AS I’VE SAID BEFORE, I rarely buy annual, perennial or vegetable seeds from local vendors. Why? Because their selections are limited to what will fit on a rack. Take, for example, petunia seeds. The local big-box store might sell 3 basic varieties (if you’re lucky). But if you visit an on-line seed specialist like Summerhill, you will find 71 petunia varieties, including the delightful ‘Shock Wave Rose,’ pictured above. The following seed-sellers get most of my business:
Diane’s Flower Seeds. Diane Linsley offers open-pollinated, heirloom perennial, annual, and vegetable seeds. Seeds have been tested for germination. Her columbine collection is extraordinary; I winter-sowed several varieties one year, including blue ‘Alpine,’ pictured above.
Summerhill Seeds. I’ve already mentioned Summerhill’s petunias, but their hollyhocks are pretty impressive, too. You can buy them in mixed or individual hues. I had to restrain myself with these, for I wanted them all. I settled for ‘Apple Blossom,’ a 7-foot variety with fully double, soft-pink blossoms.
Renee’s Garden. Love cottage gardens? So does Renee Shephard. I winter-sowed her double cosmos ‘Rose Bon Bon’ one year, and enjoyed the romantic, fancifully-frilled flowers from spring through frost. You might like Renee’s knee-high sweet peas, in mixed tones of salmon-rose and soft mid-blue, which grow to only three feet. Renee’s love for flowers and vegetables becomes obvious when you visit her website.
Seed Savers Exchange. This non-profit group of gardeners is dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds. I rely on them for almost all of my heirloom veggie needs. I can heartily recommend their ‘Cherokee Purple’, ‘German Pink’, ‘Golden Sunray’, ‘Italian Heirloom,’ and ‘Striped Cavern’ tomatoes — these have performed beautifully in my zone 5-b garden.
High Mowing Seeds. We can thank this family-owned business for initiating the “Safe Seed Pledge,” which all of the above-mentioned seed-sellers have signed. By taking the Safe Seed Pledge, companies promise not to knowingly buy or sell seeds which have been genetically modified. One year, I purchased organic ‘Golden Giant’ amaranth from High Mowing, and it grew like Jack’s infamous beanstalk. This year I’m tempted to try their ‘Iko Iko’ peppers.
Now it’s your turn. Who gets your seed money?
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