I need seed catalog suggestions for my mom.
December 31, 2005 1:42 PM   Subscribe

I need seed catalog suggestions for my mom. She just bought a few acres in New Mexico and is trying to find a worthwhile activity to occupy her time, so I suggested gardening. She's not online, so I need catalogs from companies from which I can request print catalogs to be sent to her. Personally, I'm interested in obscure/rare, heirloom, and medicinal plants. I need suggestions. Thanks!
posted by theperfectcrime to Home & Garden (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Check out Burpee.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 1:47 PM on December 31, 2005

I'd suggest doing some serious research on the climate she bought in. Growing things in New Mexico can be a challenge, but well worth it.
posted by FlamingBore at 1:59 PM on December 31, 2005

Whoops, deleted my first sentence: I need seed catalog suggestions for my mom.
posted by theperfectcrime at 2:17 PM on December 31, 2005

It might be a cliche for New Mexico, but they're are lots of cool cacti. Many of which have... tangental neuropharmalogical applications.
posted by phrontist at 2:18 PM on December 31, 2005

The Richters catalogue's always interesting.
posted by zadcat at 2:20 PM on December 31, 2005

The Garden Watchdog Guide to Gardening by Mail

A personal favorite, especially of my wife and mom: White Flower Farms.
posted by caddis at 2:28 PM on December 31, 2005

Seeds of Change has a paper catalog, and I think they're actually in New Mexico, so their stuff might be well-tested for the local climate.
posted by dilettante at 2:45 PM on December 31, 2005

Seconding the suggestion of Seeds of Change. Also,
High Country Gardens has an excellent selection for the far West/Rocky Mountain climate.
posted by Kat Allison at 2:48 PM on December 31, 2005

Check out SeedSavers for heirloom seeds and transplants.
posted by divka at 2:52 PM on December 31, 2005

[fixed first sentence]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:14 PM on December 31, 2005

Native Seeds specializes in conserving wild and traditional crops and they're located in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. Not sure if they have a catalog but they do offer gift seed collections.

From their website: "We promote the use of ancient crops and their wild relatives by distributing seeds to traditional communities and to gardeners world wide. Currently we offer 350 varieties from our collection, grown out at our Conservation Farm in Patagonia, Arizona."
posted by soiled cowboy at 3:17 PM on December 31, 2005

High Country Gardens will have some plants that will do well in her area. Their plants are good quality, but they are a little pricier than my favorite, Bluestone Perennials. I have ordered from Bluestone for years and they always have a large variety, excellent plants, and reasonable prices. I highly recommend Bluestone.

If she is interested in Tomatoes and Peppers, Tomato Grower's Supply has just about everything you could possibly want in that regard.

You can also search the Garden Bazaar over at GardenWeb for additional ideas.
posted by Ostara at 3:54 PM on December 31, 2005

White Flower Farm in Connecticut.
posted by mykescipark at 4:32 PM on December 31, 2005

Whoops, I retract my earlier recommendation because I notice you wanted *seed* companies. Let's see: my top picks would be Johnny's Selected Seeds and Cooks' Garden. Redwood City Seeds has a wonderful selection of peppers, and Garden Medicinals is, well, medicinal plants.
posted by Kat Allison at 4:59 PM on December 31, 2005

Two family run businesses that I've had great experiences with:

Nichols for herb seeds in particular. An incredible selection of culinary and medicinal herb seeds and plants.

Johnny's, particularly for vegetable seed but they have lots of general garden related stuff.

Nichols is in Oregon, Johnny's in Maine but both have stuff for all zones. And I agree with FlamingBore that your Mom will need to learn about the particular challenges of SW gardening.

And I'll disagree with recommendations for White Flower Farm unless you're interested in slick presentation of grossly overpriced mediocre material.
posted by TimeFactor at 5:04 PM on December 31, 2005

on preview, Kat Allison already mentioned Johnny's. And WFF doesn't carry seeds so they're out anyway.
posted by TimeFactor at 5:10 PM on December 31, 2005

WFF is overpriced, but the catalogue has some inspiring photography. I recommend getting it anyway, if only for design ideas. Their associated seed company is Shepherd's, which has a small but lovely collection and is also worth reading for ideas.
posted by tangerine at 5:37 PM on December 31, 2005

Also, take a look at the catalogue recommendations at savvygardener.com.
posted by tangerine at 5:40 PM on December 31, 2005

Johnny's is great, so is Stokes, but for good, organic and cheap I love Fedco. Mind you, they're based in Maine and specialize in the NE climate, but if you find the variety you want and verify that it's good in her climate, I'd recommend that you buy it from Fedco.
posted by plinth at 7:59 PM on December 31, 2005

Seconding th recommendation for Fedco - they have some terrific heirloom varieties. For more obscure seeds, the seed list of J L Hudson is always full of unique plant varieties.
posted by vers at 4:43 AM on January 1, 2006

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