Wish books: garden catalogs for gray wintry days

by Caroline Brown

Spring is upon us–less than 3 weeks away–but you’d never know it here in Rhode Island. My friend Kim aka Carolina Purl was gloating today about blooming Bradford pear trees, highs of 79 degrees, and wearing sandals to work (guess where she lives–hint: not New England). Oh yeah? Well I’m wearing two sweaters, long johns, and wool socks! This is what the weather here is like, and it just started flurrying. Anyway, I’m keeping myself sane by looking through garden catalogs and making to do lists for spring.

Garden catalogs aren’t always for buying, of course. Most of them are free and they can be great (and inexpensive!) gardening guides because they have a lot of information & photos. Here are the ones whose pages that I’m wearing out right now.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds — a great source of seeds, esp. for New England gardeners. Johnny’s is in Maine and runs seed trials, so the seeds will do well in our climate.

Gardens Alive! — “Environmentally responsible” garden supplies such as soil amendments, pest & disease control, etc. Included in the catalog is a very informative guide (with photos) to insects, diseases, and nutrient deficiencies.

Brecks — I buy all my bulbs from them. They grow and ship direct from Holland.

White Flower Farm — The creme de la creme of catalogs for ornamental plants and bulbs. Located in Connecticut, their catalog has so much information about plants plus great photos. Expensive but high quality–save your order for that special item that you want to be perfect. Their website also has a ton of planting guides that you can download for free (click on Gardening Help).

The Cook’s Garden — A favorite catalog of picky gardener-cooks. They have a fabulous selection of salad greens!

Wayside Gardens — A beautiful & informative catalog for ornamental plants. They’re located in S. Carolina, so I probably won’t use them because I want plants grown in my climate. But they would be great resource for Southern gardeners.

Park’s Seeds — I don’t really have anything to say about them, except that I have their seed catalog and it’s thick and colorful.

Park’s Gardens — Their sister catalog for plants, ditto.

Gardener’s Supply Company — Cool supplies that I lust after but can’t afford.


One Comment to “Wish books: garden catalogs for gray wintry days”

  1. Got gotta love March in New England. It’s our reminder to enjoy the last of winter because spring’s coming, and it won’t be long before we complain about it being toooooooo hotttttt. Although, it’s 4° this morning. I could trade that for too hot for a little white.

    The 10 day forecast says the weather will be perfect here in my little piece of Maine to tap maple trees on Sunday!

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