For seed and plant catalogs! I absolutely love sitting and leafing(no pun intended)through a small pile of my favorite gardening catalogs. This year I have noticed an obsessive desire to find plants that are distasteful to our neighborhood deer. I'm thinking if I add enough distasteful flowers to my garden beds, interspersed between the tasty ones, that it may help the decimation of my flowers. Of course, I realize I'm deluding myself but I like to think I could be craftier than a deer, just not necessarily a hungry deer! (Above is the "Christmas Carol" Hemerocallis I got last year from Bluestone Perennials and I have yet to see how pretty it could be because the deer chomped down the buds before they could even start to open:o(
I'd like to share my favorite catalogs. I have ordered online from three of them (Bluestone Perennials(it's actually local for me), Select Seeds and Harris Seeds) The others are beautiful but a bit pricey( I did, however, get a Peony from Peony's Envy for a fraction of the price at a Home and Garden show the only down side was storing it so it would survive until planting season. It did make it and hopefully it will bloom this year)
The above two photos are from the Bluestone Perennial catalog/website. I highly recommend them, the quality is superb and the resulting flowers are to die for(at least a neighborhood deer may die for eating them, LOL) Prices seem about average and they have specials throughout the season. I am especially impressed with the daylilies I have purchased from them.
Harris Seeds is a great resource for vegetable and herb seeds and basic flower seeds. I usually get my zinnia seeds from them. You get a nice quantity and they seem to have the best seed prices of all the seed companies I compared. Pretty straightforward, no gourmet veggies that I saw but excellent selection of good old go to varieties.(Customer Service is exceptional!)
Ah, Peony's Envy! This site is eye candy for the peony lover. (they have a catalog/order form you can download and print) So many varieties and so well photographed. Makes me wish I had an estate and unlimited funds so I could create a little piece of heaven! Prices are steep, I'm not sure how they ship from their garden. I know the plant I bought at the show was a small root well packaged but I wouldn't have bought it at the prices they show on their website.
Cooks Garden is a beautiful website and catalog. They have the fancy, gourmet varieties that Harris seeds doesn't have but you'll pay for it! I haven't been enticed enough yet to buy from them but some day they will get me, especially if I start a vegetable garden(a real one not the plant here plant there type that I have been doing lately!)
Buy the fancies here if you must but get the standards at Harris, you'll save quite a bit!
I love Select Seeds. This is where I buy the bulk of my flower seeds. I had much more luck when I started them in the house in late winter than directly outside but that was probably my fault not their quality. I have bought poppies, California poppies, cosmos, hollyhock, sweet peas, zinnias, bronze fennel and more that I can't recall. But everything did well with a very high rate of germination. They also have heirloom varieties of cottage flowers. Can you tell how much I love this catalog and this company?
So there are my favorites and a little insight from me. It just started snowing and already I am thinking gardening. I better put on the brakes lest I miss my favorite snowy season!