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Must Have Mail Order Catalogs

Mail Order CatalogsOur gardens are in a deep winter sleep so it is the perfect time to make plans for the next growing season.   As is often the case, these plans begin by browsing through a few mail order catalogs.

It seems that with the popularity of the Internet, I don't get as many catalogs as I used to, which is somewhat of a mixed blessing.  My mailbox is certainly less congested, but I miss thumbing through the pages reviewing all the selections.

There are a few companies that I make sure to remain on their mailing list because their catalogs are so beautiful and full of such great information that they become a part of my library. 

Here is a list of my favorites:

1.    Renee's Garden Seed - Renee Shepherd is not only a great gardener, but a friend.  She offers a wide range of unusual and old-fashioned vegetables and flowers.

2.    Thompson Morgan - Leave it to the Brits to offer the most unusual selections.  I always find something out of the ordinary that I want to try.

3.    The Cook's Garden - Everything you need for your kitchen garden including seeds for growing vegetables and flowers and baskets for harvesting your bounty!

4.    The Bakers Catalog - Most gardeners I know are great cooks so a cooking catalog is a must for daydreaming about meals enjoyed al fresco.  The Bakers Catalog is published by my favorite flour brand, The King Arthur Flour Company.  They have everything from polished stone cookware to dog biscuit kits to pickled corn relish.

5.    Plant's Delight - One of my all time favorite plant sources.  Rare and unique plant offerings with fun and information descriptions.

6.    Heronswood - There are no photos in this catalog, but with 2200 plants, delightful descriptions and combination suggestions it makes for great reading! 

7.    The Antique Rose Emporium - Every old-fashioned rose aficionado should have this catalog in their collection.  Along with thorough descriptions and beautiful images the catalog includes instructions for growing, training and propagating roses.

8.    Wildseed Farms - An excellent source for wildflowers and native grasses.  They provide good information about establishing a wildflower garden and suggest collections that are suited for various regions.

9.    Stromberg's Chicks and Gamebirds Unlimited - Okay I know this catalog will appeal to a limited crowd, but I sure do love it.  If you are even remotely interested in poultry, you can spend a good hour browsing through the pages.  And if you are serious about the subject you must subscribe to the Poultry Press.

10.    Seeds of Change - This is a great resource for gardeners who are interested in finding heirloom vegetable and flower seeds that have been organically cultivated.  Includes growing guidelines and an interesting history of each type of plant.

11.    Stokes Tropicals - Whenever I have a question about a tropical plant I begin my research with the Stokes catalog.  It includes loads of pictures and sections featuring banana trees, bougainvillea, ginger and plumaria to name just a few.

12.    Bas Bleu - What would a library of catalogs be without at least one that specializes in books?  Bas Bleu is chock full of out-of-the-ordinary literature and reading related gifts.  Each book in the catalog includes a mini-review that is both helpful and entertaining to read.