02 February 2007

Of groundhogs and seed catalogues

I suppose it depends on where you live, whether the groundhog saw his shadow or not. Personally, I hope we have another six weeks of winter NOW, rather than in April!

Surprisingly, we’ve actually had two weeks of winter in a row, and today a mild spell; mild enough that my longsuffering spouse kindly got the barn cleaned out from where the iceberg of frozen horse poo was starting to look a bit bizarre in the back of the horse’s condo-stall. I’ve been more or less housebound the past couple of days, in part because of doing some computer housecleaning, and also because I cleverly got a wireless router in the house. Now LSS can look at boat-selling sites and storms on YourTube or whatever else he’s interested in on his computer upstairs, and I can work or goof off at my laptop wherever in the house I want. Maybe even outside a bit? Well, it’s far too cold to worry about THAT for a while, for sure.

But this week was a time for officially celebrating the kickoff of the gardening season. A modest seed order I made last week with Salt Spring Seeds Salt Spring Seeds, on the BC island of the same name, arrived 6 days after I made the order. Was I impressed! Am told by other gardeners that the seed quality is second to none, and certainly Dan has some interesting seed selections. I opted for a few different annuals that are sometimes hard to locate locally, even at Blomidon where they bring in Thompson and Morgan seeds as well as a host of Canadian and other English seeds.

So what did I get? Verbena bonariensis, of course, just in case mine didn’t self-seed like it does in some locales; the green-flowered Nicotiana langsdorfii; Phacelia, a simply gorgeous blue annual; Blue Lace flower too, Trachelium; yellow and orange Cosmos mix, blue woodruff, (a lovely, delicate flower), some mauve-flowered poppies…Of course now the trick will be restraining myself from planting them too early. I might see about seeding them at the Kingstec greenhouses in a few weeks, or might simply start them here in the living room. At any rate, I’m well pleased at the service and I expect the quality of the seed will also be terrific.

I also have a collection of seeds coming from Renee’s Garden Seeds sometime in the next couple of weeks. A press kit arrived last week from Renee’s, and I went through it with interest. Although she’s based out in California, her seeds are now available in Canada (except, curiously, in Montreal—must find out about that one!) Again, I’ve been told that her seeds are top quality and so I took her up on her invite to try a few types; mostly flowers, but one package of heritage tomatoes too, featuring the always-luscious Black Krim. So the seed bug is really getting at me. I’ve also been eying the catalogue from Richters Herbs, but I suspect what I’ll get from them is a selection of lavender plants to put out front, where I’ve decided I NEED more lavender. All in good time, however.

More to write, but not tonight; some work is calling me, plus some reading, plus there are all these new seed and plant catalogues to look at…never enough time to savour them all. And I do want to go to the Wolfville Farmer’s Market tomorrow morning; although, ironically, it’s FISH I want, from the local fishmonger, not so much produce, etc; which I mostly already get from local producers. More on that next time, though.

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