It should be any day now. I can hardly wait.
Used to be, after the flurry of holiday activities ended and the bright, cheerful lights packed away, the arrival of the first seed catalog was a winter highlight. Now they compete to be the first to arrive in time for holiday gift giving. The names of new and unusual varieties often bring a smile: Purple Haze carrots! Pink bananas! Nipplefruit!
More than just amusing, reading the exotic names of the varieties can whisk your imagination away. Looking forward to Christmas? How about some Rudolph, Snowball, Pink Icicle and North Pole?
Want to indulge your feminine side? Well, then some Lipstick, Mascara, Merlot, Sweet Chocolate, Diamond and Romance ought to help.
Graffiti… Stick-up… Needles? Hmmm… North Broadway perhaps? Never mind.
There are tons of catalogs to choose from, many over 100 years old – Burpee and Stokes from the late 1800’s, while D. Landreth Seed Company has been around since 1794, making it the oldest seed house in America.
I tend to focus on seed companies that offer varieties suited to our unique long day/short season maritime climate. Uprising Seeds is out of Bellingham. Territorial Seed Co. and Nichols Garden Seeds are based in Oregon. Pinetree is from Maine, so similar climate plus they have the added advantage of offering slightly smaller, less expensive packets more suited to small home gardens.
And then… there’s Baker Creek. One glance at the artfully photographed full color pages, it’s clear why it’s been dubbed “porn for gardeners.” This year’s centerfold was 14 pages of squash close-ups. Positively droolworthy.
Oh what fun it is to… sit back and dream of another season. And looking forward to growing a new lettuce variety I just discovered, “Drunken Woman Frizzy Headed.” Gotta love it.
Seed Sources & Potato Growers
Pinetree Garden Seeds
207-926-3400 / http://www.superseeds.com/
Smaller seed packets at really good prices.
Nichols Garden Nursery
800-422-3985 / http://www.nicholsgardennursery.com/
Interesting description of Straw Bale Gardening
Territorial Seed Company
541-942-9547 / http://www.territorialseed.com/
Varieties specifically suited to the Pacific Northwest
Seed Savers Exchange
563-382-5990 / http://www.seedsavers.org/
Seeds Of Change
877-470-7619 / http://www.seedsofchange.com/
Abundant Life Seeds (certified Organic)
541-767-9606 / http://www.abundantlifeseeds.com/
Seeds from Italy
781-721-5904 / http://www.growitalian.com/
350+ varieties of traditional & heirloom Italian varieties.
Kitchen Garden Seeds
860-567-6086 / http://www.kitchengardenseeds.com/
Site has wide selection and is packed with gardening info.
Gourmet Seed International
Certified organic seed, heirloom seed and gourmet seed
877-367-1015 / http://www.dixondalefarms.com/
Onions, onions and more onions.
509-422-6940 / http://www.filareefarm.com/
Garlic, garlic and more garlic.
J.L. Hudson, Seedsman
Unusual varieties, including some rare South American field corns
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
540-894-9480 / http://www.southernexposure.com/
Only place to find Floriani Red Flint corn
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
417-924-8917 / http://www.RareSeeds.com/
THE most gorgeous seed catalog EVER! (aka ‘porn for gardeners’)
Fedco Seeds and Moose Tubers
(207) 873-7333 / http://www.fedcoseeds.com/
Untreated seeds and organic seedlings. Large selection of seed potatoes.
Milk Ranch Specialty Potatoes
Many potato varieties including some hard-to-find.
Wood Prairie Farm – The Maine Potato Catalog
800-829-9765 / http://www.woodprairie.com/
Irish Eyes Seed Potatoes
509-964-7000 / http://www.gardencityseeds.net/
800-345-5977 / http://www.totallytomato.com/
Vermont Bean Seed Company
800-349-1071 / http://www.vermontbean.com/
Jung Seeds & Plants
800-247-5864 / http://www.jungseed.com/
Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Co.
513-354-1491 / http://www.gurneys.com/
800-342-9461 / http://www.rhshumway.com/
Johnny’s Selected Seeds
877-564-6697 / http://johnnyseeds.com/
800-888-1447 / http://www.burpee.com/
800-845-3369 / http://www.parkseed.com/
800-684-0395 / http://www.selectseeds.com/
D. Landreth Seed Co.
Fruit Trees, Shrubs and Gardening Supplies
One Green World
Unique fruit and ornamental trees
800-391-8892 / http://www.raintreenursery.com/
Disease-resistant fruit varieties for home gardens.
Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply
888-784-1722 / http://www.groworganic.com/
100% organic seeds, seedlings, fertilizers, plus tools and supplies.
Gardener’s Supply Company
800-427-3363 / http://www.gardeners.com/