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Park Seed Company

1868 –

Today Park Seed Company uses not just catalogs, but also the Internet to bring annual flowers, vegetables, perennial plants, bulbs, and gardening supplies to American gardeners. The company is known for being first with new varieties and for having one of the most extensive listings of flowers and vegetables of any retail gardening company in the United States.

  • Founded in 1868 by George Watt Park, Park Seed Company is an example of true American ingenuity. It started when Park, then fifteen years old, gathered seeds from his mother’s Pennsylvania garden and sold them to his neighbors. From this beginning, Park started Park’s Floral Magazine, which eventually had a circulation of more than 1 million and the Park catalog, which grew to more than 5 million in circulation.

Mary Barratt, whose family lived in what is now South Greenwood, was a county home-demonstration agent who wrote Park asking for some free seeds. He replied that he could not give away his seed, but he could give free advice. Thus began a two-year correspondence that ended with Park’s coming to South Carolina, where he married Barratt in 1918.

Today Park Seed Company uses not just catalogs, but also the Internet to bring annual flowers, vegetables, perennial plants, bulbs, and gardening supplies to American gardeners. The company is known for being first with new varieties and for having one of the most extensive listings of flowers and vegetables of any retail gardening company in the United States. In 1975 Park extended its product line by purchasing Wayside Gardens, a nursery catalog that sells shrubs, trees, hardy perennials, and bulbs. This made Park seed the largest family-owned retail gardening company in the country.

The Park Gardens, located north of Greenwood on Highway 254, are the largest trial grounds in the Southeast. Though open to the public year round, they are at their peak in June and July, with thousands of flowers, hundreds of vegetables, and scores of container plants.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Title Park Seed Company
  • Coverage 1868 –
  • Author
  • Keywords started Park’s Floral Magazine, bring annual flowers, vegetables, perennial plants, bulbs, and gardening supplies to American gardeners, The Park Gardens, located north of Greenwood on Highway 254, are the largest trial grounds in the Southeast
  • Website Name South Carolina Encyclopedia
  • Publisher University of South Carolina, Institute for Southern Studies
  • URL
  • Access Date October 1, 2020
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update January 5, 2017
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