Catalog shopping

I got the new van Bourgondien catalog in the mail last week.  I get a ton of plant and bulb catalogs—I’ve ordered from many with variable results. But I have been happy with the things I’ve ordered from van Bourgondien in the past—that’s where I got my 300 daffodils and I was very pleased with the quality of those bulbs.


I get so many bulb catalogs that I try to just toss them without looking at them. . . I can’t tell you (or more precisely, I won’t tell you) how many times I’ve ordered bulbs in the fall only to have them go to waste because of a combination of three things:  1) I don’t have time to plant them, 2) it’s too wet to plant them, or 3) it’s too wet to plant them when I have the time.  So I try to be realistic (always a challenge for me in any case) and just not order anything—tossing the catalogs without even opening them is the only way for me to accomplish this.  (And when I do that I always think of what my mom once told me—“What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t long for.”  Boy, was she right-on about that.)

Queen of the night tulip

But THIS catalog had a little magic phrase in big purple letters in a big white box right down at the bottom. . . $50.00 worth of product free! (When you spend $100.) 

Now, spending a hundred dollars on bulbs is easier than you think—especially if you know you will get HALF of those bulbs FREE!  (Did they have me specifically in mind when offering this deal, or what? I can’t resist this ploy.)

So, I thought, well, I do have those new(er) front garden beds that do have a bit of room yet. . . maybe I’ll just take a quick peek through the catalog.  Usually I go through it once, marking off everything I might possibly want even the slightest bit, and then go back through and pare down and pare down until I have a list I can actually afford.  The first time through the catalog, I ended up with a total of $350 worth of bulbs and plants. . . but that was before I got to the SALE portion in the back—how can I resist tulips that are less than a dollar apiece??  By the time I got to the end of the sale section, I was at about $400.  This is more than I can afford (for bulbs, anyway), and definitely more than I would ever accomplish planting.

Red tulips

I went back through the catalog and pared down a bit. . . I don’t need 30 of the “All Summer Lily Mix (tall)” for $75—I’ll just get 20 for $50.  And the same with the “All Summer Lily Mix (short)”.  Pared down.  There. Now my total is $350. 

I think I still need to make a few tours through the catalog. . . I’ll let you know how it goes.  :)

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One Response to Catalog shopping

  1. Olivia says:

    Hi Sandi,

    I work for the company that produces Mutual of Omaha’s “Aha Moment” campaign; visit to see what an aha moment is and the incredible stories we’ve filmed over the last two years. As I came across your website, I couldn’t help but think that you might have an aha moment to share.

    We’re taking our 34-foot Airstream mobile film studio to 25 cities to capture inspirational, life-changing aha moments from folks all over the country. We are headed to Fargo, ND on August 16th and 17th, and would love to invite you to share what ignited your passion for gardening, and how your life has changed since. If you have a different story you’d like to tell, whether it’s about your work, your family or other life experiences, you’re welcome to share that instead. You would just have to step into the Airstream studio for a few minutes and tell your story on film to our tour manager. Your video will then be posted to, where you will be able to share it with your friends and family via email, Facebook and Twitter!

    For the second year in a row, our tour manager is Jessica Henry. Hailing from Athens, GA, Jessica is an outdoor enthusiast and self-proclaimed “foodie” who enjoys talking about powerful life moments with people just like you all over the country. You can read Jessica’s bio (and meet the rest of the crew) at

    We will be parked at US Bank Plaza, Downtown at Broadway & 2nd Ave N, on August 16th and 17th from 11am to 7pm.

    Let me know as soon as possible and I can reserve some time for you.

    Many thanks!

    Olivia Lasky

    View aha moment videos:
    Read the tour blog:
    Follow the tour on Twitter: @myahamoment
    Like us on Facebook:
    Check into your tour stop on foursquare:

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