winter reading

I’m trying to get through all these mail order catalogs.  Over the years I’m getting better but there are still only a few that I right out throw to the trash.  Michigan Bulb and Burgess are two that go on the fast track to recycling…. maybe a reincarnation as toilet paper or anything else more useful than their current state.  The rest all stand half a chance on the growing pile of winter reading material.

If you’re considering a first time order from a new-to-you company, always take the time to check out the garden watchdog at Dave’s Garden. I’m not saying their reviews are the final word on any company, but if 90% percent of the posts are complaints…. well at least you’ll know where to find plenty of company when you end up with a bad experience.

My regulars (a mix of lower prices combined with quality offerings) are Pinetree Garden Seeds, Santa Rosa gardens, Jungs(so-so reviews so be careful), Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, and Fedco Seeds. If the budget was bigger I would add Song Sparrow Farms, Forestfarm, Rarefind nursery, the Lily Garden, Oakes…. they are all worth the extra money for the quality of their offerings, but a budget is a budget.

 The rain and warmth of yesterday following the near

galanthus elwesii

The first snowdrop (Galanthus elwesii)

zero temperatures of last week are giving us a roller coaster of a winter.  The snowdrops are on their own schedule though, and the first one is officially up today.  Galanthus elwesii in case you’re wondering.

The inch of snow must have been enough protection for this drop.  In another more exposed spot, the plants look more like snow-drips.  Hopefully they will live to bloom another year.

Also open for the first time today, but less photogenic, is the “pallida” witch hazel.

witch hazel pallida

Winter blooms on the witch hazel (Hamamelis ‘pallida’)

2 comments on “winter reading

  1. I am a big fan of Dave’s Garden Watchdog (the whole site in general, really)! I’ve been seeing a lot of banner ads for Michigan Bulb Company on the computer lately, so I checked them out on Watchdog. Not gonna order from them! I’ve had very good luck with bulbs from John Scheepers, and last fall I had a very good experience with Great Garden Plants, even though the reviews for that company are mixed. (Yep, I’m reading my way through your blog now!)

    • bittster says:

      Kimberley you’ve made me laugh these last few days, my stats have gone through the roof!
      I’m already justifying what I do and don’t deserve as far as plant orders. When I finish something around the house usually I get to add something 🙂 Right now I’m tiling the basement. If I finish this weekend I may treat myself to a fall lily bulb order!

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