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Seed catalog season

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Another viewpoint: The mailbox is filled with flower seed, bulb and plant catalogs. Joan spends hours poring through them, comparing descriptions, colors and prices to plan out her dream garden. She then gets on the phone with her sisters and daughters-in-law to see who wants in on the high count/lower price deal. This goes on with dozens of catalogs until the orders are place and the gardeners rest with visions of beautiful and colorful gardens coming soon.

It is a cold but sunny morning when the dogs bark to alert us that the FedEx truck has pulled into the driveway. The first box of seeds has arrived. I am tasked with growing transplants for the spring. No problem. I have a bench with a grow light and I enjoy the magic of seeds transforming into living greenery. Some quick calculating of seed packs and available space concludes that we have room for approximately one-third of what we have purchased and planned. As an experienced grower and husband, I am prepared for this and break out more lights and bench space. All is good.

Then the mailman drives up, followed closely by the UPS driver. No problem. If we downsize the transplants and move out the cold hardy plants just a bit too soon we should be okay.

Where they will go in the gardens is a mystery to me. After an autumn of planting bulbs and perennials I would think the gardens are full but I have been assured there is always room for more flowers. And another flower bed means less lawn to mow.

Joan is on the phone with her sister and I hear words that make my blood run cold: “New varieties.” “Sale pricing.” “Limited supply.” I have begun researching a small, no, mid-sized home greenhouse.

But the vegetable seed catalogs catch my eye…

by Dan Wren

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