Historical seed catalogues propagate knowledge today
On the surface historical nursery catalogues provide a fascinating look into what varieties of seeds and plants were available for purchase, at the time of publication, by the amateur or professional gardener, or farmer. Delve a little deeper and these catalogues can give context to the time they were produced on many fronts. The ‘landscape’ of the horticultural industry, types of demand, the way business was conducted, the emphasis and direction for new varieties, and the achievements that were coveted and celebrated, can all be brought together to establish historical context. These collectables are valued for their aesthetics too; distinct language, exquisite illustrations, lithographs, and fonts make these catalogues a wonderful study of printing histories.