Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Love Grows

February brings my mailbox an unusual flood of mail. Bills, bills, bills- will they ever stop coming? That is not what I'm talking about. The occasional Valentine, you wonder? Yes, we do get a few of those, but they are usually for the boys. What really gets my heart to go pitter patter all the faster is the deluge of garden catalogs that fill my mailbox this month! Now this is love! Thank you Mr. Mailman! These plant people are smart- they don't send out their goods to you in December or January, nooooo, they wait for February when you are in the throes of the winter blahs! They prey upon us- knowing that we will be at our weakest and ready to dole out cash for pretty plants that remind us that Spring is a mere six weeks away.... Here are a few of my favorite catalogs to pore over and order from, try a couple, you won't be disappointed.

The first is Digging Dog Nursery- their catalog does cost $4.00, but you can review it in its entirety online for free. They have an amazing selection of plants, trees, grasses and vines. Located in California, they have a vast inventory of plants that we just won't see around Chicago. The website also has beautiful pictures of the nursery's landscaping.

Nichols Garden Nursery has the ultimate selection of herbs. They offer 18 different varieties of basil! Nichols also has an amazing variety of tomato, lettuce and pepper seeds. Each catalog is embedded with recipes from owner Rose Nichols McGee using the herbs, spices, flowers or vegetables that they sell. In addition to seeds they do offer live plants on certain varieties, mine have always arrived in beautiful condition.

White Flower Farm has a beautiful catalog that makes you wish you could be rooting around in your garden right now. They have a stunning array of shady lady plants and a wisteria tree that I have been pining for ever since I first received this gem.

I think I have bought the most from Select Seeds. They were the first company I ordered live plants from. I was stunned by how big and beautiful (and affordable!) they were. Select Seeds has amazing heirloom plants that you just don't see anywhere. They have a fantastic array of unusual climbers/vines that are worth ordering the catalog for alone. Every time I open this, I feel as though I have taken a step back in time.

Hee, hee- I think I have saved the best for last. Order this to take your winter blues away, if nothing else. I think because
Klehm's Song Sparrow is located in Wisconsin, they understand our desperate need for winter beauty. If you love peonies, this is the catalog for you. I practically lick the pages-its that yummy. (Maybe I shouldn't share some things....) They also have a great variety of conifers, trees and shrubs. Did I mention the peonies?
Two other catalogs worth mentioning (that I don't have pictures of & the ones I took with my camera look stupid) are Brent & Becky's Bulbs- for well, bulbs- and a huge inventory of other plants, and The Territorial Seed Company- to jump start you veggie garden and they have great tools and composters as well.
Try any of these- see what you can grow.

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