D. Landreth Seed Company: (800) 654-2407, www.landrethseeds.com. Their commemorative 2010 catalog is an historical treasure that took five years to assemble. Included is a unique African-American heritage seed collection of heirloom vegetables carried by enslaved people from Africa and the Caribbean that became staples of the African-American family. The illustrations throughout, along with the gardening history and advice, came from the collection of antique Landreth catalogs. This one is a collector’s item as well as a current catalog.
Burpee: (800) 888-1447, www.burpee.com. Find seeds and transplants of flowers, herbs and veggies, and my favorite tomato, the Burpee “Fourth of July.” They have 30 new varieties to tempt me.
Cook’s Garden: (800) 457-9703, www.cooksgarden.com. Find seeds and plants for gourmet gardeners, and yummy recipes, too.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds: (417) 924-8917, www.rareseeds.com. Check out the seeds of hundreds of heirloom veggies and flowers in a full-color publication that looks more like a magazine than a catalog. Order today, they run out early.
Nichols Garden Nursery: (800) 422-3985, www.nicholsgardennursery.com. Nichols is celebrating 60 years of seeds and plants for herbs, veggies and flowers. It offers a fascinating treasure hunt for the unusual.
Johnny’s Selected Seeds : (877) 564-6697, www.johnnyseeds.com. Find cold-tolerant vegetables, flowers and herbs that are flavorful, disease-resistant and good producers. A favorite of market gardeners and home growers. Good growing information.
Thompson & Morgan: (800)274-7333; www.thompson-morgan.com. Their world-famous 200-page seed catalog features hundreds of full-color photos, making it a great reference if you’re into flower power.
Peaceful Valley Organics: (888) 784-1722, www.groworganic.com. A huge assortment of heirloom and organic seeds including Seeds of Change, Renee’s Garden Seeds and bio-dynamically grown herb seeds from Turtle Tree Seeds. Good selection of fruit and nut trees and shrubs.
Pinetree Garden Seeds: (207) 926-3400, www.superseeds.com. Enjoy great prices for those who don’t need scads of seeds and want to start simple.
Seed Savers Exchange: (563) 382-5990, www.seedsavers.org. Enjoy an extensive collection of heirloom seeds, books and gifts. Check out the Web site for information about membership and benefits of joining the Seed Savers Exchange, the largest nongovernment seed bank in the United States.
All these catalogs are available online, and most Web sites include additional items that become available after the catalogs go to press.
Many seed houses publish online newsletters that provide growing tips, alerts of seasonal sales and special events.