The author is with the Cornell Cooperative Extension, Albany County.
Just after the holidays, the gardening catalogs begin to arrive at my house. It is the perfect remedy for the post-holiday blues and I am always happy to see them clutter up my mailbox. While it is cold and snowy outside, these catalogs offer me a glimpse of spring and the promise of gardening delights to come. I have my favorites of course, and those go to the top of the pile for viewing. Where to start is the dilemma and usually I opt for the seed catalogs. With paper and pen at hand, I peruse each page of “Johnny’s Selected Seeds” and “The Cook’s Garden” catalogue. Before I commit my seed order, I check online with “Victory Seeds” as they no longer mail a catalog. “Victory Seeds” is a great source for rare and unusual seeds and their forte is open-pollinated and heirloom seeds at a fair price.
Decisions made for seeds, I start looking at the “Miller Nurseries” fruit catalog. A New York State nursery, Miller offers many fruit varieties that were developed by Cornell University at the Geneva Fruit Station. Developed and grown in New York State is important to many Capital Region home fruit growers and Miller’s has been offering gardeners good plants with a wealth of cultural information since 1936.
I have long been a fan of mail order for plants and so I consult with the “Bluestone Perennials” catalogue to see what is new. Another favorite is “Garden Crossings” but this is Internet ordering only. Plants shipped from either of these nurseries have never disappointed, as the packaging is superb. My plant budget dictates that I find small sizes and grow them on, which is fine with me, and mail order fits that bill perfectly.