I EMAILED MY FRIEND ANDREW LAST WEEK to ask what’s new in seed catalogs. It’s that time of year to make sure you’re on the list for the email alert or a physical copy as soon as the best ones open for 2010 business. Andrew always has a line on some clever plant-related thing or other, but no, he said (being Andrew-like), I don’t have any right now…but then of course rattled off a few that were new to me anyhow. I’m updating my Sources list and thought I’d put out the word for other hot leads, like these from my old pal:
Andrew (we did a radio show together and he co-owns a local nursery near me) was right when he said he and I use a lot of the same ones, year in and out—Johnny’s and Sand Hill Preservation and Baker Creek and Seed Savers and Fedco and the others displayed under “Sources” in the sidebar on every blog page here. But I had never been to Ginny Hunt’s Seedhunt before, nor to Secret Seeds in England, not even virtually. Thanks, Andrew.
The former is serious business: an old-fashioned list like all my favorite catalogs were when I was first learning to garden (meaning no photos, and lots of Latin names). It’s filled with things I’m enjoying looking up and then imagining places for in the garden, an impressive list of California natives, for instance, some of which would do as annuals and maybe even then self-sow here; an equally strong list of Salvia, and more. Don’t be shy: I don’t know what an Amsinckia is, either, nor a Hemizonia—but I’m having fun finding out. Winter is long, and dark here, and besides, I am easily entertained.
Secret Seeds uses proper names, too, but there are also thumbnail photos of everything from Goji berry (in the health headlines for its supposed anti-aging properties) and a whole line of Laura Ashley flowers, of all amusing things. I expect I will have some distractions in this catalog’s online pages, which include both ornamentals and edibles, in weeks to come.
Which unusual titles are you waiting most impatiently for at your (digital or postal) mailbox?