Seed catalogs to inspire gardeners during the cold months ahead

Marianne Binetti shares three recommended seed catalogs for the local summer climate.

The cold month of January deserves the hopeful warmth of seed catalogs.

You don’t have to be a gardener to appreciate the spring joy of expectations and this could be the year you turn over a new leaf while turning the page of a garden or seed catalog and start growing.

To celebrate growing inspiration here are the top three recommended seed catalogs for our cool summer climate:

HumeSeeds.com

Ed Hume still has his green thumb firmly on the helm of this local seed company based in Puyallup Washington. The distinctive seed packets with the black backgrounds are also sold at hardware and home center stores throughout the Pacific Northwest. You can order early and avoid the disappointment of favorite varieties selling out by ordering online. Hume Seeds features flower, vegetable and herb varieties specifically chosen for our climate and tested and chosen by Ed Hume himself. This is the place to find the edible pod Oregon Sugar Pod II a bush snow pea developed by Oregon State University to excel in cool spring climates. Lazy gardeners will love to harvest and stir fry this pea because you eat the shell and all – no shelling required. Hume Seeds also sells a lovely white pumpkin called Pumpkin Casper . Used for holiday décor and crafting ideas, white pumpkins are in high demand and often sold at premium price. Plant a seed and grow your own. Ed offers special growing tips on all his seed packets.

TerritorialSeed.com

You can go online now and view the extensive seed and plant offerings from this organic seed company based in Cottage Grove Oregon or go online and order the traditional paper seed catalog (full of color photographs ) to be sent to your mailbox. Online ordering may be paperless and efficient but there is something so satisfying about holding an actual catalog in your hands, in front of the fire on a cold winter night. Territorial Seed offers some fascinating plants to try along with hundreds of vegetable seeds that help gardeners become more self-sufficient. Territorial seed company reminds readers that the produce found at your grocery story travels an average of 800 miles before reaching your table – a good reason to grow your own. You don’t even need a garden plot to start growing from Territorial Seed. I am always fascinated by the wild and weird mushrooms they offer for sale. Try growing the spooky looking Lion’s Mane Mushroom in your basement or closet and dare to taste this fungal monster. Seed catalogs can stir the imagination or make you gasp at the unusual edible options.

NicholsGardenNursery.com

Visit the website for the 2017 Nichols Herbs and Rare Seed Catalog and you’ll be inspired to plant something different this spring. This family owned business operates a nursery in the Willamette valley and the owner Rose Marie Nichols McGee has written a bestselling book called “The Bountiful Container Garden” .

The online catalog has expanded its offerings of beer and wine making supplies and has become the go to source for cooks that like to garden. You’ll find different types of garlic and saffron as well as unusual herbs for making ethnic dishes. Tired of mowing and watering the lawn? This nursery sells lawn substitute plants including a dwarf clover developed for those that want a green, no mow lawn.

Next week – plant and seed catalogs to inspire your flower garden and landscaping.

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