Alan Pulley lives in SE Virginia with his wife and two children. In his spare time, he enjoys birdwatching, gardening, photography, painting and blogging. He is a Virginia Master Naturalist and the author of Birds 'n Such blog (birdsnsuch.com), where he writes about birds, gardening and the natural world.
 

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Gardening by Mail
by Alan Pulley - posted 01/06/11

 Winter can be a tough adjustment for many gardeners, especially after the holiday commotion has passed by. There’s only so much a gardener can do this time of year. The garden is in full rest and most plants have settled in for a long winters nap. But don’t let that get you down. Now is the perfect time to plan for the upcoming season.

By now many of you have received your favorite gardening catalog(s) in the mail – and that’s a good thing because this month is National Mail Order Gardening Month. That’s right, it’s time to sit back and spend a little time browsing and planning for the spring garden. Garden catalogs offer an overwhelming variety of seeds, bulbs, plants and all types of accessories that’s hard to resist for any gardener. I personally enjoy looking through my new catalogs each year to see what new plants are out, or what new cool gadget I can add to my wish list. Most garden catalogs also offer wonderful photos that can often spark new ideas in your own garden.

Most garden catalogs are free and can be requested through the company’s website. Many of them offer a copy of their latest catalog online so you can have instant access to it if you can’t wait for it in the mail. If you’re new to gardening and want to get on a mailing list or two one great place to start is the Mailorder Gardening Association website. They offer a variety of catalog searching features, as well as a catalog suggestion feature that’s based on what you are looking for (trees, bulbs, exotic plants, etc.). They also have phone numbers for contacting the catalog company directly. While you’re there, be sure to check out their smart shopper guide. Another site I stumbled upon was Cyndi’s Catalog of Garden Catalogs. It’s a one stop shop for over 2,000 mail-order gardening catalogs.

With today’s technology and the internet providing more information than we can imagine, one would think that mail-order garden catalogs would be a thing of the past, but that’s not the case. They’re more popular than ever with new catalogs popping up every year. I think most gardeners, including myself, look forward to getting their catalogs in the mail each year. Whether you’re looking to buy or just daydreaming, garden catalogs are a great resource and can help bring a little springtime indoors during the cold winter months. Who knows, you may find that one new plant that you can’t live without.

 

 

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