The Q&A Archives: Sources for Heirloom Seeds

Question: We are restoring an 1857 rural farm house to "pre-twentieth century" style. Along with the house is 3 acres, mostly grass, but soon to be (hopefully) authentic plants, shrubs, flowers, etc. How can we find out what kind of trees, plants, flowers would be native to Central Illinois and typical of those used "down on the farm" over 100 years ago in Central IL? What did those people plant? Thanks! Randy

Answer: It sounds like you need to do a bit of research at local historic societies and libraries. There are companies, including Burpee, that sell seeds of heirloom plants that may have been grown then, but without the research, I couldn't tell you which plants were grown in Central Illinois. Burpee has a heirloom catalog. Just call 1-800-888-1447 to get one. Also the following company specializes in historic plants, Heirloom Garden Seeds P.O. Box 138 Guerneville, CA 95446 Select Seed AntiqueFlowers 180 Stickney Rd. Union, CT 06076-4617 860-684-9310

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