Thursday, March 26, 2015

Historical Garden Catalogs

Garden catalogs are specifically meant to sell a company's product.  They've been around for well over a hundred years and today have expanded from paper to web based.  

Gardeners typically treasure catalogs like they would a new baby in the family.  They hold them, keep them and dream about the future.

I have a place where you can visit catalogs (or basically their front cover page) of years past and enjoy the pure beauty of heirloom plants.  Most of the old ones have plants drawn/painted by famous artists which rival master pieces.  

These catalogs also take you to what plants were popular during those periods in time; many have since been lost.  If you're looking to have a garden full of heirloom plants, a cottage garden or even a little patch of nostalgia, these catalogs are a good place to start dreaming.

I recently stumbled upon a HUGE collection at the Smithsonian Institute's site.  I seriously don't know why I don't research their collections more since they seem to have one of everything and more than I ever knew I wanted to see.  At any rate, check out their web site or if you're a Pinterest cruiser, simply enter in "Smithsonian Garden Catalogs".  

I have noticed most of the old seed companies are Midwest in location.  And most are no longer in existence or they've been gobbled up by some non garden corporation.

In addition to ideas for your own garden, these prints make beautiful wall hangings.  Note:  some are copywrited.

Here are a few of the beautiful catalog covers I've especially enjoyed:

Speaking of the Smithsonian Institute, check out the many gardens on line or while visiting Washington DC.  They have some thirteen different gardens and other smaller venues in addition to their many garden/plant related collections.   

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