Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Seed Catalog Reverie

Photos: National Garden Bureau

Ah... the annual migration of seed catalogs
Winging their way to my door
Coming to nest in my rural mailbox, until evening
Cold and slightly curled, within the postman's rubber bands,
These lovely portents of an embryonic growing season
Warm, unbend and release their precious promises
Here, on my kitchen counter

My supper cools to an uncomfortable level
As I contemplate this visual feast, spread before me
Each seed catalog more tempting than the last
Every variety a must-have
A lush depiction of my backyard Eden's potential
Certainly, no garden could be considered complete without
This tantalizing array of all things edible and ornamental

But, cooler heads should prevail...
I ought to immediately don my garden writer's hat,
Lose the hatless, creative attitude
And make sound, logical plant choices
Based on a lifetime of research, gardening
And the actual size of this suburban paradise
Memo to self - my "back-forty" is measured in feet, not acres

When one considers limiting factors, such as available sunlight,
One must be honest in assessment of this requirement
Realizing that three hours of late afternoon sun
Will not satisfy the needs of a specimen needing full sun
One would certainly think that a "professional" would not fall prey
To a cultural "pushing of the envelope"... a rationalization
Well, one would be wrong - I, too, succumb to the glossy promise!

After all, are we not mortal stewards of the garden?
Do we not wish for bumper crops of tomatoes
And the subsequent bragging rights, as we share our bounty?
Pineapple-flavored, smoky overtones, balanced acidity, sugary-sweet,
Small as a currant, big as your head,
Pear, heart, plum, egg, strawberry or cherry-shaped,
Ivory, yellow, green, streaked, purple, orange and, of course, red

Who knew?
It's just a tomato!
And you thought you were just growing tomatoes?
A tomato is a tomato is a tomato
Who knew these decisions could get so complicated?
And, called by any other name, would it be as sweet?
Methinks 'twould!

Not to wax philosophical,
But apply all these tomato truisms and variables to the whole garden
Mix in logic, honesty, frugality and a large pinch of common-sense
Trust your instincts
Try not to be lured into over-consumerism
And, for goodness sake, leave some seeds for the rest of us!

I bid you adieu
And with nose firmly pressed into catalog interiors,
I'll envision a growing season filled with delights for eye and palate
A culmination of my season-long efforts
As I lounge beneath an arbor and "peel me a grape"
Wake me when the seeds arrive
Rouse me when it's time to plant

But for now, tiptoe away
Tend to your own fantasy-gardens
And I'll tend to mine
Leave me to drift
Suspended on the wings of eternal hope
Leave me cocooned in the depths
Of my seed catalog reverie!

Deb Lambert ©2011
PLEASE NOTE: If you are reading this article on a website or blog, other than my own, it has been posted there without my knowledge or permission!  I'd be grateful for an emailed "heads-up" if you notice such thievery!

Help stop theft and plagiarism of the intellectual property displayed within my many blogs, the blogs I maintain for Corliss Bros., and the content of my website.  The "feed scrapers" that appropriate my material, insert advertising into my text and display my entire articles (complete with photos) have already stolen unknown quantities of my copyrighted works.  Sadly, other garden writers/bloggers are experiencing similar theft, so we must all remain vigilant, assisting each other in this effort.  We'd all be grateful for your vigilance, as well.  Thank you ~ Deb Lambert, 'GardenAuthor'


Shady Gardener said...

Thank you, Deb. I will soon need to make that magical list... that may or may not be (at least completely) ordered. :-)

I just re-potted my Amaryllis bulbs... I appreciate your help!

GardenAuthor said...

Shady ~ Nice to hear that you're organizing for spring. After the weekly snowstorms we've been having, it sometimes seems very far off. Our suburban snowbanks are 6-8' high... quite the workout to keep piling it up! How's the snow cover in Iowa?

Glad the Amaryllis are faring well. Isn't it nice to have some indoor gardening chores? I get actual soil on my hands and feed all my indoor guests (all are plants that go back outside in May) hearty meals of my beloved Neptune's Harvest... everybody looks fine, so far.

Great to hear from you!