Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tis the season when the catalogues cometh


While we were in New York last month, enough gardening catalogues arrived to give our Sapphire mail ladies a double hernia. Eight on seeds, four on roses, five on perennials, three on garden supplies, two on wild birds -- and they’re still coming.
It seems a new avalanche arrives every year about this time.  That’s because I’m undoubtedly on a list somewhere labeled “Garden Sucker.” (Also as a member of the Garden Writers Association of America, I’m fair game for every gardening concern.)

I'll be ordering more foxgloves, catmints and Centranthus ruber
 I do at least thumb through every arrival before tossing them in the recycling bin. Having written for the White Flower Farm catalogue and website for a number of years, I know how much work goes into each endeavor.

Daylilies are growing on me
Over the years I’ve learned from trial and error which companies live up to their promises and which simply offer pretty pictures and tall tales.

I’ve had good luck ordering from Bluestone Perennials, Spring Hill Nursery, American Meadows, Southern Living Plants and Oakes Daylilies.  If  I ever  receive a wilted plant or one that doesn’t grow as promised from any of these companies, a fresh replacement is sent immediately, no questions asked. 

Botanical Interests offers wonderful gardening tips

For seeds, it’s hard to beat Renee’s Garden. I used to love her very attractive catalogue and the tantalizing recipes sprinkled throughout the pages. Like many companies, Renee Shepherd has moved to an online publication. Sign up for her free E-Newsletter and you’ll receive great garden ideas and yes, recipes!

I also like the selection of seeds at Botanical Interests, especially their collections such as Grandmother's Cut Flower Garden. They also offer expert gardening tips, yummy recipes and eye-catching seed packets.

Fairy wand grows wild here but can be ordered from a specialty nursery
Now that we’ve moved to the mountains I’m very interested in finding wildflowers that are right for our area. Gardens of the Blue Ridge is a great source for seeds and plants  as well as advice (and they have an informative newsletter, too.)

When it comes to ordering roses by mail my advice is to definitely not believe everything you read. Several years ago I was hoodwinked more than once into ordering from a company that undoubtedly employs the world’s most persuasive copywriter.

I plan to grow Wollerton Old Hall as a climber
The ‘Climbing Cecile Brunner’ I sent for promised “delicate soft pink sweetheart buds and blooms on a vigorous climber... continual blooming...may be grown 20 feet plus into a tree for a gorgeous sight.” This description bore no resemblance to the 3 inch twig that arrived. It didn’t grow, much less bloom.

Since then I have several favorite rose sources I would recommend without reservation. David Austin English Roses never disappoint. And I’ve also received strong, healthy plants from Roses Unlimited, K and M Roses and Edmunds Roses.

Baron Girod de l'Ain, a Hybrid Perpetual from 1897
RosePetals Nursery is a wonderful source for antique, heirloom and  Earthkind roses. They also have a five-acre display garden where you will marvel at the collection of old garden roses.

This rose I spied at a gas station could be Midas Touch
So now that the catalogues have come and the websites have been scoured, I am making my list and checking it twice. 

As far as roses, I am expecting Wollerton Old Hall, England’s Rose, Lady Salisbury, Mystic Beauty, Midas Touch and Whimsy to arrive in early April.   

New perennials on the way include Centranthus ruber, Ilex Golden Verboom (male) and Nandina Lemon Hill.

Peter Cottontail will be hopping into my rose border
I’d love to hear about your favorite gardening catalogues, as well as your ordering success and horror stories.

 I’ll report the results in an upcoming posting. Although I can’t imagine there’s a great garden source I haven’t heard about, I’m happy to entertain the thought that one might exist.

 In fact, perhaps some new goodies are waiting for me right now. I just saw the mail truck go by.


Jason said...

I second your comments on Bluestone and Oakes Daylilies. For roses, I like Heirloom Roses in Oregon. And for wildflowers, you can't beat Prairie Nursery (Wisconsin), Prairie Moon (Minnesota), and Shooting Star (Kentucky).

Lynn Hunt said...

I've ordered from Heirloom in the past but I try to support Roses Unlimited, almost a neighbor in South Carolina, and of course the folks at David Austin.

Thanks for the recommendations on wildflower sources. I've learned something new already!

Phillip Oliver said...

I don't order as much as I used to (mainly because I don't have room for plants) but I love Forest Farm's catalog except it could be called a paperback novel. The catalogs from Antique Rose Emporium and Klehm's Song Sparrow Nurseries were always beautiful.

Lynn Hunt said...

Well Phillip, we are starting over here after leaving my entire garden in Maryland. The area I have to work with now is small so I'm almost at the point where if something comes in, something else must go!

I used to love the Antique Rose Emporium catalog! Will have to see if I can get on lists for all three you recommended. Thanks (although my pocketbook might not thank you!)

Casa Mariposa said...

I order my roses from Chamblees and they're always beautiful. I also order from Lazy S's Farm Nursery. They have a massive selection, hard to find plants, and great prices. They're plants also arrive in perfect condition.

Lynn Hunt said...

Happy New Year Casa Mariposa! I will have to check out Chamblees although I fear it may get me in more trouble! As I said to Phillip, I am very close to having to shovel prune something to bring in a new addition. But there is always room for one more rose:)

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

I am drooling looking at these catalogs. Wonderful list....David Austin's roses are incredible.
For native plants for our area, Meadowbrook Nursery, super!!!

The Redneck Rosarian said...

These catalogs keep me going in the dark winter months. Wollerton Old Hall is on my list!

Anonymous said...

Climbing Cecile Brunner is a monster in St. Pete Fl. Glad I found your blog via FB!
Andrew Grover

Lynn Hunt said...

Janet, I will check out Meadowbrook. I'm glad I asked folks to share their faves with me because I've already come up with new plant sources to add to my list. (Will suggest weight lifting exercises for my mail ladies!)

Lynn Hunt said...

Chris, we will compare notes on Wollerton and our other new additions. Which other new roses are you planting?

Lynn Hunt said...

Greetings Andrew! So glad you found The Dirt Diaries! My Climbing Cecile is quite large but I've had no repeat bloom yet. However this will only be its third year, so I am hoping she will have a second flush of flowering. As I recall my Eden and New Dawn climbers in Maryland took a few years to repeat.

Phillip Oliver said...

I second the Chamblee's recommendation. Their catalog isn't very exciting but their roses are superb and their prices beat Antique Rose Emporium. Also, Lazy S Nursery is fantastic! I don't think they have a print catalog but their website is amazing.

Lynn Hunt said...

Phillip, I'll take a look at Chamblees today and see if the have one of the roses I'm looking for. Also Lazy S. It's chilly and raining today -- perfect for plant browsing. I can already see the bank account going down, but it is worth it when everything is in bloom. And by the way, I love my new D5100.

Teresa/ said...

Catalogs do get us by in the winter for sure! I am excited to hear about your great choices! I ordered several of David Austin's new releases but not Wollerton Old Hall. Now I may have to rethink that. Regardless, it is good to know that I can enjoy yours! Have fun!

Lynn Hunt said...

Teresa, I'll keep you posted on how I like Wollerton and I hope you'll let me know how your new Austins are doing. After all, there's always room for one more (well, almost always!)

Unknown said...

Thanks for your suggestions and recommendations on mail order sources. I have found Santa Rosa Gardens to be an excellent source for plants, especially grasses and hot weather lovers. They too replace anything that doesn't arrive in top form (but that has only been once in about 25 shipments). I order about 3 to 5 times a year from them, and they have great sales at the end of a season.

Janneke said...

I came across your blog and enjoyed reading it very much. I am a rose lover too and have too many of them, my garden is fully booked, so it's hard to look in new catalogues. I have a blog about the year round garden and nature in our surroundings.
Glad to have found you and will follow you.

Lynn Hunt said...

Hi shenandoah! I will take a look at Santa Rosa Gardens and see what they have that might be on my wish list. Since you've had so much success ordering from them I wouldn't hesitate to give them a try!

Lynn Hunt said...

Welcome Janneke! I have visited your blog and it is a delight.

You are having a warmer than usual winter so far as well, but I certainly don't have things in bloom like you do. My violas swoon in winter then come back strong in April. I will look forward to seeing more about your life and garden.

HELENE said...

Hello, my first visit here, what a lovely blog you have.
I live in London, UK so my roses come directly from David Austin or from my not so very local nursery, Coblands, where I also buy most of my other plants. They have been online for a good few years and it is very convenient to get everything delivered to my door at the same great price and quality as I used to get when shopping there.

I have already fallen for the catalogue temptation I am afraid, I bought a Callistemon last week and it arrived today!

Lynn Hunt said...

Hello Helene! I'm so glad you found The Dirt Diaries! The Callistemon I see online looks lovely. Over here we call them bottle brush plants. Did you get the pink or burgundy?

We are a year behind with the Austin roses. I had to wait two years to get Munstead Rose as they sold out right away. I am already in line for a red Heathcliff next year.

Hope to hear more about your garden!

HELENE said...

They are called bottle brush here too, but I think the Latin name is just as much in use. Mine is a Callistemon rigidus, with crimson red flower spikes – or at least that’s what the label says, it is a bit too early for flowers! I plan to have it in a big container because there is no room left in the flower beds, and it will have to stay outside all year even if is a bit too tender for some of our winters - never grown it before so this will be an experiment!

I got 3 David Austin roses last year, you can read about them on my blog, I have a label for David Austin roses, only 2 posts so far but there will be many more this spring and summer :-)

Lynn Hunt said...

Hi again Helene, I visited your blog and really enjoyed your David Austin postings. I have Susan Williams-Ellis too, but it is only her first year so I don't want to draw any conclusions yet. I also have a boatload of Portmeirion Botanic Garden china that started out with one toast rack!

I don't have Scepter'd Isle yet but your pictures are so lovely I fear I must have one! By the way, I lived in London for two years. So many beautiful gardens in the UK!

Anonymous said...

I give a hearty affirmation to all of the companies you suggested. I love them all. I also get many of these same catalogs, and I enjoy perusing them each spring. Sounds like all is well with you on this frosty day since you're dreaming of roses. I always have a spot for just one more.~~Dee

Lynn Hunt said...

Dee, it is raining and chilly here today which is perfect weather for ordering roses! Although I am not usually an impulse buyer I saw Love Song, a floribunda from Edmunds and just had to order it. Those sprays of ruffled lavender blooms were too gorgeous to resist! And that color will be beautiful with my pink, red and cream Austins.

Sunil Patel said...

Hi Lynn, I receive the odd catalogue now and again but you seen to be inundated by them! My favourite is the David Austin roses catalogue, it has such beautiful pictures, I wish I could buy all the ones I like the look of. I look forward to reading how "Old Wollerton Hall" turns out because that's one of the ones I've had my eye on for a while.

Lynn Hunt said...

Sunil, I will keep you posted on Wollerton and of course will take photos when it blooms. I hope it lives up to the lofty expectations. Stay warm my friend -- hope the snow in London isn't too deep.

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