Gail and I have been focused for the last couple of weeks on the seed orders and for the past couple of days we’ve been editing choices, paring down ideas, trimming the fat and trying to come under budget. We just about made it.
We grow a lot from seed every year and so does Dick, our vegetable garden volunteer extraordinaire. And we find it excruciatingly difficult to limit ourselves when there’s a pile of catalogs each illuminating thousands of plants in a way that makes them all sound like what we’ve been searching for all our lives. (A 4′ tall gomphrena – ‘Fireworks’ from Burpee, a red and green zinnia – ‘Queen Red Lime’ from Johnny’s, a purple savoy cabbage, an annual eryngium!…) Add to that the cost of the individual seed packet which when you look at them individually seem like too good a deal to pass up. (– 1000 seeds for $2.50? – who could resist that?!) Just think of all the plants we could make… Therein lies one of the problems. It’s good to be limited by budget if only because it keeps us from buying more than we have room to grow. And then there’s the cost of shipping. Perhaps that’s how some of these companies make money because seeds weigh nothing – they practically hover. I was floored by how much Select Seeds, for instance, charges for shipping and amazed that Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds charges only $3 regardless of the size of the order. They were already my favorite seed company and now they’re my Number One All Time.
So we edit. We went through the catalogs and wrote lists by category (ornamental veg. vs. flowers vs. miscellaneous foliage) and color, we wrote down how many varieties of each plant that we wanted (11 basils, 11 hot peppers, 5 kales, 4 cabbages, 15 zinnias…) and then we started eliminating. And as we eliminated we talked about the gardens and began to settle on some exciting ideas about how to use all of the plants we want. And of course, it’s inevitable, a second (third, fourth) perusal of catalogs resulted in additions to the final list as well.
Have you made your choices? Have you edited, trimmed the fat, pared down and eliminated? Was it really difficult?