My mailbox is filling up with all sorts of “Great Offers” from seed catalogs. Well, some are and some aren’t. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision. 1. Be aware of zone! Hardy does not mean anything unless it says ‘zone 3-4’ and only ‘proven zone 4.’ Otherwise it is a “tender perennial.” Which means Extra Work; covering, mulching, etc. That’s fine if you are willing to do the extra work. 2. Shipping time. Spring in Minnesota is so unpredictable. Remember last year? Try to take the latest ship date you can, or prepare to care for you new babies in the house, or make other plans. 3. Size. When you buy plants through the mail, be aware of size. 18″ bare root can mean from the top of the plant to the bottom of the roots, really only leaving you with maybe a true foot of plant. Not always a good deal! 4. Watch shipping charges. When you figure shipping charges in to the price of your plants it can really add up. I can honestly say when I have purchased plants from these companies, more often than not I have been disappointed. The plants are always smaller, especially bulbs. Which means they bloom later, or they take 2-3 years to bloom like they should. Generally, you will be safe ordering seeds from the catalogs, as opposed to plants. Seed catalogs usually have the hot, new varieties, are great reference tools and often contain great pictures! Shelly