I haven’t looked in a single seed catalogue yet!

– Posted in: Seeds and Seed Starting
4 comments

But I did organize them today, as part of a labeling project that started when my dear sister Kathleen sent me a long desired label maker for my 40th birthday. My sick 4 year old son got even bigger thrills making labels, and so the cupboards were thrown open and the labelling began.

I would think that with my husband away in Australia on business (tasting wine, like that’s work!) and two sick kids and below zero weather, I would have been all over those catalogues, but I am reluctant to go there. I am hoping to downscale, to simplify this year, to make my life easier, not harder. This, I know, is not the goal of the people trying to sell me seeds. Apparently, they have all heard about me, the sucker for the funny name, the different color, the hard to grow, the almost extinct heirloom. I grew 12 different varieties of tomatoes last year, two of each, for redundancy, of course, and I don’t even particularly love tomatoes. Of particular concern is some man named Frank Morton, who breeds such things as Purple Peacock (a cross between broccoli and red kale), aurora orach mix, and a bazillion different lettuces, all the reddest, best, or brightest there is.

And if one is growing 4 different varieties of chard, or beets, or kale, or endive, then one starts to run out of room, and starts cramming in as many plants as will fit, and then, nothing really thrives, and even though you have two different colors of brussel sprouts, you never really wind up with any sprouts at the end of the season.

So, my intention is to make a chart of my garden, make a list of what I know I want, and only then, do I crack open a catalogue.

About the Author

Until recently, Rosemarie Hanson gardened in the alkaline soil of New York’s North Country. Now she gardens in the Finger Lakes region of NY, where the soil is acid and the deer are a plague! She is particularly interested in fragrant plants, old garden roses, tulips, gardening for kids, and kitchen gardens.

In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

Comments on this entry are closed.

lou February 1, 2005, 3:13 pm

My veggies were a jungle last year. Why did I put in so many tomatos when you can’t even harvest til almost frost? This year I will not start anything under lights except dalhias. I will stick to two different lettuces and arugula and cilantro. 4 Tomato plants that someone else started. I will do the Zucchini hill but only allow 2 plants to grow in it. No herbs in the garden, only in planters near the kitchen. No Onions, and 4 rows of lillies. Ok, now that I have written this down, I will stick to my garden plan. Thanks for the opportunity. Lou

Mary Ann February 1, 2005, 8:57 am

I’ve been gardening here for more than 20 years. And I think this is the first year I can sort of look at a diagram and ask “What do I want here?” instead of finding myself in the yard, plant in one hand, trowel in the other, asking “Where can I put this?” Diagram’s still kind of crude — but much better than nothing. Now I feel like I can do fair battle with those tempting catalogs.

Is your “dear sister Kathleen” a CCG contributors? I’ve just gotten an email from her.

Mary Ann

Kathy January 28, 2005, 9:34 am

I’m glad to know you got it! UPS said they delivered it, but I had visions of it sitting on your front step, and you blissfully ignorant of its presence. I was interested to see how many people use those labelers to make outdoor labels for their plants.

bill January 27, 2005, 11:20 pm

tasting wine – now how come I did not think of that when I was young and trying to decide what to do with my life?