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Garden and Seed Catalogs: An Inexhaustible Source of Discoveries!

20161219aThe 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.

Live plants are shipped once there is no danger of frost.

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!

  1. 20161219b-color-codesjpeg2Annie’s Annuals – annual plants
  2. Baker Lake Heirloom Seed Co. – heirloom seeds
  3. The Banana Tree inc. – tropical plant sseds
  4. Bluestem Nursery – ornamental grasses
  5. Botanus – bulbs
  6. Brent and Becky’s Bulbs – bulbs
  7. Brugmansia Québec – tropical plants and fruits
  8. Atlee Burpee & Co. – seeds
  9. Canning Perennials – perennials
  10. Charley’s Greenhouse & Garden – greenhouses and greenhouse products
  11. Chiltern Seeds – seeds
  12. Cistus Nursery – perennials and shrubs
  13. Digging Dog Nursery – perennials and shrubs
  14. Flora Exotica – exotic plants.
  15. Forestfarm – shrubs and trees, rhododendrons
  16. Fraser’s Thimble Farms – rare bulbs and perennials
  17. Gardens North – perennial seeds
  18. J.L. Hudson – seeds
  19. Klehm’s Song Sparrow Farm & Nursery – peonies, hostas, daylillies
  20. Les Jardins de Balmoral –  perennials
  21. Johnny’s Selected Seeds – vegetable seed
  22. Lee Valley Tools – garden tools
  23. Logee’s Greenhouses – houseplants
  24. Majella Larochelle Horticulteur – perennial seeds
  25. Park Seed Co. – seeds
  26. Phoenix Perennials – perennials
  27. Renee’s Garden – vegetable and herb seeds
  28. Richters Herbs – herbs
  29. – seeds
  30. Mount Royal Seeds – tree and shrub seeds
  31. Solana Seeds – tomato and pepper seeds
  32. Stokes – seeds
  33. Territorial Seed Company – vegetable and herb seeds
  34. Top Tropicals – exotic plants and fruit trees
  35. Vesey’s Seeds – seeds, bulbs, plants
  36. W.H. Perron – seeds
  37. Wayside Gardens – perennials and shrubs
  38. White Flower Farm – perennials
  39. Wrightman Alpines – alpines

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

3 comments on “Garden and Seed Catalogs: An Inexhaustible Source of Discoveries!

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  3. Pingback: Seed Catalogs | Strafford County Master Gardener Association

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