Welcome to January - officially National Mail Order Gardening Month! We all should have guessed as much, if your mailbox is as full of seed and plant catalogs as mine is. Every year I say, "No more! I will use up the seed I have saved and THAT'S IT." And then I begin thumbing through the catalogs, you know - just to see what's new and to remember the names of varieties I fell in love with over past seasons and can no longer name..... and, oh my, look at this new zinnia... and that new lettuce... and, heavens, what a fabulous sunflower....
And it all starts up again. The annual, visionary meditation of spring. I can't plant in this cold, bitter weather but I can jump on my computer, catalog in hand and order seeds! And, oh, the joy of those little packages that will arrive in the mail next month, full of brightly illustrated seed packets. Then the garden designing begins.... what to plant in the raised beds, what along the fence? Which to start in the greenhouse? Which to sow in place?
I'm big on conserving paper and I'm pretty rabid about junk mail but I do, I truly do, love gardening catalogs. I read them all year. I make notes in their margins. I have my favorites with unique tips and recipes - -even favorite illustrators. I will always miss the wonderful Mary Azarian woodcut catalog illustrations from back when Cooks Garden was an independent business.
So, I will pour a nice, hot cup of tea and find a cozy, sunny spot where I can sit for comfortably to browse through all the seed catalogs that arrived this week. And for an hour or two it will be spring, even in January.