These are some of my favorite catalogs. My preferences are based on past experiences with the merchants, and also on their ethical perspectives. I try to buy organic, and I certainly want open pollinated and usually heirloom varieties, so that narrows the field even more. I also like catalogs that are colorful and pleasant to leaf through. Who doesn’t?
I began receiving garden catalogs well before the holidays, but it’s only now that I get down to business and actually read them. Then I circle stuff I like, and finally I make a list, weed out the duplicates, and actually commit to ordering seeds.
Here are my top picks for 2011. Click on the links to be magically transported to the companies’ websites.
The catalog is stunning, and the owner’s position on GMO seeds and crops is firm – firmly against, that is. I ordered beans from them last year, and I will order from Baker again.
I’ve ordered from this Maine company for years with consistent success. Great zinnia selection.
John Scheeper’s Kitchen Garden Seeds:
A good catalog from one of the oldest flower bulb importers. I like their commitment to helping beneficial insects in the garden. I have ordered flower and vegetable seeds from Scheeper’s.
Another good Maine company. Their website is less than scintillating, and I couldn’t download the cover of their catalog, but they offer a large selection of vegetable and flower seeds, and are definitely worth checking out.
An easy-on-the-eyes catalog that offers only 100% certified organic seeds. These people are very serious about biodiversity and sustainability. I think I will order my potatoes from them this year.
This company caters to the deep-end foodie gardener with a terrific variety of vegetable seeds. They have expanded their organic offerings this year, too.
As the title implies, this is for the “tomatophiles” out there…and you know who you are.
Mostly ornamentals, although they have expanded their vegetable offerings over the years. I have included this catalog because it is such a pleasure to browse. The photographs are spectacular and the phonetic pronunciations of the different cultivars are so useful to have. I like to keep this catalog as a reference in my garden library.
This is a great resource for perennials. I have ordered from them often, and the plants always arrive in perfect condition. This is another one of those catalogs that serves as a helpful reference.
So those are the catalogs that are sitting on my bedside table, beside a pad and pencil for serious planning and note-taking. Send me your favorites and I’ll feature them in a special readers’ picks post!
I love all of these too and especially find the Baker Creek catalog akin to a coffee table book. Has anyone heard of the Abundant Life Seeds company (Oregon)? They too offer organic seed, and some of their offerings are tempting.
On another note, I have a request, DN. Could you give us some info on
easy to grow orchids for beginners? I’ve seen some beautiful ones lately but don’t want to buy one that’s difficult to keep and end up being disappointed. Thanks!
I received the Abundant Life catalog only after this post was written, and I have not had a chance to really look through it yet. Maybe tonight.
I will write something about growing orchids, but the meantime, please don’t buy a vanda. Lovely as they are, they’re almost impossible to grow unless you have a greenhouse.
Because curiosity got the better of me, I looked up images of the vanda.
Thanks for the warning; those crayola crayon colors would have definitely tempted me to buy one!
Just say no!