L.L. May Co., Seed and Nursery Catalogs

L.L. May arrived in St. Paul, MN from Toronto in 1881 and established a small nursery. This tiny nursery grew rapidly until it became known as one of America's leading seed growers, featuring hardy northern grown seeds for flower and vegetable gardens.
90 Pins37 Followers
Remember the excitement around the turn of the new century a few years ago?  The same was true when the calendar turned to 1900.  L.L. May's 20th century catalog welcomed the new era with lucky horseshoes, pansies, sweet peas, nasturtiums, and a lovely sunrise behind the "Gateway to Success," available to those sowing May seeds.  Copies of catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library. Media Archive

Remember the excitement around the turn of the new century a few years ago? The same was true when the calendar turned to 1900. L.L. May's 20th century catalog welcomed the new era with lucky horseshoes, pansies, sweet peas, nasturtiums, and a lovely sunrise behind the "Gateway to Success," available to those sowing May seeds. Copies of catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library. Media Archive

A soft, impressionistic watercolor image of pink tulips graces the front cover of the 1910 fall planting catalog from L.L. May & Company.    This specialized catalog offered bulbs and seeds for fall planting with the expectation of glorious results in the spring.  Copies of many catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

A soft, impressionistic watercolor image of pink tulips graces the front cover of the 1910 fall planting catalog from L.L. May & Company. This specialized catalog offered bulbs and seeds for fall planting with the expectation of glorious results in the spring. Copies of many catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

The back cover of the 1894 L.L. May catalog featured soothing images of roses billed as the "Jewel Collection of Everblooming Roses." The collection featured roses in lovely shades of red, yellow, white, pink, and everything in between.   Copies of many catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

The back cover of the 1894 L.L. May catalog featured soothing images of roses billed as the "Jewel Collection of Everblooming Roses." The collection featured roses in lovely shades of red, yellow, white, pink, and everything in between. Copies of many catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

To usher in the 1900s, L.L. May featured this beautiful full color page of roses inside the 1900 catalog.  This was the stunning "Twentieth Century Collection of Ever Blooming Roses," sold for 60 cents, and was designed to attract rose growers everywhere.  Copies of many catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

The Biodiversity Heritage Library works collaboratively to make biodiversity literature openly available to the world as part of a global biodiversity community.

In 1909, L.L. May encouraged fall planting with a special catalog featuring bulbs and seeds promising beautiful results in the spring.  The delicate beautiful tulips on the front cover were an example of what could have been in a gardener's future.  Copies of many catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

In 1909, L.L. May encouraged fall planting with a special catalog featuring bulbs and seeds promising beautiful results in the spring. The delicate beautiful tulips on the front cover were an example of what could have been in a gardener's future. Copies of many catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

The cover of the 1895 L.L. May catalog is jam packed with vegetables and flowers, all shown off by an adorable curly haired, chubby, little blond girl.  Featured were sweet peas, a variety of callas, and a vegetable assortment.  Copies of many catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

The cover of the 1895 L.L. May catalog is jam packed with vegetables and flowers, all shown off by an adorable curly haired, chubby, little blond girl. Featured were sweet peas, a variety of callas, and a vegetable assortment. Copies of many catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

Vegetables adorned the back cover of the 1899 L.L. May Farm and Floral Guide.  Mouthwatering images of the Queen of the Market Radish, Famous Hollander Cabbage, and May's First of All Tomato appear in full color to tempt customers.  Copies of many catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

Vegetables adorned the back cover of the 1899 L.L. May Farm and Floral Guide. Mouthwatering images of the Queen of the Market Radish, Famous Hollander Cabbage, and May's First of All Tomato appear in full color to tempt customers. Copies of many catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

Customers browsing through the black and white pages of the 1900 L.L. May catalog would have been surprised to find this beautiful full color page leaping out at them.  The image featured a collection of flower seeds in vibrant shades of red, purple, white, and pink.  This group was sold for 40 cents as the "Cosmopolitan Collection."    Copies of catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

The Biodiversity Heritage Library works collaboratively to make biodiversity literature openly available to the world as part of a global biodiversity community.

"Two Wonderful Cabbages" are proudly presented on the back cover of the 1900, Twentieth Century, L.L. May catalog.  The Early Surprise and the later variety Hollander are depicted growing in vast fields as well as loaded onto a horse drawn wagon, headed for a market near you!  Copies of many catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

"Two Wonderful Cabbages" are proudly presented on the back cover of the 1900, Twentieth Century, L.L. May catalog. The Early Surprise and the later variety Hollander are depicted growing in vast fields as well as loaded onto a horse drawn wagon, headed for a market near you! Copies of many catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

Perhaps to honor the new century, a rare color page inside the 1900 L.L. May catalog features a mouthwatering collection of vegetables for the home and market gardener.  Copies of many catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

Perhaps to honor the new century, a rare color page inside the 1900 L.L. May catalog features a mouthwatering collection of vegetables for the home and market gardener. Copies of many catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

Lilacs adorn the back of the 1919 L.L. May catalog.  The images are so lifelike one can almost smell the delicate lilac scent.  An ear of corn anchors the bottom of the page, for good measure.  Copies of many catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

Lilacs adorn the back of the 1919 L.L. May catalog. The images are so lifelike one can almost smell the delicate lilac scent. An ear of corn anchors the bottom of the page, for good measure. Copies of many catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

The front cover of the 1919 L.L. May catalog features peonies in both a brilliant close-up and a depiction of their usefulness in garden borders.  Copies of many catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

The front cover of the 1919 L.L. May catalog features peonies in both a brilliant close-up and a depiction of their usefulness in garden borders. Copies of many catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

Small elf-like creatures can be seen on this color plate from the 1895 L.L. May catalog.  The creatures bear a striking resemblance to the "brownies" that were popularized in a series of children's books by Palmer Cox published between 1880 and 1918.   Copies of many catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

Small elf-like creatures can be seen on this color plate from the 1895 L.L. May catalog. The creatures bear a striking resemblance to the "brownies" that were popularized in a series of children's books by Palmer Cox published between 1880 and 1918. Copies of many catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

Five "Magnificent Plants" are displayed in a rare color plate from inside the 1895 L.L. May catalog.  These potted beauties were available as the Excelsior Collection.  Copies of many catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

Five "Magnificent Plants" are displayed in a rare color plate from inside the 1895 L.L. May catalog. These potted beauties were available as the Excelsior Collection. Copies of many catalogs from L.L. May & Co., a renowned grower of hardy northern seeds, are located in the University of MN Andersen Horticultural Library.

Pinterest
Search