Our current favorite supplier is Johnny’s Selected Seeds, 955 Benton Avenue, Winslow, Maine 04901-2601, or 1-877-JOHNNYS (564-6697) or online at www.Johnnyseeds.com. They have been in business and growing since 1973, have won many awards, produce fully certified organic seeds, the catalog is printed in color, and they welcome visitors, and you could get to enjoy the other pleasures of Maine. We had trouble finding them, stopped at a house five confusing miles from their farm, and the nice lady said, “No one can find it the first time”, and she got her car out of the garage and led us to the farm.
We have bought more for the longest time from Burpees (because our parents did!). Contact them free at 1-800-888-1447, or online at www.burpee.com. One year we ordered a little late (it happens, you know) and they were out of some of the seeds we wanted – which was a valuable lesson to learn – but before planting season, we found the same seed packets for sale in a huge box store, for less money than the catalog would have charged. But we don’t rely on that happening every year.
In case you used to garden, or your parents did, there are no more easily available $.10 seed envelopes available. There may be a store near you that still offers bulk seeds, which are much less expensive than buying from catalogs, but the free catalogs give you pictures hopefully in color, some instructions – some pictures may show many flowers blooming together, but when you buy all those seeds, it just doesn’t always happen. There is a lot of information about time to plant, blossom time, dangerous temperatures to avoid, how much sunlight is needed, and when to expect blossoms or harvest.
We buy some seeds just because we like the company name, and one of which is the Vermont Seed company, 334 W Stroud Street, Randolph, Wisconsin, 53956. 1-800-349-1071, or www.vermontbean.com. This is one of the catalogs that we were sent free, and we just liked their name and address, and have been happy with their service. We know the big garden companies probably don’t grow all that they sell near their sales address, but we would hesitate before buying from a seed company in Key West or Tucson, wouldn’t you?
I grew up between Buffalo and Rochester, New York, and while a patient at the Sampson U. S. Navy Hospital near Geneva, I hitchhiked back and forth from my old home town. I often had to plead for a new ride in Canandaigua, on U.S. Route 20, and saw the gardens of Miller Nurseries, 5060 West Lake Road, Canandaigua, 14424-8904, 1 800 836 9630, www.millernurseries.com. I think I recognized the address in a gardening magazine, and most of the good fruit we have was ordered from them.
Because it reminds me of my youthful home, I like Harris Seeds, 355 Paul Road, Rochester, N.Y. 14624 0966, www.harrisseds.com. Actually, I continue to receive more garden catalogs than I have ever ordered from, and what better to do in the cold limited spare time from January to March than to read about, learn, and plan, this year’s garden activity and pleasures? Even Judy can’t spend these days pulling weeds, and I only have to sharpen her tools in my heated shop, – after I start a good fire and the wood burner heats the room! . . . good gardening