I just discovered this . . . Google is scanning mail order catalogs and making them available for the general public, including a whole bunch of gardening catalogs! The selection is good–I’ve seen many catalogs just clicking through the website briefly that I haven’t heard of before and want to check out. Not only that, it can save you money (be still my frugal heart!) because you can look through a catalog online instead of paying for the print version, when you’re not even sure if you want to order from them. But wait–it gets better. You can type in the name of a plant and it will search all the catalogs in its database and find every instance of it for you. How’s that for convenient shopping? I wouldn’t use it to search for something really common–you’d get too many hits. I just did a search on “hepatica,” and it turned up 23 catalogs in .07 seconds, plus opened each catalog to the right page.
Those of you on dial-up connections might find it more aggravation than it’s worth, because it is so image intensive. Also, this is a beta service of Google’s, which means it’s a little rough around the edges. For example, some of the pages were scanned in crooked, and one price couldn’t be read because of that. Beta also means it could disappear at any time, if the folks at Google decide it’s not working out. So try it while you can, and if you like it, let Google know.