The seed catalogs get more beautiful and more tempting every year, but I have slowly developed a little more restraint than I used to have. A few years back I spent hours comparing and cross checking all the catalogs and ended up ordering seeds from about 8 of them. I found everything I was looking for – and spent a lot more on shipping than I needed to by the time I absorbed all the minimum shipping charges. Not a good idea spreading the orders around unless you really have to.
Truth is, there are several places locally where I can find most of the seeds I want to plant. The following are sources I like for the seeds I cannot find nearby :
Jung Seeds and Plants (www.jungseed.com) has a huge selection of gourd seeds, including Bushel Gourds and some wonderful, warty ones called Lunch Lady. They also have a reasonably priced assortment of native/shade garden plants including things like Solomon Seal, Creeping Wintergreen, trilliums, Jack-in-the-pulpit and lots of varieties of tomatoes and cucumbers and other veggies. My order is in the mail!
Totally Tomatoes (www.totallytomato.com) offer seeds for the widest variety of tomatoes you will find anywhere – along with pages of cucumbers and other veggies. Hard to choose which ones, but I found some favorites and a couple of new ones. I’ll be handing out seedlings to friends and neighbors again!
Select Seeds (www.selectseeds.com) has a wonderful assortment of heirloom, rare and choice flower seeds. I’m ordering Tassel Flower seeds, Verbena Bonariensis and some wonderful Cherry Glow Poppies from them.
I bought most of my blueberry bushes from Miller Nurseries (www.millernurseries.com) a few years ago and this year I have decided to buy a pair of Beach Plum shrubs. It sounds like they will grow anywhere – even in poor soil – and I have just the hillside for them! They have a great assortment of fruit and nut trees and bushes.
I buy seeds for broom corn (which is fun and easy to grow) from Jung and also from R.H. Shumway (www.rhshumway.com). Broom corn is great for fall decorations, but I use the tassel tops to make beautiful, functional brooms and I use the stalks to thatch the birdhouse roofs. I’ll post the directions for the brooms towards the end of the summer so, if it interests you, order some seeds and plan on planting a crop!