A Garden in the Mailbox
In the gloomiest days of winter, beautiful flowers bloom and scrumptious vegetables grow in the mailboxes of gardeners all across the country. Mail order seed companies send out their new catalogs beginning in January.
The first mail-order seed catalog was introduced in 1834. The artists who illustrated the early catalogs took great care to draw botanically correct images. This was very important to the farmer, who paid in winter for the coming summer's harvest. If the size, shape or color of a vegetable or flower was misrepresented in the catalog, the farmer's livelihood might be jeopardized.
Learn more about seed catalogs:
Explore the beautiful art in old seed catalogs at this Smithsonian site.