Vintage Seed Catalogues

February 18, 2011

My mother used to order her garden seeds from Burpee

I’ve mentioned before that the Elisabeth C Miller Library at the Center for Urban Horticulture is an extraordinary resource.  (You can link to the library here: On my last visit, I learned that the library has a vintage seed catalog collection going back decades.  I remember my mother ordering her vegetable and flower seeds from the Burpee Seed Company, and their old catalogues were included in this extensive collection.  What a find!

Vintage seed catalog

The collection is housed in file drawers

Vintage seed catalog, Elisabeth C Miller Library

Seed Catalogues

February 17, 2011

Seed catalogues, Elisabeth C Miller Library

He Knows No Winter

He knows no winter, he who loves the soil,
For, stormy days, when he is free from toil,
He plans his summer crops, selects his seeds
From bright-paged catalogues for garden needs.
When looking out upon frost-silvered fields,
He visualizes autumn’s golden yields;
He sees in snow and sleet and icy rain
Precious moisture for his early grain;
He hears spring-heralds in the storm’s turmoil
He knows no winter, he who loves the soil.
     — Sudie Stuart Hager

Seed catalogues, Elisabeth C Miller Library

February Hellebores

February 15, 2011

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.”
     — Anne Bradstreet

February blooms: hellebores

Hellebores in a neighbor's garden

White hellebores

Thanks goodness for hellebores, such gorgeous blooms that brighten February in the Pacific Northwest.

Seed catalogues, Elisabeth C Miller Library