In the history of the English garden the Royal Garden at Kew has played an…
To this day we still buy seeds in colorful packets.
The nineteenth century seed companies, mostly on the East coast, copied the Shakers’ seed packet idea. This wonderful image from Everitt’s 1892 seed catalog illustrates the competition among the seed merchants, each fishing with a different bait, or marketing strategy.
The important names in the American nineteenth century seed trade include Henderson, Burpee, Childs, and Vick. Vick had some of his seeds shipped from England because, following his trips to England, he thought their quality was better than American seeds.
The companies sent mail order catalogs around the country to market their seeds and pioneered the mail order business in America. Though competition followed because the number of seed companies increased, the strategy of the seed packet worked for them.
Today what is your source for purchasing seeds? What company is your favorite?