Gardening: Seed catalogs give a glimpse of the future

Nancy Szerlag
Special to The Detroit News

I’ve been poring over my seed catalogs the past few weeks looking for flowers to grow in the OPC garden this year. I’m hoping to have a great display of seed grown flowers for the Rochester Garden Club garden walk on June 21. Wish me luck!

Here are some of the seed catalogs I’m perusing:

Johnny’s Selected Seeds (877) 564-6697; Paper catalog free. Maine based, Johnny’s specializes in cold tolerant vegetable, herb and flower seeds that are flavorful, disease resistant and good producers. Tested in organic gardens in Maine and other locations around the country.

Richters Herbs (800) 668-4372; Paper catalog free. If you’re into herbs, Richters is a treasure trove of the unusual. Richters also offers mail-order plants, including trays of small plugs to the general public. This Canadian company ships to the U.S.

Territorial Seed Company (800-626-0866); Paper catalog free. Huge selection and a great read. Lots of plants, but order early as they sell out.

Pinetree Garden Seeds (207) 926-3400; Paper catalog free. Small seed packs sold at low prices. Now selling plants and all sorts of DIY supplies including cosmetic and soap-making components.

Botanical Interests Seeds (877) 821-4340: Paper catalog free. Large selection includes Asian veg, perennial flowers and organic seed. Seed packets are loaded with cultural information.

Renee’s Garden Seeds (888) 880-7228; Online only catalog. Great selection of seeds for heirloom and cottage flower gardens, herbs, and gourmet vegetables from around the world.

Seeds from Italy (785) 748- 0959; Paper catalog free. If you like all things Italian this is the place to shop. More than 500 varieties of vegetable, herb and flower seeds, all imported from the old country.

Peaceful Valley Organics (888) 784-1722 Catalog $2. A one-stop shop for the organic grower — seeds, fertilizers, bare root trees and tools.

Seeds of Change (888) 762-7333; Paper catalog free. Purveyors of certified organic seeds and seedlings.

New to me this year is Fruition Seeds:, an online only catalog that sells organic seeds developed for short season growers. Recommended by award-winning garden writer, blogger and podcaster Margret Roach:

Because of the high costs of printing and postage, many seed houses have gone to online only catalogs. Even if you get the paper catalogs, do check out the websites for sales, blogs, gardening tips and online only merchandise.

Nancy Szerlag is a master gardener and a 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