Planning & Dreaming with Mail Order

catalogMany people order seeds online or through catalogs to get a head start on their garden for the up-and-coming season. This is certainly preferred for vegetables and other edibles, however, if you do not have a dedicated space for grow lights, or a good, bright spot inside your home for seed growing, starting seeds indoors can be a problem. In the past, I have lived in places where I was able to grow a few things from seeds, but my current situation is lacking in that department. That does not stop me from dreaming and planning.

What do I do? I think about my gardens. I look back at any notes I took during the year, usually scattered all over the place, on what wasn’t working, where there were bare spots, etc., and I browse through catalogs both online and that have come in the mail. Catalogs really get me excited about gardening. The photos, dare I say, can be breathtaking.  One of the first things I do is look at what is new. The newest plant offerings are usually not readily available at the local nurseries or big box stores, so there may be something extra special I will want to order or be on the lookout for.

When you go online, you have the added benefit of being able to search for something that will suit your needs. For example, say you have a sunny hillside, and there’s a spot where it’s hard to get out and water. You can search for a plant that will grow in your zone: sun-loving and drought-tolerant. Many sites also have several other options such as soil type, bloom time, and my personal favorite, “deer resistant.”

Nurseries from which I order from often are Bluestone Perennials and White Flower Farm. They are both regional nurseries, located in the northeast, and sell a wide variety of plants. Both also have a huge retail business that just has to be a plant lovers paradise. One of these days, I’m going to make a trip out there and visit them.


About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Hearth and Vine, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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