Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Seed Shopping

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, my mailbox fairly burst from the daily influx of seed catalogs.  Some I recycle immediately, but others, I tucked away for later hours spent browsing, circling, folding pages...and general drooling over high color photos of things that could grow in my own garden, someday, if I was lucky (or wealthy enough to afford so many seeds).

Before I seriously sit down to choose the few seeds I will order for the next growing season, I first go through my seed stash and commence a thorough sort.  After tossing the very old seed (which for some reason, I always seem to hang onto...why?  Why? Who needs old carrot seed from 2002??), I make a list of which seeds are needed, and a few "extra special" seeds I'd like to try.  There are so many "extra specials", but I've learned that I can only try two or three new things every year, otherwise I wind up with too many things I'm trying out to really pay attention to how they do in my garden.

First, I order the seeds that I need: fresh carrot and onion seed, additional pea seed (as my year's stash was burned up in the shed where it was drying out), new salad greens.  And then, I get to go a little wild and do the really hard part: narrowing down my "extra special" experimental trial seeds for this year's garden.

After much debate, hemming and hawing, here's what I chose:
From the Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds catalog,  I'm going to give dahlias a go.  I chose Illumination, which is reportedly a dinner plate sized flower in shades of pink.  I also picked out Painted Lady sweet peas, which I think will LOVE growing in the new south garden space--all that extra sun from the box elder falling over is going to help make something beautiful!

From my friends at Fedco I'm giving this old Victorian era perennial plant a try: Sea Kale!  With any luck, it'll be a terrific contribution to my perennial veg corner garden.  Now, to round up some vintage blanching pots...
I'm hopping on the Breadseed Poppy bandwagon, with the help of Seed Savers.  I got a few other items as well (including that pea seed I mentioned previously), but I am excited about these purple-blue poppies.  Edible seeds following pretty purpleyness?  Yes please!

Of course, I haven't yet received the Seed Savers Yearbook or attended the annual Seed Swap, so I'm sure I'll get at least one more "exotic" to try growing.  Maybe lime verbena?  Or...well, who knows. 

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