Greetings, fellow NARGS members! Every year I look forward to digging
into the NARGS seed exchange. This year I even got my act together in time to
donate some of my own seed. As
much as I anticipate it, actually working through the list is a bit of a
chore, with thousands of species offered, and not much in the way of
Nowadays, the internet is the quickest (although not
necessarily the best) resource for horticultural information. Just about any
plant imaginable is described, but not always in ways useful to gardeners.
Google searches on botanical names bring up scientific papers, not-so-useful
pseudo-information pages, and plenty of spam, alongside the more useful
To help myself and others more quickly find information about plants that
is of general value to gardeners, I've recently built PlantLinks, a directory of links to good horticultural
resource sites, arranged according to botanical taxonomy. Only a limited
number of sites are included, but between the lot of them, the majority of
plants commonly (and not so commonly) used in gardens are covered pretty well.
I use PlantLinks when trading seeds and researching new plants to grow. It
occurred to me how nice it would be to integrate its features with the NARGS
exchange list - and so I did. Here's how to use it:
On the select page, you'll find a list with all the
entries from this year's seed list. This is where you can make a pre-selection,
to create a shortlist of species in which you may be interested: just click on
entries you'd like to add to your shortlist.
When you've accumulated a list of entries for closer inspection, you can
go to the weed page to find out more about the
shortlisted species. Here, if a species in the catalog is featured in
PlantLinks, its name is a link to the PlantLinks page for the species; also,
each species has a Google search link, for access to additional information,
and of course for those species where PlantLinks comes up empty. You can
remove entries that upon further inspection aren't so interesting, and
compile a list of "definite" wants. You can use this later to fill out your
order form; note that this website isn't in any way connected or affiliated
with NARGS - there's no way to complete an order form here, I just hope to
provide a more efficient way to narrow down your selections.
You may want to copy and paste your shortlist selections from the shortlist
window into a more permanent location on your computer, in case the information
from the cookie is lost at some point down the road: it may come in handy
during the second round of "leftover" ordering!
This NARGS corner is a semi-private part of my website - it is not
protected by passwords, but intended for use only by NARGS members. If you
have any question, comments about how it works, or suggestions on how to
make it better, please let me know - you can reach me at rob at
Without further ado, why not jump right into the catalog?