = Eye Candy

I love garden catalogs!  They show up at the right time of the year and bring with them dreams of colors, scents, and springtime. I do have some tricks and tips that are useful in keeping my wants in line with my needs.

Select Seeds--Antique Flowers offers unique flower seeds of old-fashioned varieties, fragrant heirloom flowers, flowering vines, and more.I pull out a 'sharpie' and mark plants that catch my attention.  No limits here, this is wish time!  Then the next time through I pay more attention to the details:  zone, size, bloom time, water and sun requirements, etc.  This eliminates those that really won't work in my garden.  Some of the information I might ignore if the plant is something I really want to try.  You may have noticed that I haven't mentioned prices - more on that later. 

 Now it's time to get out my current garden journal, scissors and tape or a glue stick.  I cut out enough of the picture and the plant info and add them to my journal.  Be sure to find a way to note which catalog it came from and include the price.  It's a visual shopping list!  Maybe this seems a bit retro but I like being able to take it with me to local nurseries.  It helps me comparison shop and find possible alternatives.  

Okay,about prices.  Catalogs often have special offers that sound very tempting.  It's so easy to get carried away since the pictures are so delicious.  Read the fine print carefully
 - the plant you will receive in the mail will be much smaller.  
You might be able to find the same plant locally or from another catalog.  New plant varieties and heirlooms are often much more expensive.  If you can wait a year the price will probably come down. Award  winning plants are usually great choices.  TIP: get to know your local nursery...they will often add your 'must have' something special to their next order.  Big box stores won't do this. 

Here's a list of some of my favorite catalogs (I have ordered from each of them):

Gardener's Supply Company
John Scheeper's Kitchen Garden Seeds's
Dutch Garden                                          
Wayside Gardens  
Select Seeds
High Country Gardens
The Cook's Garden
Park's Seeds
Van Bougondien  


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