Last week I had the pleasure of visiting a private garden on three acres, south…
Catalogs were the major sales tool for the seed companies and nurseries in the nineteenth century.
By the end of the century improved printing, cheap mail delivery, and the railroads made the publication and distribution of catalogs much easier for the garden industry.
In their book Victorian Gardens: A Horticultural Extravaganza authors James R. Buckler and Kathryn Meehan write: “By the turn of the century, some seedsman were distributing as many as several hundred thousand catalogs a year to customers throughout the world.”The Childs Company from New York sent out 750 catalogs in 1875, but by 1896 the number had increased to 1,115,000. The garden industry had truly become a modern business, just like any other, with its appeal to a mass audience, spread across the country from California to Maine.