Gardening: Colorful catalogs let you dream, plan

Nancy Szerlag
Special to The Detroit News

The arrival of plant catalogs in January’s mail is the perfect panacea for gardener’s post- holiday blues, and here’s a list of some of my favorites.

■White Flower Farm, (800) 503-9624, Print catalog free. The full color catalog is a visual feast for flower lovers. Fabulous resource for gorgeous container combinations using annuals and perennials.

■Forestfarm, (541) 846-7269, Print catalog free. One of largest plant selections in the country. Catalog is print only, for color photos and current availability, check their website. Because of distance, shipping from this 30-year-old Oregon nursery can be pricey.

■Plant Delights Nursery (919) 772-4794 Print catalog, $7. This catalog is a hortiholic’s bible – a must for any plant collector.

■Annie’s Annuals and Perennials, (888) 266-4370; Print catalog free. Located in California, most of the plants will be grown as annuals in Michigan. Shipping may exceed price of plants, but buy more and save. If you’re a plant fashionista, this stunning collection will have you drooling.

■Bluestone Perennials, (800) 852-5243, Print catalog free. More than 1,000 varieties of perennials plus ground cover shrubs and bulbs. Plants come in 4-inch deep biodegradable pots for easy planting.

■High Country Gardens, (800) 925-9387, Print catalog free. Specializes in unusual drought tolerant, xeric perennials, many of which are hardy to zone 5 and grow well in Michigan. Lots of preplanned garden plans for the designed challenged. Active breeding programs produces lots of new treasures.

■Song Sparrow Nursery, (800) 553-3715, Catalog online only, but worth the visit. A treasure trove of hardy, designer herbaceous and tree peonies, magnolias and fancy day lilies, including lots of exclusives and new introductions. Also a selection of woodies and perennials. Wisconsin grown – they are cold hardy.

■David Austin Roses, (800) 328-8893, Catalog free. This catalog features more than 200 varieties of English roses, many of which can be grown here in Michigan. Breathtaking.

All catalogs are available online so peruse their inventories before ordering hard copies or simply shop on the Internet. The websites are packed with information and sign ups for newsletters, blogs and e-blasts announcing new introductions and sales.

Guest appearance: At 7 p.m. Jan 9., the Hardy Plant Society of Michigan hosts rock star, author and horticulturist Joseph Tychonievich, who presents “Rock Gardening: Reimaging a Classic Garden Style,” at the Congregational Church of Birmingham, 1000 Cranbrook Road, Bloomfield Hills. Tickets $5.

Nancy Szerlag is a master gardener and Metro Detroit freelance writer. Her column appears Fridays in Homestyle. To ask her a question go to and click on Ask Nancy. You can also read her previous columns at detroitnewscom/homestyle.