The Best Free Seed and Gardening Catalogs
Nothing can brighten a dreary winter day quite as much as receiving a new seed or gardening catalog in the mail. I can spend hours dreaming over the new varieties and planning my summer garden. If you love garden catalogs as much as I do, here are link to a few of the best. Be sure to order yours right away.
My Favorite Seed and Gardening Catalogs
Whether you grow flowers or vegetables (or both), the Burpee catalog is pretty much the standard. It’s complete, it’s attractive, it’s logically organized, and it provides a lot of good information. This year, the Burpee catalog boasts 9 pages of new products, and highlights 15 pages of recent favorites.
Michigan Bulb Company
If you’re not from Michigan, don’t be put off by the title. They’ll send you a catalog based on your hardiness zone. I am from Michigan, however, and I became aware of this catalog years ago, when they used to advertise spectacular deals in the Sunday paper. (100 tulip bulbs for $2.99 – deals like that.) Their prices aren’t quite that good now, but they’re still pretty reasonable.
I particularly like this catalog for its “garden plans”: collections of plants and seeds for a rose garden, a night-blooming garden, a water-smart garden, butterfly/hummingbird garden, shade garden, 3-season cutting garden – you get the picture. You can buy collections that way, or just use the plans for ideas to create your own planting scheme.
The catalog I have has a coupon for $20.00 off $40.00 of merchandise. (It expires 2/12/10, so order your catalog today.).
Seed Savers Exchange
I first heard about this catalog on the Martha Stewart TV program. They are the largest non-government seed bank in the United States, and sell only heirloom and certified organic products. Besides individual packets, they also sell some collections (lettuce, flowers, sunflowers, etc.)
John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds
Mostly vegetables, with some flowers. Lots and lots of variety – they have 17 varieties of red chile peppers, for example, and many, many salad greens. There are also salad green collections, and both culinary and ornamental herbs.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
This has gorgeous illustrations, and some unusual varieties.
If you’re going to be in Missouri this summer, you might want to pay them a visit. Apparently they have quite a little village going: besides the seed store and speaker barn, there’s a restaurant, mercantile, herbal apothecary, bakery, garden museum, blacksmith, two music barns, native rock oven, windmill, and some historic breeds of livestock and poultry. They also have a monthly festival (year-round), with music, speakers, seeds and produce, and they’re only 90 minutes away from Branson. There are more details on their website.
David Austin Roses
This is probably the most visually stunning garden catalog of all. Lots and lots of information about roses, as well.
Logee’s Tropical Plants
An excellent source for tropical plants, whether you grow them indoors or out (you’d have to bring them in over the winter). Orchids, bromeliads, dwarf citrus, foliage plants, and my favorite, living stones (lithops).
Just daylilies, which can be planted in spring or fall.
Oakes has a Daylily Festival June 26 and 27, in Knoxville. You might want to check it out if you’re out that way.
They offer wildflowers and prairie seeds, both in mixes and in individual packets. There are no illustrations inside this publication, but there are excellent descriptions, percentage compositions of the mixes, and information on the preferred environment and suggested uses. Just what you need if you want to cover a large area with indigenous plants.
Brent and Becky’s Bulbs
Lots of bulbs and bulb “companions” – perennials and meadow seeds that grow well with the bulbs.
Van Engelen Wholesale Bulbs
This is more of a price list than an actual catalog: no photographs, but some line drawings along with the descriptions and prices. This is the place to go when you want to buy enough bulbs to blanket your backyard with daffodils and crocus next spring.
These Catalogs Are New to Me
I’ve only just sent for these, so I don’t know exactly what to expect. I’ll let you know how they turn out.
The Cook’s Garden
This is supposed to also have recipes and gourmet cooking information.