Thursday, March 20, 2008

What will my garden grow?

Ah, so many choices, so many ideas.

"Dreams are the seeds of change. Nothing ever grows without a seed, and nothing ever changes without a dream."
Debby Boone

Dude! Debby Boone?
Oh well, I like the quote.

Where was I?
Oh yeah.
I have a few plants, but most of my new garden area will grow from seed.
Unwise? I guess I'll find out.
But that learning is half the fun, you know?

I don't have a concrete design plan yet, but I know I need a trellis, and I want a seating area, and I want to incorporate beach stones.
I'm sure it will metamorphose in time.

I started a gardening journal of what I am planting, how much I spent, from whom I purchased, etc.
I will be charting how well these seeds fare.
The journal will also note my impressions of the companies, the quality of the seeds, and customer service.

When I started a search of seed catalogs, I wanted all things rare, heirloom, and organic.
Though I sent for catalogs all over the US, I needed to be sure the company didn't specialize in plants applicable for the North East or someplace outside my zone.

The first order I placed, back in December, was to
Seed Savers Exchange.
I want to support organizations such as these, who promote such ethical practices.
"Our organization is saving the world’s diverse, but endangered, garden heritage for future generations by building a network of people committed to collecting, conserving and sharing heirloom seeds and plants, while educating people about the value of genetic and cultural diversity. Few gardeners comprehend the true scope of their garden heritage or how much is in immediate danger of being lost forever."
SSE veggie seeds
SSE Seeds
SSE Flower seeds
I gravitate to the rare and whimsical.
This sweet pea is rare, so I want to try to grow it (though I may have waited too long--it's getting warm here)The description says: "(L. nervosus) Rarely offered and almost impossible to find seed. Discovered by Lord Anson in Patagonia in 1744. Best grown indoors as a conservatory plant in the North. Given the proper growing conditions, the plants can bloom continuously from April until September. The lavender-blue flowers are sweetly scented. Nice long stems for cutting. Tender perennial, 5-6' tall."

Next, I ordered a couple of seeds from
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.
Baker Creek
The Flemish Antique Poppy intrigues me.
Not only is this a gorgeous peony-like bloom but "the dried pods are filled with seeds that can be used in baking."
How fun is that?!

Envy is a green-colored zinnia (green flowers are my favorite, and zinnias one of my favorite flowers).
It is described as "exciting chartreuse-green blooms, they are very unique and the beautiful flowers are 3" across".

My packets arrived swiftly, and they even gave me two freebies (I'm looking forward to the lemon cucumbers. I gave my mom the Bull's Blood Beets).
I am disappointed, however, that the packets do not contain growing instructions (they ask you to see their website). Too tedious.

I ordered a couple of items from The Cook's Garden.
Cook's Garden
The beauty of these choices is hidden by the plain packets.
Look at the gorgeousness within!
Kaleidoscope Carrots

I am most excited, however, about Seeds of Change.
"In 1989, we at Seeds of Change started with a simple mission: to help preserve biodiversity and promote sustainable, organic agriculture. We sought to do this by cultivating and disseminating an extensive range of open-pollinated, organically grown, heirloom and traditional vegetable, flower and herb seeds. This is still our mission.
We seek out traditional varieties from the Americas and treasured heirlooms from abroad, many of which are in danger of being lost due to the rapid consolidation within the seed industry and the decline of indigenous agriculture and seed-saving knowledge."

Flower seeds
Herb seeds
"Many of our varieties represent decades, even centuries, of cultures from around the world who have saved their favorite, most flavorful and nutritious plants. Conserving this invaluable genetic resource, while contributing to the knowledge of sustainable organic agriculture and gardening techniques."

My packets arrived with the speed of light.
I was surprised, however, that the packets were made of (gasp!)...plastic.
Turns out it's more environmentally viable (who knew?!), and I really like the resealable packages.
Great post on this at Notes from a Cottage Garden.

"To see things in the seed, that is genius".
Lao Tzu



Blogger kt said...

Seeds of Change is AWESOME!

You can make fabulous green salsa with the tomatillos.

I always had luck with my (pardon-the-pun) garden-variety sweet peas in SD.

And Dude! Check my blog a few posts back for the carrots!

Have fun digging in the dirt. We're bemusedly watching bulbs pop out of the ground up here.

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such lovely ideas! Here in England I read a study that with so many large gardens and orchards being sold up to developers, there are less and less of the old, possibly only growing in one county (20 miles radius), fruit trees -apples especially were mentioned. We are losing varieties of things here in England that have yet to even be catalogued. It is so sad. In supermarkets there are only 2 or 3 varieties of apples for sale for instance, so even on a commercial level, when old trees are past their best, they are re-planted with one or other of those 2 or 3 varieties.
Thankfully this is beginning to be recognised and places like are springing up. I think increasingly it will be up to people with gardens to keep old varieties growing. Well done for thinking like this.

5:51 AM  

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