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Spring Means Garden Catalog Time

It’s that time of year again.

Garden catalogs arrive in the mail on a regular basis.

Even historian Jill Lepore has a new article in The New Yorker called “What We Learn from Leafing through Seed Catalogues.”

She presents her case with a lot of humor.

The Nolan Pelletier illustration for the article is included here, because it looks so nineteenth century. [below]

Illustration by Nolan Pelletier

The catalogues, she says, sell more than seeds and plants.

They also teach us about gardening.

That is espeically important because we want the newest. The catalogues feed that desire by making sure they include what is the latest we need to know about the garden.

Catalogs took off in mid-nineteenth century when mass printing became big business.

Not only newspapers and books, but garden catalogs traveled from the Atlantic to the Pacific from seed companies and nurseries scattered around the country.

Their goal was to spread the pasttime of gardening.

They succeeded if we look at how many seed and plant companies sprouted up around the country.

Jill’s preference for Bluestone Perennials is something I share with her. I have planted many a plant from Bluestone over the years. They send you a small plant. And, since it’s a perennial, it continues to give you pleasure in the garden year after year, if you take care of it.

Recently I received two separate copies of a catalog called “Kitchen Garden Seeds.”

I wondered how that had happened.

I have never ordered anything from this company.

I guess that is part of the baggage of mass mailings. Some of us are bound to get multiple copies of the same thing.

Since I like paging through the catalogs, I will live with that issue.

Just send them along….

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