In the Garden:
Rocky Mountains
January, 2003
Regional Report

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Catalogs can help inspire new ideas for the landscape!

Mail-Order Seed Catalogs Simplify Shopping

This upcoming garden season is a time for reflection and planning. And on a cold winter day, it's fun to peruse some of those colorful garden catalogs that arrive in the mail. The enticing plant descriptions and bold colors help to inspire new ideas for the landscape.

Sources of Unusual Plants
Mail-order seed companies and nurseries are useful tools for the seasoned gardener as many new and unusual plant varieties are simply not available through local sources. It also can be more economical to order through the mail, and it gives us a respite from fighting traffic, crowds, and limited parking often associated with major retail shopping centers.

Catalog shopping appeals to millions of homeowners who may be bringing in more disposable income but have less free time in which to spend it. Catalogs simplify the shopping experience, too! A sharp pencil and postage stamp are all you need to shop by mail. But don't overlook shopping on-line or taking advantage of the toll-free numbers provided by some catalog merchants that can make ordering even more convenient.

Now's the time to send in your request for catalogs and begin to study their offerings. There are hundreds of companies throughout the nation, and some abroad, that offer a wide selection of flowers, vegetables, fruits, trees, shrubs, roses, perennials, and bulbs.

Use Catalogs as a Resource
Planning NOW will give you time to make plant selections and write down ideas until you are satisfied everything is just the way you want it. Most of the information you need can be found in the text of catalogs, including plant heights and spread, landscape merits, growing zones, bloom times, maturity information for vegetables, and more. You can plan a garden layout, succession plantings, and harvest schedules, all at the same time. Like an almanac for gardening tips and trivia, seed and nursery catalogs are "wish books" filled with just about everything imaginable.


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