And I don’t mean Christmas! For gardeners, the arrival of spring catalogs is as exciting (if not more so) than the Christmas catalogs. Inside are pages full of dreams that with a little effort, can come true! An English cottage garden full of blowsy, charming flowers nodding their heads in the breeze? Easy peasy. A bountiful vegetable garden in a small space? Can do! A fast-growing screen to block out my neighbors view? Oh yeah.
The arrival of spring catalogs makes my heart beat faster, my dreams seem reachable and my imagination soar. Inside are new color combinations I could try, new kinds of plants, disease-resistant hybrid vegetables and long-forgotten heirloom seeds. With a piece of graph paper and my catalogs, Gertrude Jekyll has some competition. Even without the graph paper, my mind is busy at night creating gorgeous, private retreats. Here are some of my favorite sources for gardening fantasies.
The Cook’s Garden
Mainly aimed towards “seeds and plants for gourmet gardeners.” All this means to you is: quite an extensive selection of lettuces, herbs, heirloom tomatoes and things like that. (There is a small selection of flowers). They also have everything you need to grow from seed successfully.
Like the name, Gardener’s Supply is more based on supplies. I have used their seed-starting kits for years and they are AMAZING. I’ve never had any failure with starting seeds (even old ones!) with their self-watering seed-starter kits. They also have great trellis and plant support collection (and much more).
This catalog states, “The finest fruit & berry culivars from around the world.” Even if you don’t have a lot of acreage to start your fruit orchard, you will find a wonderful selection of rare, old and hard-to-find fruit and berry plants for great-tasting results. And for those of us who are space-challenged, they have dwarf varieties. Who knew there were Russian, Italian, Swedish, French and Japanese plums?? Five pages of pears, gooseberries, lingonberries, alpine strawberries, and all sorts of yummy things you’ve never heard of are in this catalog.
Klehm’s Song Sparrow
Klehm’s farm and nursery is for the peony-lover. Bush and tree, they have a great selection. Although I’ve never been a fan of daylilies, my sister and mother are crazy about them. This catalog has 4 gorgeous pages of them. I do love Hosta and there are 8 pages of unique and captivating varieties. This is sort of the Park Avenue of selected varieties. Luscious.
White Flower Farm
This is another ‘step up’ in the catalog world. In the fall, the daffodil selection covers 6 pages. Forget the boring, yellow picture of a daffodil, they have pink and white ones, all white, yellow and white, yellow and orange, etc. etc. I also looooove David Austin roses (those huge, fat, cabbage types with rich fragrance you see in old Dutch paintings). They have a great selection of these too.
Small catalog but with a big message: with our color combination planter packs, you will be a success! (Or at least, the envy of the neighborhood). Pages and pages full of combinations that will suit full shade to full sun and everything in between. This is perfect for the patio gardener who uses mostly containers. Or anyone who wants outstanding planters near the front door or charming window boxes. They also carry a very hard to find plant that I only know of two sources for: the alpine geranium. This is not the “ivy geranium” so many catalogs or nurserymen point you to. This the real thing that you see cascading from flowerboxes in Switzerland and Austria. Three to four feet long and covered with small, delicate and charming flowers. (The other source—and probably better for their selection is Larson’s Geraniums http://larsonsgeraniums.com/pages/about-us). The Larsons took over this selection from Wheeler Farm Gardens (in the family- no hostile takeover :o). This is truly the best source of those illusive European alpine balcony geraniums.
Well, everyone knows about them don’t they? Huge selection, wonderful shrubs—mountain laurel, rhododendrons, hydrangeas and my favorite, old roses.
These are just a few of the ones I collect and salivate over. What are some of your favorite gardening catalogs? Post them here!