Garden catalog favorites inspire dreams


It’s January. Time to put a pot of soup on the stove, curl up with a dog on my lap, a garden catalog in my hand and dream about spring.

Even if you buy most of your seeds and plants locally, like I do, it’s fun to flip through the pages and experiment in your mind. My garden never looks as good in reality as it does in my head while I’m deciding what to order each year. And the great thing about catalogs is the incredible variety available.

Granted, actual paper catalogs aren’t a necessity anymore. You can find more information and photos online, but I still love holding one in my hands while I try to decide:  SunSugar or Chocolate Cherry tomatoes? Soraya or Sunny Smile sunflowers?

If you’ve ordered seeds, bulbs or plants before, you likely already receive catalogs. If not, you can call or go online to request one. Here are a few of my favorites, but if you Google seed catalogs, you’ll find many, many more:  

  • Park Seed: offers a wide variety of flower, veggie and herb seeds and plants, as well as seed-starting and growing supplies.  (, 800-845-3369)
  • Burpee:  full-service seed, plant and supply company.  (, 800-888-1447)
  • Johnny’s Selected Seeds: full-service seed, plant and supply company.  (, 877-564-6697)
  • Seeds of Change: another full-service company, but this one offers 100 percent certified organic seeds. (, 888.762.7333)
  • Southern Exposure Seed Exchange: a company that emphasizes seeds that perform well in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast states, including many Southern heirlooms. (, 540-894-9480)
  • Tomato Growers Supply Company:  You’ll be overwhelmed with the tomato options available: early season, late season, orange-fruited, beefsteak, etc. I only like cherry and grape tomatoes and they have a huge selection so I usually try a new one each year. Also offers peppers, eggplants, tomatillos and supplies. (, 888-478-7333)
  • Totally Tomatoes: Another company specializing in an unbelievable number of tomato varieties. Also includes loads of peppers, a limited selection of other edibles and gardening supplies. (, 318-345-5977)
  • Seed Savers Exchange: Looking for seeds of a plant your grandparents grew? Chances are you’ll find them here. Founded as a non-profit in 1975, this company’s mission is to save heirloom plants by providing a source for seeds and plants. (, 563-382-5990)
  • Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds: said to be one of the largest sources for seeds from the 19th century, including European and Asian varieties. (, 417-924-8917)
  • Brent and Becky’s Bulbs: a bulb-lovers dream, with everything from amaryllis to zephyranthes. (, 877-661-2852)
  • Old House Gardens: a source for hard-to-find heirloom bulbs like Grand Primo narcissus and hardy gladiolas. ( , 734-995-1486)
  • Thompson & Morgan: This English seed company offers a huge variety, such as dozens of sweetpea cultivars. (

What’s your favorite garden catalog?

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