Tuesday, January 31, 2006

In the mail, free seeds, etc.

Mail Box: Free seeds, a new catalog and magazine, a garden club, and today's bonus, a list of on-line gardening groups:

Free Seeds! Winter Sown Educational Organization: I saw a message about free seeds being offered for a SASE on one of the garden groups I belong to, a while back. * So I went and visited the web-site and sent off my business sized SASE. I received back seven packets of seeds. The seeds I received were different than the ones the person first posting on the subject received; you have no choice. One of the varieties I was actually lusting after – Breadseed Poppies. Three others are related to plants I seem to be making collections of salvia, milkweed, and candy lily. But don’t get your heart set on something in particular. Be ready for a surprise. You will find complete details on how to easily and cheaply start your seeds, as well as the address to send you SASE at: http://www.wintersown.org/

Scam? – National Home Gardening Club: I am not sure that this is for real. The mailer uses all kinds of tactics I learned about in college: creating the illusion of exclusivity, complimenting the intended victim, appealing to greed by offering something for nothing. Additionally, long ago and far away, when my Son was a boy, he received a similar ‘offer’ but related to fishing instead of gardening. Anyway – they imply that you will get to test gardening supplies and then get to keep them. I am not holding my breath. But I did take the bait. I didn’t have to sign anything; I can cancel at anytime, and was promised free seed etc. I seem to be a sucker for free seeds – whether I need them or not. I will try to remember to keep you posted.

Plant Catalog – Forest Farm: I just received the spring 2006 catalog and it is really enticing as usual. The catalog cost $5.00, and is well worth it to avid gardeners and designers with a budget for plants. The catalog is about the size of an average paperback book, and it is packed with the largest selection I have ever run across. They specialize in woody plants, perennials, grasses, ferns, bamboo (including edible types), palms, and fruit. The catalog contains descriptions, requirements, botanical and common names, hardiness zones, and keys to uses including food, wildlife, fragrance, etc. While they have some bargains, this catalog is not really for the bargain seeker. It is more for those with a need for a certain specimen for a special spot, or for the experienced collector looking for hard to find varieties. A special note of interest to other Northern CA gardeners - they are located in the Pacific north west so plants should be adapted to our weather. You can visit their web site at: http://www.forrestfarm.com

Magazine - Cottage Living: This was a gift from an on-line gardening friend. Thanks!!! I recently received my first issue, and I really enjoyed looking at the photos and reading the articles. The have a great piece on growing citrus inside, instructions for a simple potting bench, and a list of gardening book recommendations. (Only one of which is familiar to me, Sunset’s Western Garden.) There were plenty of other articles and photos related to the Cottage Style. I even picked up a tip from their bathroom article, snagged myself some inexpensive baskets, and now my shampoo, etc. have a new home – Cottage style. http://www.cottageliving.com

Note from above – On-line gardening groups:
*I don’t remember which group it was. But if you are looking for some gardening conversation, want to arrange some trades, or hope to jump into or start a round robin, or want to participate in a seed bank - check these out: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Casape/

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