Once the excitement of the holidays are over and we enter into the slower pace of the next few cold, snowy months, I get anxious for spring. That’s when I start to pour through my favorite seed catalogs.
Nothing gets the creative juices flowing like looking at glossy color photographs of beautiful plants, or reading snippets of gardening tips and recipes sprinkled throughout a catalog all while snug in your house, cuddled up under a warm blanket on a snowy day! The following are some of my favorite herb and garden seed companies. I would suggest visiting their sites to request a free paper catalog. There is just something about holding a “real” catalog in my hands that I love.
Seeds of Change
All of their seeds are 100% certified organic. They have almost 100 different varieties of herb seeds. They also offer different seed collections, such as natural dyes, immunity collections, and Herbs de Provence.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
This is a fascinating catalog. The owner of Baker Creek travels all over the world to destinations such as Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala to find rare heirloom seeds. This catalog has gorgeous photos and in addition to herbs, it also features over one hundred different varieties of melons. Each melon is accompanied by fascinating historical descriptions of where the seed came from and how Baker Creek discovered it. One year we grew Mexican sour gherkin cucumbers with seeds from Baker Creek. They looked like miniature watermelons.
John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds
This is one of my very favorite catalogs. It is full of charming illustrations, recipes, and last year’s catalog even featured gardening tips from well-known gardener Barbara Damrosch. They have an herb section, an edible flower section, not to mention their fabulous garden collections such “A Child’s Garden of Wonder”, a “Culinary Basil” collection, and a “Baby Garden” collection featuring tiny vegetables such as Little Gem Baby Romaine Lettuce and Bambino Eggplants.
Their catalog features over 50 pages of herbs. They have many unusual varieties of herbs such as margarita mint and strawberries & cream mint. They also feature a selection of gourmet vegetables. This catalog is a wealth of information and a great resource for uses of herbs.
Pinetree Garden Seeds
This is another one of my top favorite seed catalogs. The seed packets have smaller amounts of seeds in them, allowing them to charge only 95 cents for most packets. Their catalog is creatively divided by different countries, such as French vegetables and herbs, Italian vegetables and herbs, Asian, Latin American, and Middle Eastern vegetables and herbs. There is also a section on medicinal herbs and dying herbs. They offer woodland plants (which are not harvested from the wild) such as Black Cohosh and Golden Seal. In addition to all of the seeds and plants they offer, they also have a fabulous selection of discounted books as well as soap making and natural body and home care supplies.
Territorial Seed Catalog
We get our potatoes from here. They sell blue and red heirloom potatoes which Meadow loves digging up. The red ones make pink mashed potatoes! Territorial also sends out a catalog right about the time we are ready to plant the fall crops, teaching us what is best to plant at that time.
Sand Hill Preservation Center
It is hard to believe Glen and his wife Linda run this business as a “hobby.” They sell heirloom poultry and rare seeds. Each year I look forward of reading Glen’s year in review of the farm. It’s one of my very favorite catalogs.
David Austin Roses
This is one of the few “modern” plants that I can’t help loving. They are a combination of the old rose, modern hybrid teas, and the floribundas. This produces gorgeous roses with an old rose scent, in beautiful colors, with tons of petals, and best of all they bloom all summer long. David Austin’s catalog has spectacular photographs and includes information on garden design, and growing & pruning tips for roses.
United Plant Savers
United Plant Savers is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving native medicinal plants. They have initiated a number of replanting projects including giving away over 40,000 goldenseal roots to members to plant. (Memberships start at only $35). United Plant Savers has established a 370-acre Botanical sanctuary in Ohio. The Sanctuary serves as a research and educational center and model farm for medicinal plant conservation, research, and seed repository for American medicinal plants. A directory is available for sources that carry At Risk plants and seeds. (It is free for members, $5 for non-members).
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