I Still Love Paper Plant Catalogs!

It's amazing how many catalogs I've received in the mail already. Although many online nurseries have curtailed the printing of a  paper version of their stock, even more have not. I think they realize the gardener's need for a tactile and totable booklet that can be perused over and over, and even saved for reference or posterity.

These companies also understand how most gardeners can't bring themselves to throw them away. Not only can I not bring myself to ditch them, I make sure they always are handy in case I have to know immediately where I can find a particular Salvia I just recalled.

One of the best learning tools I had in my early years of gardening were the catalogs from Wayside, White Flower Farm, Burpee, and Thompson & Morgan. After a few years, I graduated to non-picture volumes like Digging Dog Nursery, Greer Gardens, and Forest Farm. Some of these companies changed their focus, some no longer print catalogs, and some have catalogs available on request.

Another reason online nurseries don't bother with print catalogs is that it would cost a fortune to list everything they grow. This is something we shouldn't forget--just because we get a catalog in the mail doesn't mean we shouldn't take a close look at their website. Most nurseries carry more than what they mention in their catalogs.

After I took a snapshot of the catalogs, Poppy decided to check them out. She likes to lay between my back and the padded back of the chair while I browse the plant possibilities. Which brings me to another benefit of these catalogs: we can look at and learn about what we love without the weightiness of a book or laptop. They're "knowledge light," a portable glimpse into what growers have to offer; quicker than searching on a portable device, and with the accompanying (non-virtual) sound of flipping pages.

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