It seems to be pretty universal among gardeners – we all love checking out nursery catalogs. Most mail-order nurseries still send out paper catalogs if you request them, but the web versions can be a great source of information as you’re deciding which varieties to plant. These are five that I have found to be helpful resources for information, as well as reliable sources for seeds and plants.
Johnnys Selected Seeds
This is an old favorite. I have a soft spot in my heart for vegetable gardening and a lifelong daydream of becoming a farmer. The information in the Johnnys catalog is thorough, and they offer a great selection of vegetables, flowers and herbs.
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
Southern Exposure appeals to me for a lot of reasons. They are seed savers and exchangers, which is great for continuing both old traditions and genetic diversity. They also list a lot of heritage varieties and natives. Because they are driven by a membership base that truly loves seed saving and gardening, they offer a wealth of information in their catalog as well as several events throughout the year for people who want to get involved.
No doubt, I love roses, and I love heirloom varieties. This is a great catalog with a lot of varieties to choose from. It’s one of those sites I go to whenever I need a little pick-me-up, because it’s so much fun to scroll through the varieties and daydream about which ones I’d like to plant.
When I need a general plant catalog, this is my first choice. Wayside has been around a long time, and they offer a great selection, especially for the southeastern US. I’m in California now, so they aren’t as useful for me as they used to be, but they are still a great resource. (I’ll do a separate post on nurseries that specialize in California natives. That’s a whole niche unto itself.)
This one is fun. They have a decent selection, but mostly they look for varieties that are a little different for one reason or another. The catalog is full of plants that have unusual shapes, colors or flowers, and they present it all with a sense of humor.