The first garden catalogs of the coming year usually start to show up in our mailboxes just a few weeks before Christmas. It used to be that they were always printed catalogs, and they do still exist, but more and more businesses now have either both printed and online catalogs or only online catalogs.
Usually seed catalogs are the first to arrive, because gardeners need their products very early in the new year, as there are some seeds you have to sow as early as January (although March and April are the two main months for starting seeds indoors). And since seeds are indifferent to freezing conditions (see Ordering Seeds by Mail in Deepest Winter), they can be shipped in any season.
Garden tools and products too can be mailed to you at any time of the year, so companies specializing in garden tools also often produce the coming year’s catalog early, hoping to catch a bit of the Christmas present market, or may even have a special Christmas edition.
The catalogs offering plants (perennials, shrubs, fruit trees, etc.) are often posted later, closer to midwinter, because their delivery season doesn’t start until spring, as live plants shouldn’t be exposed to freezing temperatures while they travel. Beginning gardeners often seem surprised you can order live plants by mail, mais this is in fact nothing new: plant catalogs have been around since the 17th century and plants travel just as easily by mail as seeds.
Fall bulb catalogs are usually the latest of all to appear, usually in late spring or early summer so we can order our fall bulbs before their autumn planting season.
A Personal Passion
I’ve been a fan of garden catalogues since my childhood. I used to rifle endlessly through my father’s plant and seed catalogs and I’ve been placing my own orders for seeds and bulbs since I was 10. I almost always have great success with the seeds and plants that I buy from afar. And mail order gardening opens the door to a whole host of fascinating plants that are never offered in local garden centers.
Try it and you’ll see: it’s like a smorgasbord of incredible plants!
So Much Choice!
Below are some of my favorite plant and seed catalogues, but there are plenty of others. Do a bit of searching on Google and you’ll be able to find just about any plant you may be looking for!
- Annie’s Annuals anniesannuals.com – annual plants
- Baker Lake Heirloom Seed Co. www.rareseeds.com – heirloom seeds
- The Banana Tree inc. www.banana-tree.com – tropical plant sseds
- Bluestem Nursery www.bluestem.ca – ornamental grasses
- Botanus www.botanus.com – bulbs
- Brent and Becky’s Bulbs brentandbeckysbulbs.com – bulbs
- Brugmansia Québec brugmansia-quebec.com – tropical plants and fruits
- Atlee Burpee & Co. www.burpee.com – seeds
- Canning Perennials www.canningperennials.com – perennials
- Charley’s Greenhouse & Garden www.charleysgreenhouse.com – greenhouses and greenhouse products
- Chiltern Seeds www.chilternseeds.co.uk – seeds
- Cistus Nursery www.cistus.com – perennials and shrubs
- Digging Dog Nursery diggingdog.com – perennials and shrubs
- Flora Exotica www.floraexotica.ca – exotic plants.
- Forestfarm forestfarm.com – shrubs and trees, rhododendrons
- Fraser’s Thimble Farms www.thimblefarms.com – rare bulbs and perennials
- Gardens North new.gardensnorth.com – perennial seeds
- J.L. Hudson www.jlhudsonseeds.net – seeds
- Klehm’s Song Sparrow Farm & Nursery www.songsparrow.com – peonies, hostas, daylillies
- Les Jardins de Balmoral www.lesjardinsdebalmoral.com – perennials
- Johnny’s Selected Seeds www.johnnyseeds.com – vegetable seed
- Lee Valley Tools www.leevalley.com – garden tools
- Logee’s Greenhouses www.logees.com – houseplants
- Majella Larochelle Horticulteur mlarochelle.net – perennial seeds
- Park Seed Co. parkseed.com – seeds
- Phoenix Perennials mailorder.phoenixperennials.com – perennials
- Renee’s Garden www.reneesgarden.com – vegetable and herb seeds
- Richters Herbs www.richters.com – herbs
- Seedaholic.com www.seedaholic.com – seeds
- Mount Royal Seeds www.mountroyalseeds.com – tree and shrub seeds
- Solana Seeds solanaseeds.netfirms.com – tomato and pepper seeds
- Stokes www.stokeseeds.com – seeds
- Territorial Seed Company www.territorialseed.com – vegetable and herb seeds
- Top Tropicals toptropicals.com – exotic plants and fruit trees
- Vesey’s Seeds www.veseys.com – seeds, bulbs, plants
- W.H. Perron www.whperron.com – seeds
- Wayside Gardens waysidegardens.com – perennials and shrubs
- White Flower Farm whiteflowerfarm.com – perennials
- Wrightman Alpines www.wrightmanalpines.com – alpines