By Kathy Van Mullekom Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)
There’s something comforting and convenient about the feel of a gardening catalog while you sit near a window on a cold winter day and count the days until spring.
Many companies have gone “green,” putting out e-newsletters and online catalogs, which is admirable in terms of protecting the environment.
Even so, there’s still nothing like the inspiration and convenience of a print catalog with full-color photos and plant descriptions that you can keep on your workbench to use as the gardening season unfolds.
Here’s a list of 10 must-have catalogs that you can order online. Most are free and feature just the inspiration you need to put a little spring in your step.
The Gardener’s Workshop: Cut-flower and herb seeds, gardening tools and seed-starting supplies like soil-blocking kits that allow you to plant seedlings with ease and convenience; www.thegardenersworkshop.com; 888.977.7159.
Brent and Becky’s Bulbs: Spring, summer and fall bulbs in selections that give you seasonable color throughout the entire year, as well gardening tools; https://store.brentandbeckysbulbs.com; 877-661-2852.
Select Seeds: Heirloom flower and vegetable seeds, including bee beneficials like purple hyacinth bean flowering vine and Verbena bonarensis reseeding tender perennial, as well as small plants; www.selectseeds.com; 800-684-0395.
Camellia Forest: Fall-, winter- and spring-flowering camellias, including Camellia sinensis and recipe for using its tender growth to make homegrown green tea; www.camforest.com; 919-968-0504.
Fairweather Gardens: Specialty, hard-to-find ferns, irises, sedums, hollies, viburnums, witch hazels, shrubs, grasses and flowering trees, including the native Franklinia tree, a member of the tea family, that bears fragrant flowers August through September and must have excellent drainage and light shade; www.fairweathergardens.com; 856-451-6261.
Bluestone Perennials: Clematis, coneflowers, bee balm, geraniums, ground covers, ferns and many more come in plantable coco pots that are 100 percent biodegradable. You’ll love the four preplanned cut, butterfly, border and shade gardens; www.bluestoneperennials.com; 800-852-5243.
The Cook’s Garden: organic and heirloom vegetables you can grow from certified organic seed and plants, including lots of tomatoes for those tasty summer BLTs; www.cooksgarden.com; 800-457-9703.
Burpee: Catalog cover features actual size Super Sauce hybrid tomato, billed as the world’s largest sauce tomato; inside is On Deck hybrid sweet corn that grows in a patio pot, as well as Solar Flare sunflower with scarlet-red flame petals that finish in a gold; www.burpee.com; 800-888-1447.
Tomato Growers: Every size, shape and color tomato seed, including Mr. Stripey in yellow-orange stripes, several pages of cherry hybrids and beefsteak and bi-color beauties; www.tomatogrowers.com; 888-478-7333.
Renee’s Garden: Her online-only catalog offers a new line of organic seeds for vegetables, flowers and herbs; www.reneesgarden.com; 888-880-7228.