It’s an annual transition: dull whites and grays of winter are replaced by an explosion of spring colors. This 1935 Mills Seed catalog does it’s best to help the seasons along with color illustrations (painted from photos) that are practically abstract and pyschedelic in their intensity. It’s worth pointing out that later pages devoted to vegetables are only in black and white.
The copy works hard too, offering “Sensational New Nasturtiums”, “Giant Snapdragons”, and marigolds which “stand out above all others” but it’s the pictures, like a garden itself, which tells the story.
Their catalog came out annually, but E.B. Mills the company seemed to be more of a perennial, thriving from the late 1800s until 1953. But as so often happens, the firm couldn’t survive the death of its namesake founder (in 1946) and the changing retail climate after World War II.