General Discussion:

Specialty Seed Sources - Clarification

Messages posted to thread:

Alex Eckardt22-Aug-01 10:35 AM EST 3   
Northern Gardener22-Aug-01 12:29 PM EST 3   
linda22-Aug-01 01:04 PM EST   
Northern Gardener22-Aug-01 05:18 PM EST 3   

Subject: Specialty Seed Sources - Clarification
From: Alex Eckardt
Zone: 3
Date: 22-Aug-01 10:35 AM EST

Is there really only one seed broker in the whole world ? B&T was mentioned (with qualifications) in one of the replies to my previous posting.

Here is why I am looking specifically for a seed broker (preferably North American company/individual): It is common knowledge that flowers can be hardy in a wide range of zones. That does not matter to someone gardening in zone 5 or higher. But for zone 3 plus the harsh prairie environment, I have to get the right cultivar. The problem with seed catalogues is: (1) no species given and/or no cultivar (2) several catalogues list the same flower but for different hardiness zones; all are probably right since they do not disclose the full description of the flowers (3) no hardiness listed at all - just "perennial" (4) very limited and uniform selection of seeds offered (see my previous posting)

My particular beef is with L.Reynolds and L. Leatherbarrow. They are very busy publishing books like "101 best plants for the prairies, several articles in "The Prairie Gardener", columns in the Calgary Herald and currently they are featured as "The experts of the month" for the Calgary Horticultural Society ( Needles to say, they did not reply to my posting there either asking for seed sources.

One other reply recommends the Devonian Gardens in Edmonton. "The new Heucheras" is an article on their website. When I asked the author of this article for seed sources, I got this answer" drive through the Western Provinces - stop at all nurseries - may be one day you get lucky"

I wonder whether the books and articles are all just paper research - one does not need to worry about getting the plant or the seeds in this case.

In any event, it would be nice to grow some of the flowers described in those glowing reviews.

Subject: RE: Specialty Seed Sources - Clarification
From: Northern Gardener
Zone: 3
Date: 22-Aug-01 12:29 PM EST

Alex: Devonian Gardens does mega plants research for our zone. They have both seeds and plants for sale. Here is a link to the seeds for sale section of their website:

Under native plants, they do have seeds for a purple flowered 'Heuchera' available. Many of the ones mentioned in Dr. Hickman's article are can be found at good garden centres here in Edmonton area as plants. If you've never done so, strongly recommend a visit from Calgary up to Edmonton to visit Devonian and the numerous excellent garden centres we have here.

Try Greenland Garden Centre: email them directly for specific plants. They have a large selection of seeds available early Feb.

Request catalogues from these seed companies:

LINDENBERG SEEDS 803 Princess Avenue Brandon, Manitoba R7A 0P5 ph: (204)727-0575 email:

RITCHERS 357 Highway 47 Goodwood, Ontario L0C 1A0 ph: 1-800-668-4372

THOMPSON-MORGAN P.O. Box 1308 Jackson, New Jersey USA 08527-0308

Hope this helps you a bit.

Subject: RE: Specialty Seed Sources - Clarification
From: linda
Date: 22-Aug-01 01:04 PM EST

Northern Gardener thank for adding the web site for the Devonian gardens. The Calgary Zoo is doing trials for the Devonian Gardens so if you live in southern Alberta take a look.

If you are looking for seeds that are new and different you then have to take chances yourself.

Zones are not always accurate as every yard has more than one zone depending on cover, shelter and soil.

I grow plants in my yard rated 4 but I'm at best a 2a.

Most places will error on the higher zone than lower.

If you are interested in unusual seed - check out all the botanic gardens across Canada & Northern USA. Ones in Europe will also have seeds that are worth trying. I do not has the E-mail addresses. Those will take you a while to find on your own.

Plants do not have to be grown on the Prairie to live here.

Subject: RE: Specialty Seed Sources - Clarification
From: Northern Gardener
Zone: 3
Date: 22-Aug-01 05:18 PM EST

Great idea Linda! Here are links to other Botanical gardens:

Absolutely true....every yard often contains several different 'micro-climates'. The best way to find this out is by trial & error---one of the most interesting aspects of gardening. Like Grandma used to say, "Try. Then you'll know."

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