Tuesday, January 18, 2011

seed catalogs

We have been out to the Arboretum for the Seed Stories exhibit four times already and could go many more times, it is so fascinating. The Andersen Horticultural Library has an extensive collection of 57,000 historic seed and nursery catalogs and this exhibit is a tiny fraction highlighting many of the companies specific to the Midwest as well as elsewhere. I am amazed at how many are right here in Minnesota. This Landreth catalog below is the oldest in the collection dating from the early 1800's. In fact the Landreth Seed Company is just starting their 228th year of business- the oldest seed company in America. They are in Pennsylvania and I tried to get this year's commemorative catalog,but it is sold out.
Three of the companies shown were started and ran by women right here in Minneapolis- Lippincott, White, and Prior- in the early 1900's.

The artwork and detail are stunning. I think everyone would have been tempted to frame the catalog cover when they were done using them! I know I would have.

So many varieties of vegetables and fruits are ones I don't hear anymore. I wonder what has happened to all those varieties?

I purchased a few calendars so that I can enjoy the images all year long ( this is the one I sent to Liz over at Lululizinlalaland). Hope you enjoyed this little look at the exhibit!


Lululiz said...

What a fascinating place, I would love to spend some time there. Those seed catalogues are just gorgeous, and as the VERY lucky recipient of one of those amazing calendars, I can confirm that those images are just stunning. And at the end of the year, I can frame them, woohoo. Huge thank you once again, Debra.

Jo said...

Stunning pictures! Somehow modern-day versions don't appear quite so captivating by comparison. Thank you for sharing them with us.
Hugs xxx