First of the Spring 2014 Garden Catalogs!
Mail order garden catalogs are one of the things that keep me sane in winter. Normally they don’t start to arrive until after the New Year, but when I got home today I was delighted to find the new catalog from Bluestone Perennials.
Bluestone Perennials is my go-to mail order source for non-natives and cultivars of native perennials. I tend to use more specialized sources when buying native straight species.
Plant catalogs are a mainstay of my winter reading. Bluestone meets the three criteria for being included in the stack of catalogs by my side of the bed. First, the text is clear, credible, and not an insult to my intelligence. Second, lots of pictures. Third, adequate information on the cultural needs of a big selection of plants.
It’s worth noting that, unlike many retailers, Bluestone grows their own plants. Personally, I find this reassuring.
Plant retailers have been under pressure to reduce the cost of their catalogs, and Bluestone has downsized theirs by leaving out many plants that are now described only on the website. However, the catalog remains an absorbing read, or more accurately, an absorbing peruse.
I’ve had positive experiences with the plants from Bluestone. They arrive in 3.5″ biodegradable pots that can go right in the ground. They used to ship smaller plants in plastic three packs. The change was a good one, I think, though I believe the smaller plants were cheaper.
As always, checking out the new plants is part of the pleasure of reading a garden catalog. There are three in Buestone’s that particularly aroused my interest.
- English Lavender ‘Violet Intrigue’ (Lavandula angustifolia). I have no lavender in my garden, but I’m thinking about putting it in a couple of spots. I like the rich purple color, and how can you resist that name?
- Northern Sea Oats ‘River Mist’ (Chasmanthium latifolium). A variegated cultivar of this shade tolerant grass with pretty seedheads. Not usually a big fan of variegated plants, but I can imagine this doing very nicely in my shady back garden.
- Doll’s Eyes (Cimicifuga pachypoda). Prior to this I have only seen this plant carried by native plant specialists. Mid-size plants with striking white berries. Berries are poisonous, though, so be careful with small children.
Have your favorite catalogs started arriving in the mail yet?