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Gardening Catalog Terminology


As many of us are entering into the "bleak midwinter" months, my mailbox is filling up with gardening catalogs that remind me that winter will end and next year's gardening season will begin. Even though I have already started to make mental plans of our 2012 garden, as I look through these catalogs, I start to dream about adding other things to it. Here's a picture of my favorite gardening catalogs:

As I dream about new plantings and fight the temptation of once again trying something that has failed for me in the past, I am amused at this list of terms used in gardening wish books.

The real meanings of gardening catalog terminology

"A favorite of birds" means "avoid planting near cars, sidewalks, or clotheslines."

"Grows more beautiful each year" means "looks like road kill for the foreseeable future."

"Zone 5 with protection" is a variation of "Russian roulette."

"May require support" means that engineering degree in the family may finally pay off.

"Moisture-loving plants" are ideal if you are landscaping your bogs and swamps. It can also mean that not even you can kill them by overwatering.

"Carefree" refers more to the plant's attitude than to your workload."

"Vigorous" is code for "has a Napoleonic compulsion to take over the world."

"Potentially invasive" in my experience means either "high class weeds" or "your garden can kiss this plant goodbye after this season."

"Grandma's favorite" — until she discovered free-flowering, disease-resistant hybrids.

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Here are links to the catalogs in the picture above:

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds — some wonderful seeds from all over the world. This is where I got the seeds for the Thai red seeded long beans we love so much. I have a picture in another blog post.

Bluestone Perennials — where we've bought some of our favorite perennials, including the Hellebores Becka featured in a blog post.

Indiana Berry — we bought several lingonberry bushes from them last year in hopes that in a few years we'll be able to make some lingonberry jam like we've enjoyed at Ikea.

Miller Nurseries — our favorites from there have been Taylor Red Raspberry bushes and Triple Crown Thornless Blackberry bushes.

Pinetree Garden Seeds — I've had good results with seeds I've bought from this company.

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange — one of my favorite sources for the drought-and-heat-resistant varieties necessary for gardening in this part of the country.

Seed Savers Exchange — Their seeds are not cheap, but I've found some great, hard-to-find heirloom varities there.

Territorial Seed Company — we've bought some seeds from them, but mostly gardening and canning supplies.

I hope some of you will explore the offerings of the companies to which I've linked. Do you have any favorite catalogs or sources for seeds or plants? Are you already planning next year's garden? Maybe you seasoned gardeners can contribute your own real meanings of other phrases used in gardening catalogs.

If you want to see what we've been up to lately, Becka's latest blog post tells about our adventures this past week. She mentions in her post that I painted a room while we were at Megan and Jim's last week. Nora and Topher are up there now, and to one of the new light green walls in the nursery Nora has added a tree. Here's a picture of her creation, which kind of goes with the gardening theme of this blog post.

Such creative talent!

Lord willing, if I don't post something sooner, I'll be back at you next week, which is also next year. Wishing each of you a Happy New Year 2012.

two gardening quotations...

"My garden is an honest place. Every tree and every vine are incapable of concealment and tell after two or three months exactly what sort of treatment they have had." — Ralph Waldo Emerson

"What a man needs in gardening is a cast iron back, with a hinge in it." — Charles Dudley Warne

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Gardening tools do not need to be expensive. Use what is available. Your knees, for example, are perfect rock or stone detectors.


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6 Comments on “Gardening Catalog Terminology”

  1. #1 susan
    on Dec 28th, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    “Potentially invasive” in my experience means either “high class weeds” or “your garden can kiss this plant goodbye after this season.”

    …but it will take three years of “pulling” to get all the little seedlings out of your garden…..

    As far as seed catalogs go, you have all the ones I get.

  2. #2 Carrie
    on Dec 28th, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    I am always so tempted by seed catalogs, but I have a rather brown thumb. Sigh.

  3. #3 Elaine
    on Dec 29th, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Thanks for your gardening comments. Definitely a joy to contemplate planting!

    Catalogs we appreciate:

    Logee’s, 141 North Street, Danielson, CT 06139 http://www.logees.com
    (They have the interesting, odd, and different plants you can’t find anywhere else.)

    Totally Tomatoes, 334 West Stroud St., Randolph WI 53956 http://www.totallytomato.com
    (They have some other things besides tomatoes.)

    Park Seed Co., One Parkton Ave., Greenwood SC 29647 http://parkseed.com/default.aspx
    (We’ve never gotten over to see their gardens, but would love to. Their catalogs are wonderful.)

  4. #4 Elaine
    on Dec 29th, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Thanks for your gardening comments. Definitely a joy to contemplate planting!

    Catalogs we appreciate:

    Logee’s, 141 North Street, Danielson, CT 06139 http://www.logees.com
    (They have the interesting, odd, and different plants you can’t find anywhere else.)

    Totally Tomatoes, 334 West Stroud St., Randolph WI 53956 http://www.totallytomato.com
    (They have some other things besides tomatoes.)

    Park Seed Co., One Parkton Ave., Greenwood SC 29647 http://parkseed.com/default.aspx
    (We’ve never gotten over to see their gardens, but would love to. Their catalogs are wonderful.)

  5. #5 Jonathan
    on Dec 29th, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Half hardy perennial means half of them die right away.

    I like http://www.johnnyseeds.com/default.aspx

  6. #6 Laura B.
    on Jan 6th, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Pinetree is our favorite because we can get seed mixes that allow us to try different varieties with one planting (especially lettuce & radishes). Their German Giant radishes are unbeatable, though, so we’ve started just saving seed for those so we can grow them year after year.

    I don’t usually order from other catalogs, but this winter I saw some really cool rainbow corns for sale in one. One variety had pastel pinstriped foliage, and another had a blend of pastel kernels. Never had a lot of success with corn, and I hate to use pesticides, but it looks really tempting!