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Gardeners Still Love the Latest Plants

I continue to read garden magazines that I stored for a time when my work slowed a bit.

What I learned from one magazine reminded me of what I had seen in the dozens of nineteenth century seed and nursery catalogs I read at the Smithsonian, researching the book America’s Romance with the English Garden.

The garden industry continues to offer new plants for the gardener.

The November/December 2013 issue of Horticulture magazine included an article simply called “New Intros” which featured photographs and descriptions of twenty-five new plants.

The color  photographs certainly make the plants quite enticing to any reader.

The growers number among the most recognized in the country, including Proven Winners,  North Creek Nurseries, Colorblends, Skagit, Monrovia, Terra Nova, and Bailey Nurseries.

I grow plants from each of them in my garden.

The thirst for new varieties of plants never ceases. That of course drives the garden industry each new year to roll out its novelties or as we now call them “new varieties.”

The article serves also as a bit of advertising for each of the nurseries.  With the help of the grower the magazine gets an article and the companies in turn showcase their own plants in the pages of the magazine.

The new 'Crimson Rambler' rose appeared here in this 1896 Henderson seed catalog
The new ‘Crimson Rambler’ rose appeared here in this 1896 Henderson seed catalog

In 1901 economist Emily Fogg-Meade wrote an article called “The Place of Advertising in Modern Business” which appeared in the Journal of Political Economy.  She wrote: “Advertising is indispensable to a producer to: (1) to increase the consumption of goods, and (2) to introduce novelties.”

The nineteenth century seed and nursery catalogs also offered novelties for the gardener. In its 1896 seed catalog the Peter Henderson Comapny [above] included a colored lithograph of the newest rose variety called ‘Crimson Rambler’.

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