Know what zone
you’re in and purchase plants and seeds that will work for your area.
Gardening catalogs are a great research tool and are often full of
in-depth details about a plant or seed’s growing needs. Zone maps are
often included in their catalogs and on their websites.
Mail order companies ship plants, seeds and bulbs when it’s time for you
to plant them in your zone. It’s crucial to have your garden ready for
Create a notebook to maintain a record of your purchases. This will help
if you have any order questions, need to seek a refund or exchange and
allows you to keep track of what plants did and didn’t work in your
The Mailorder Gardening
Association is the only nonprofit organization serving the needs of
companies involved in marketing gardening products to consumers. Their
website offers consumers a wonderfully detailed guide to purchasing plants
through the mail.
For more information,
visit the Mailorder
Our times of being an armchair gardener are
probably the best ones we have when it comes to gardening.
Sure, the thrill of fresh turned topsoil in the spring is hard to beat –
but the steps we take to get there while curled up with a hot drink, a
pile of gardening catalogs and a notepad are what makes my green thumb
It’s a time of dreams, wishes, needs and wants all wrapped into a sense of
optimism that warmer weather, beautiful blooms and tasty meals are on
To help you get comfy on your armchair garden tour,
check out these sites:
www.cooksgarden.comThis is "and she cooks, too" after
all, so it’d make sense we’d start with what we think is the best business
for all of those ‘cooks who garden’ or ‘gardeners who cook.’ Cooks Garden
specializes in offering some of the best vegetable and fruit selections
every foodie can’t wait to try. Their catalogs and product descriptions
focus on the end result – what you can make with them. Plus, they have a
wonderful selection of books and equipment along with a great selection of
herbs and flowers. Visit their site to sign-up for their email newsletter
and to request a copy of their catalog. Truly inspiring!
www.waysidegardens.comFor perennials, bulbs, shrubs,
ornamental grasses, vines and roses – you cannot beat the selection at
Wayside Gardens. Their catalogs are like being part of a horticulture
class that teaches the latest and greatest for each new spring season.
Each selection comes with a full-color photo, detailed description and
history and the plant’s Latin/scientific name. A must-read for learning
about what is available in the market and what trends are happening in the
world of perennials.
www.gardenmarker.comThis is the site for Orion
Industries, who in their words, provide "plant identification products for
the serious gardener." Maybe it’s a passion for labeling things, but we’d
have to agree that their selection is the best there is – from custom
engraved stainless steel to a wide assortment of metal, terra cotta,
plastic and wood markers await those gardeners who want to remember what’s
www.selectseeds.comLove, love, love ‘antique flowers’ –
and Select Seeds is the place to get them. They offer gardeners a fabulous
selection of hard-to-find heirlooms through flower seeds and plants,
specializing in old-fashioned fragrant flowers, flowering vines, and rare
annuals and perennials. Give your flowerbeds and pots a vintage look!
www.flower-gardening-made-easy.comTrue inspiration! This site is
authored by Yvonne Cunnington, who wrote Clueless in the Garden,
but clueless is last thing you’ll be after taking a tour of this
wonderful, chock-ful-o-info site. The photos of her own flower gardens
make me want to whip out the grid paper, color pencils and catalogs and
start planning – something you’ll be able to do after reading all of her
wonderful tips on how to plan your site.
www.gardenlist.comCyndi Johnson has been compiling and
maintaining this must-visit gardening website for more than five years –
her site description says it best, "The home gardener's one stop to find
all the mail-order gardening catalogs in the US and Canada - over 2000 of
them! Check here first to find the company and see its ratings for
quality, service, price and breadth of varieties." A great first stop in
your armchair gardening travels.
www.gardenweb.comNamed the "internet’s garden
community," GardenWeb offers a place for gardeners to get together on the
web with forums, plant databases and glossaries, mail order links,
exchanges, gardening events and many expert tips.
www.flowerhouses.comAffordable, portable and so darned
cute you’ll want more than one and at least one for all of your gardening
friends. Always wanted a greenhouse and thought the time, money and
construction would prevent it from happening? Well, look no further –
these little collapsible – yet durable - dreams popup like one of those
sunshades you put in your window during the summer.