I get between five and ten. The ones I currently order most from are: Shumway's for vegetables (Baltimore carrots, striped celery, banana melons, popping sorghum, and a mushroom brush this year), Select Seeds (flower seeds, and gift plants to ship), Burpee (giant sunflowers, Flagstaff marigolds, and a couple of rare tomatos), and Pine Tree, for exotica. I sometimes order from Territorial and Thompson and Morgan, as well. I quit ordering fruit trees, because clearly, when they speak of Zone 9, they don't mean *Florida* Zone 9. But I plant quite a few spit vegetables, also, and even have the start of a spit orchard/grove.*
* "Orchard" is basically deciduous fruit trees. Evergreen fruits and all nuts are in "groves". Bramble fruits, incidentally, are said to grow in a "spinny" (though the expression is quaint), and non-thorny berries (straw- and blue-) in a "patch".
Less than 5. I don't order many seeds, so have thankfully gotten off that list. Wish I could get off all the other junk lists I seem to be on. A very few I like, but most go directly into the recycle. Sometimes I wonder about just knocking down my mailbox and doing without mail delivery. I get almost everything of importance via email attachment.
It seems like the catalog companies are busier than ever this year. I don't think I've quite elevated myself to be on the TV show hoarders but I've already taken over one of the two drawers in the refrigerator for seeds. And very few of them I actually bought, 95 percent of them are from trades.
It's like spam this year! They have multiplied to the point I'm just throwing most of them in the recycle bin before they even come in the house. I try to buy local now for all of my plant needs, although there are a few I like to peruse just for some ideas or for fun.
I find most catalogs a fun fantasy read...right along with the Tin Man and Scarecrow, but that doesn't mean that I don't enjoy wandering down the Yellow Brick Road and looking at the eye candy. I have piles of catalogs...most get recycled right away, but I keep a few of my favorites handy. Some have included wonderful cultural information.
I'm in the avalanche category. That's great though, because I love to look through them and dream. I keep my favorites until season's end. All eventually go to recycling; however, I 1st clip photos I find particularly captivating. These I keep for future use in arts and crafts.
LOL at the idea of 'floraporn'! I wish merchants would stop doing that. In the mean time, I've learned to consult the PlantFiles' photos before making any purchases. Often the difference between real life photos of a plant and those in the catalogs and on websites is quite dramatic, like two different plants.
I am in the avalanche category too, but that is okay. I take them to our neighborhood elementary school for the kindergarteners. They make Valentine and Mother's day cards from the pictures. When my GS was little it was fun to see the cards he made from them. A few years ago one of the teachers ordered some seeds and the kids made a garden. That has become a bit of a tradition.
I really am sorry to see so many of these catalogs go to waste. They have got to be pretty expensive to put out. there must be a way to let them know not to send them, other than just not ordering the seeds. That takes a few years for them to redo all their lists to see who is buying and who isn't I am sure.
I really do not know anything about how they go about mailing them, but I do hate to see the waste.
Most seed companies just do not grok the concept of being vibrantly digital. Printed matter helped birth the industry and made it mighty big in this country, the UK, and lots of other places on the globe. They are comfortable with it.
I got lots of catalogues when I contemplated my first venture into "serious" gardening. I sent for them by using subcribe forms on seed sites - - There are some sites getting pretty savvy with using HTML-formatted e-mail newsletters and "inbox flyers" that link back to their websites, Kewl, and yet they're all still clutching onto that printed catalogue comfort food for their minds.
I now pretty much only tolerate the e-mail comms as, heck, I have all the sites I am actually liking in my browser bookmarks. I have become accustomed to digital communications - - The seed companies must not spend too much on market information because most of their advert bucks are going into old-fashioned media. I am in my sixties and I can say that !
They are pretty crappy for using with composting because of the lead in the inks that most of them use - - this is pretty much a poison to the worms living under gardens and in worm farms. Fortunately, most of them will honour requests to cease mail-outs.
We brought all the clothing companies with us when we moved, or at least they followed us out here, but the seed and flower companies didn't really notice. I buy everything online anyway, and I hardly ever buy something because I got sent a catalog.
I just love the catalogs...what fabulous reading material for the winter... My favorites are Select seeds and T&MSeeds.com (Thompsen and Morgan)...The later is one of the best. I consider it to be my garden bible (loved the older ones as they were book form and fit nicely onto the shelf as I save these for ref. books.), sooo much info.: temps., when to start and special instructions on those that need it... not many other catalogs offer that and the selection is vast!
Wayside is great for newer plants coming to the market and total eye candy. When I was in college taking Hort. classes this was required reading and you had to buy a copy...
Some other goodies are: Roots and Rhizomes, van Bourgondien. Gilbert Wild and Son, for peonies, Iris, Daylilies, Bulbs etc...great stock too!!!
For bulbs of all kinds: Van Engelen Inc. and John Scheepers, the latter being a wonderful color catalog, lol, more eye candy.
Fortunately I ordered from several seed catalogs last fall when on sale and got some great seeds in swaps, one due here in a week or so..
Most catalogs I read cover to cover, marking things for my wish list, learning, studying and totally memorizing..Thankyou seed companies, I don't let them go to waste...
Pix: new crop of perenns. already up and growing...come on Spring !!!!!!
I love poring through all those catalogues though. So much eye candy and temptation! It really helps me get inspired and plan my garden, even though I don't buy everything I think I want. Most of the time I buy locally anyway.
Tillotson's Roses has been a favorite since I was a kid. And I was glad to see Gilbert Wild and Son this year. It doesn't have a web site, and I had missed the catalog for several years. Glad to see they are still in business. You can buy dogwoods by the dozens!
I like Johnny's Select Seeds - lots of cultural information plus soil temp vs. germination rate charts that I just love!
Still, I like catalogs vs. web sites, not everyone has high speed Internet connections. For the beginner gardener a good selection of catalogs is helpful however if no longer desired just contact the company to stop distribution and switch over to emailed newsletters, etc.
It will be a sad day when independent seed companies are no more and only a few, like Monsanto, control seed distribution AND seeds available to us...hone those seed saving skills!
From everything I've read, it is still inadvisable to compost colorful paper, esp colorful, shiny paper (other than newspaper which uses soy-based inks). There are many other toxic substances besides lead. Cadmium, for instances, is used in some yellow, red, and orange pigments. Also, while it is interesting to note that shredded paper is used for animal bedding, I don't know if I would want to use commercial farming practices as a standard.
I shred and compost any unwanted (black on white) mail which contains my private information along with anything (black on white) from my printer. I send the rest of the paper products, magazines, junk mail, especially the colorful and/or shiny stuff to recycling. In the past, I often brought home bags of shredded office paper from work to add to my compost.
I get somewhere near twenty. So far, I have gotten about a dozen in the mail. I absolutely love getting them except my money supply and garden room always run short before the want to plants do.
My husband planted a fruit orchard for me as my Christmas present and that has slowed me down by satisfying the itch a bit for this coming year. I am buried in orchard research and haven't given the rest much my attention.
becky...try Miller Nurseries (.com) they are totally trees also Stark Brothers, great for fruit trees too...lots of info!!!! Seems to me their might be another...if I remember will add.. Oooh, I just remembered Carrino Nursery. If nothing else great info and pix too, ie. chilling hours, which pollinator is needed if any.. I remember getting wonderful bareroot stock from Stark several years ago...then I moved..Crud!!!! LOL.
Check your local Extention Office located at your County Offices (government pages) for much info that would be great for your area also and is usually free...
I generally get about 5, but this year it's at 10 already. I generally order from Territorial Seed, Willhite Seeds and rarely, Burpee, but I got a couple of new ones this year that look promising. Not only am I adding vegetables to my garden, I'll be adding a new butterfly/hummingbird garden to the front yard to replace shrubberies that didn't make it. (Hated them anyway)