The catalogs have been pouring in for some time now. I am not sure why they keep coming, because it has been some time since I procured seeds through mail order. Here’s why:
I stood in the middle of a long wall displaying seeds from many sources and took this shot looking one way
then turned to my left and took another shot. This impressive display is at Garden Fever in NW Portland. The catalogs have provided me with reading, dreaming and planning time in the off season, but why would I pay postage on top of the price of the seed when I can walk into this shop and find anything my little green heart desires. Now, if you happen to live far from the madding crowds, nothing could be more inspiring than a package of unusual seed delivered straight to your doorstep. The colored photos of the end results of planting these seeds are nothing short of inspiring. Come to think of it, I’d best send in a token order just so this source of inspiration will not dry up. For now, though, here is what I will be starting indoors before my next trip to Garden Fever to pick up a few more little magical nuggets of life.
From Botanical Interest, formerly Renee’s Garden, if I am not mistaken: ‘Kentucky Wonder’ pole beans, Zinnia ‘Envy’ and Agastache rupestris. Each of these seed packets is a little work of art, with a watercolor rendering of the mature plant encapsulated in each tiny seed. From Seeds of Change, in an environmentally friendly package, green deer tongue lettuce. From Seed Savers Exchange, Aunt Molly’s ground cherry, or Physalis pruinosa. This last is a nostalgic pick, as I fondly remember the ground cherry preserves made by my great-grandmother. The plainest packets in the racks shown above are from Nichols Garden Nursery located here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. If you can find a seed source that is local, it will deliver a product reliably adapted to your own climate. For the run-of-the mill, stand-by veggies, you might as well shop at the local super market, where there may even be 50% off sales. The pennies saved can be applied to more exotic fare from the local garden center…or…the catalogs.
Hey I just stood in that very same spot a couple of days ago! I left with Renee’s Garden and Botanical Interest are the same company…but then I’ve been wrong many times. I do know if you listen to Andrew Keys podcast for Horticulture magazine (Radio Garden) he has a fun interview with some of the Botanical Interest artists….
Odd I seem to have managed to delete some of my comment. I was saying I left with Sugar Snap and Arugula seeds from Nichols Garden Nursery (they are the best!).
Yikes….Ricki….I also meant to say that I don’t think Renee’s Garden and Botanical Interest are the same company….yikes. No more blog commenting for me tonight!
Hi Ricki, Wow what a lovely seed display. Have you tried ground cherry before? They’re really tasty. I think I might get a plant this year.
Loree~Hey there! You are doing a good job of bulking up my comments. My assumption was based purely upon the similarity of the illustrations, not on any hard evidence…probably should not have even mentioned it (and I can’t even blame late hours). I agree about Nichols, but I was just responding to pretty pictures on that visit. Next time I will be armed with a list.
Grace~I ordered some plants from one of those cut-rate catalogs and got exactly what I paid for. I’m hoping the seeds will be a success. Do your local nurseries have similarly huge racks of seeds?
Ricki, Lazy people like me in Vancouver send off for seeds, plus I look forward to my little Parcels , sad I know! When do you start your seeds? Last year I started in Feb. It seems so cold I thought I might wait till late March or even April.
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Linda~It is fun to look forward to things arriving by mail. I usually get a late start, but I think I will set some of these first things in motion this weekend.
I agree with you that the Botanical Interests seed packs are little wonders. Lined up in racks next to screaming artificially colorful photographic seed packets, the clean, simple, gently colored line drawings reach out to me with a human touch.
James~Amen to that!