Seed catalogue

The seed catalogue of today provides you with an array of colourful images & detailed information of a wide variety of flowers and plants. The first catalogue ever to be created was in 1498 by the Venetian scholar & tutor Aldine Pius Mariutius who had a keen interest in Classical literature and wanted to create a pamphlet so other people could read and enjoy the Latin & Greek classics which included works by Aristotle, 9 comedies of Aristophanes and many more. Aldine helped to setup the Aldine press printing office & the funds were provided to him from the Giovanni Pico’s family to create the printing press for his publications.

It wasn’t until 1667 when the actual first seed catalogue was produced by William Lucas a gardener who wanted to create a pamphlet containing seed prices for his customers, it consisted of drawings with plant names which was delivered by post.

Towards the 1800s and with the introduction of tropical and exotic plants entering Europe including pelargoniums, tradesman and gardeners wanted to create an easier way of presenting their plants to customers, drawings and paintings were added to the catalogue to display their colour and beauty. During the Victorian Era the Seed Catalogue was becoming evermore popular, especially the Carters catalogue of 1887 which was published at the time of Queen Victoria’s Succession to the throne.

Other catalogue’s includes Westmacott & Co 1830-40s, Dingee & Conard co 1887, Townssends, D.M Harrison & Sons, Coles 1890s which had painted images of flowers and plantsseeds_catalogs-00111

pelargonium history

Pelargoniums were first introduced into Europe during the 1600s when new discoveries and trade routes began to unfold,
P.triste was the first recorded pelargonium to travel to Europe and was taken to the gardens of Leiden by the Dutch East India company followed by many more newly discovered pelargoniums.
The Countess of Strathmore collected many South Africa plants including Pelargoniums and sent William Paterson a Scottish Soldier & botanist to collect plants for her from 1777 to 1779.
During the Victorian era pelargoniums became increasingly popular & greatly admired and were often kept in greenhouses and conservatories, many new hybrids were being created to appear more colourful and showy. After world war 1 & 2 these plants started to fall into decline.
Over the decades these amazing plants are now returning their popularity.
This image is of Pelargonium scintillans (sparkling stock’s bill) from an old book from www.artscult.comflowers-18867