Water Gardens Catalog Showcases Water Lilies

Image via Wikipedia

This week I received the 2010 catalog from Lilypons Water Gardens, a water gardening supplier in Adamstown, Maryland. The catalog is useful, informative and nice to look at. The company byline says it all —

The Source for Water Gardening Since 1917

These guys are into water gardening! I remember lots of ponds, water lilies and potted plants when visiting the their water garden center over 20 years ago. Nice day.

Photos of water lilies in the 2010 Lilypons catalog are enlarged to show just the blossom and large enough to really see the blossom. Photos include closeups of —

  • hardy water lilies
  • tropical water lilies
  • lotus
  • iris
  • bog plants
  • tropical bogs
  • goldfish and koi

The rest of the catalog serves to dish out planting supplies, pond filters and pumps, tools, liners and cleaners.

Pay attention to the headers and footnotes on the water lily pages, where the hardiness and care requirements are listed for each page. This information could be better placed right in the Plant Guide that details the spread and lighting requirements for each plant. At any rate all the information is there if you’re not too sure about planting water lilies in your pond.

Gardening Greener with Natives, Perennials and Grasses

Interested in growing greener? That would include growing plants native to your local climate, plants that are naturally adapted to the local conditions.

Reducing water consumption is important to many of us, especially for those in dryer climates. A fantastic resource for you guys in the deserts is High Country Gardens. From Santa Fe they offer a nice selection of native plants that require less care and attention than the tropical imports and the highly hybridized annuals that are pushed at garden centers every year.

If you have an interest in any of the following you should sign up to receive the Xeriscape Gardening Newsletter.

  • Xeriscape Perennials
  • Hardy Garden Perennials
  • Groundcovers
  • Ornamental Grasses
  • Shrubs & Conifers
  • Native Plants
  • Cacti and Succulents

The past few weeks I’ve seen beautifully illustrated emails on the topics of using ornamental grasses, gardening with color, perennials, dahlias, thymes and salvias, and even one about Blue Orchard Mason Bee Nest Tubes for Spring.

The online catalog is handsome. Clean lines, not too cluttered, yet full of information. Tool tips pop up with item specifics when you hover your mouse pointer over the large-enough thumbnail pictures. Each item details page gives plenty of details on the particular plant and its growing requirements.

Herbs are not too plentiful in the High Country Gardens Catalog. Only 6 herbal items, and they’re potted plants:

    Artemisia abrotanum ‘Tangerine’
    Hyssopus officinalis
    Lavandula x intermedia ‘Provence’
    Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Irene’™
    Salvia officinalis ‘Minima’
    Thymus sp.

Like I said though, if you’re interested in gardening with a green intent, then subscribe to the newsletter. It will give you ideas on how to use native plants in your gardens, especially perennials, ground covers and grasses.

Gardening and Seed Catalog Database Reaches Over 100 Entries

I’ve been putting together a database of seed and gardening catalogs over the last couple weeks. The print catalogs that I requested are starting to trickle into my snail mail box.

The database will contain the contact details for each company that supplies seeds, tools and equipment to home and backyard gardeners. Each will be identified as to their offerings online and in print.

Of special interest to me are the herb seeds and heirloom seeds that are available, so special attention will be paid to those catalogs offering non-hybrid seeds.

If anyone has interest in a downloadable PDF of the gardening and seed catalog database, please leave a comment!

Gardening and Seed Catalog Database Should Help Recycle Gardening Information

I’ve been collecting seed and flower catalog information over the last few days. The Internet has so much to offer that it’s pretty easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of information out there.

To make it a little easier to find the information about the offerings of the different gardening catalog companies, I’m creating a database. In the future all I’ll have to do is refer to information that I’ve already gathered to recall where I purchased a particular seed or plant. The seed catalog database will have information about the companies and the products they offer, as well as reviews of the online and print catalogs.

In the spirit of helping others I’ll make the database available to anyone stopping by usethatherb.com – I’ll even let you download a pdf file of the database contents whenever it’s ready, that is.

So far I’ve requested a couple dozen print catalogs to be sent to me via snail mail. I know some of these will take 3-4 weeks to get to me due to the printing/mailing process, but I can wait. Here in central Pennsylvania the planting season doesn’t start for a few weeks yet.

Why would anyone who is green-minded, like myself, order anything in print that is available in a digital format? Even though I’m acting like a consumer by requesting that something be physically created and shipped to me, what I do with those items can help to offset the costs I’ve put on society, indeed consumer-driven society. If I can find a way to adhere to the three laws of recycling, reduce-reuse-recycle, I know I’ll feel better.

First, many of the seed and gardening catalogs stem from a long history of providing information to prospective gardeners. The shift to using the Internet for providing that information is happening, but at a slow rate. More companies have more catalog offerings on their websites now than at any other time, so that’s a good thing. A few have done away with print catalogs entirely – Bravo! The savings in printing and postage costs should help those companies survive and do well. Reducing costs and paper waste adheres to the first law of recycling, reduce.

Next year, I won’t be ordering those catalogs again because of the information I’m picking up now. Avoiding consumption should be emphasized more often, but we do live in a consumer-driven society and change is difficult. We can still try though!

Second, gardening catalogs are easily passed from one person to another and many of the ones I expect to receive will be shared in this way. Reuse is the second law of recycling.

Third, any catalogs that don’t pass muster will promptly be fed to the worms. Composting paper with food wastes is easy to do and will let us recycle those old catalogs that are no longer needed. Obeying the third law of recycling just makes ya feel good! Recycle.

Don’t have a worm bin or a place to compost your old papers? We’ll have to investigate what other options you might have for recycling your old catalogs in a future post.

Can anyone offer what they do to reduce-reuse-recycle with respect to all the catalogs they get in the mail? Leave a comment!