OK, girls and boys, there has arrived excitement in the Hinrichs household!
By Joyce Hinrichs
Posted March 8, 2013
The faithful courier, has, by following his motto; “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”, delivered the “promise of spring” into our home and mind set! The first seed catalogs of the season have arrived, which make me want to start writing such dramatic lines; “as spring peaks over the horizons of our snowed in homes and minds and brings warmer sunshine through our windows, we dream of planting again! We, the “garden farmers” of the world!” But rather than bore you all with words only my overzealous, spring gardening mind is infected with, I will tell you about what the seed catalogs do to the Hinrichs household brains.
Jerry and I sit down and read the catalogs as if we are going to plant everything in them. But of course our garden area is the only, about, 22 x 10 feet in total, and everything will not fit in it, so the discussion finally changes over to the reality of dirt, distances and seed need dimensions. Next, we all know the first rule of reading the seed catalog once you get past all of the dreaming stages, is what zone are these plants able to grow in. Secondly, what did well in your garden last year, followed by; what we are going to do this year that we think will improve the crop. Quoting the already, and long time ago, written words of wisdom by Thomas Cooper; “ “A garden is never so good as it will be next year” Such truth. And annually we must work towards this goal, because we are “garden farmers” after all! Or what about, “”Earth laughs in flowers”? Being a flower person, I keep this belief near my heart at all times, as a reminder, when I feel the need / excuse to plant more and more flowers in the patio or side garden! My thought pattern goes like this: Excuses = reasons = must do’s, lest we fail a flower seed that needs a good home. I want to increase the herb portion of my garden this year adding things I have not yet tried. Being housebound as we are in the winter and watching the cooking shows, and seeing these chefs add fresh herbs to their recipes; I now want to try tarragon, and maybe chamomile in my garden. Presently I raise and use my own oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme and parsley. Maybe, yes, just maybe, I should add lemon grass as well. I hear it makes wonderful tea.
After the first few readings of the catalogs, the catalog gets ignored for a week or two, but the subject comes up again on those few sunny winter days, and hope for spring once again makes it into our conversation. We make statements of hope, like, “looks like we will get an early spring this year,” and “we could, you know, start some of these seeds in the basement, all we need is a black growing light.” Aah, the gardener’s dreams. But I have what I consider a real truth, as we hope for spring. I have in the living room, a plant which is noted for keeping household air clean which I have long ago forgotten the name of. Well, it is already in need of repotting! Sure sign, yes? I would not argue with Mother Nature. As old as I am, she is the one person who is older than I! “Learn at the knees of your elders.”
I end with a question and ask for wiser folks than I to answer: HELP
For the last two years I have wanted to plant fennel, but not finding it in the seed catalog, in our zone, I have side stepped this want, but if any of you have successfully planted fennel, I would love to hear from you; email@example.com.