Last evening a friend sent me a message, “saving some of those tomato seeds for you.” My mind rushed ahead to the beginning of March. Flats of seedlings under lights in the greenhouse and watching the garden beds reappear as the snow melts. For a second, I smelled the essence of spring. And then the curtains came down again, and I was back in January.
Now look, I’ve behaved till now. The pile of garden catalogs I guiltily stare at every day remains unmolested. I swear that it was only by accident that I looked at the new products section of the Lee Valley site and saw the new gardening goodies they have. It was an accident.
For now, the catalogs are more clutter. But clutter that can’t be moved to recycle. So, in all truth, I’ll buy from the same three or so seed dealers, and the other catalogs will then find their way to recycle, but not until all the pages of gaudy plants in beautiful settings have been viewed, seed qualities compared, and many dreams made.
As the pressure within builds up and the damned white stuff piles up, I’ll reach a point where I’ll sit with the accumulation of catalogs scattered around me. My wife has never said it, but I assume that there is a sort of maniacal gleam in my eye. I get up, walk to the window. Do a fast calculation. If the neighbor’s house did not shade that particular garden patch, that plant would work. But, no, it won’t do. Then back to the catalogs.
I take out the wood ash from the stove and distribute it over the snow-covered garden beds in the morning. After dreaming all night of this year’s garden, I am already thinking about placement and replacement. What to buy, and what to abandon. And every year there will be one or two wild experiments, just to see what happens.
It’s the annual voyage of discovery.