I get a lot of plant / seed catalogs by mail. Though I prefer to just order seeds online, and plants from local nurseries. Most companies do not show all the plants that they offer. Not to mention I have a love for uncommon and / or unusual plants. Yesterday I got a catalog from a company called Gardener’s Choice. The thing that bugs me most about this catalog (asides for more stuff I have to throw in the recycling bin) is that there really is not many actual plant photos. Some of the photos that try to emphasize supposed large size with what looks like they are using hands of children.
The real mind boggler is the tomato / potato plant. There is not much information through search engines, and what scatered few websites with any info have posters trying claim they have an actual photos that’s are really grainy, a photo that also appears in the catalog. In the catalog there is a photo that shows what looks to be potatoes surronded by a small clump of dug up earth next to a tomato plant. It might be possible, but the lack of information and weak photo evidence is enough to keep me from ever ordering from them. Not to mention none of the companies that I order from have this specimen. Which may very well be a grafting of tomato with potato if its a valid plant. So even if this is a valid plant I can not fathom that its a healthy plant since they don’t want to show any good pictures of the plant.
Then there is there miracle grow formula. Once again no photos, only drawings. Hard to take them at their word when they have no actual photo. They could have atleast faked the picture like they did with the kids hands.
One of the seed companies that I like to buy from Botanical Interests has all their seed packages done with art work, as opposed to photos. However if you go online they offer you the chance to post your own photos. Which I think is better then a catalog with pictures so you can see how successful other people have been with their plants. Seeds of Change has photos online as well as on their packages (plus they offer a pdf catalog). I also occasionally buy from Park Seed. Their catalog had very few illustrations. Mostly photos. I am not inclined to doubt the validity of these companies.
Another gripe I have is their White House collection. If you have been following Michele Obama, you would know she is into organic gardening. Nothing in this collection is certified organic. I am also sure that Michele is growing more then 5 varieties of plant. There is not even a single plant that is listed any where in the catalog as organic. Like many other companies that are capitalizing on the presidents image, that is all this company is doing. The vast majority of gardening companies are offering organic solutions as they are becoming more popular.
Their website is not much help either, it redirects to http://gardenerschoice.com/index.asp?dc=ZZH09A7777 . I suspect this is either away of tracking where customers are coming from, or its an affiliate program. From some of the reviews online I have found about this company its suggested that they work with three different outlets. Also there mostly drawings on the site, and for some laughable reason a enlarge link to look at the drawings. Even though I think Botanical Interests is over due for a design update, they have a by far a better design. Gardener’s Choice has a design that would been acceptable in the 90′s but is out of step with modern websites. Remember I work in the hosting industry I have seen tons of websites.
If you need more reasons not to shop there: