Tuesday, April 8, 2008

My Seeds Arrived

My order from Johnny's arrived. Their seeds, unlike many, come in packets without glossy pictures. On the front are the name and variety and basic statistics like height of the plant or days to bloom. Very detailed information, such as instructions for harvest, disease prevention, culture, germination, spacing and growth requirements are in small print on the back, small enough that I must hold the packet out at a short distance to read it. Mostly I skim this information unless it's truly a new plant for me. This year I chose a couple new varieties, but essentially plants that I've grown for many years. Lettuce, for example, I plant all year round, both greens and reds. This new one is a red, Antago.
Cosmos I plant some years and not others. This year I have a specific plan for them and chose Versailles Mix, a delicate blend of pinks and whites with splashes of bright pinks for contrast, a very traditional look for Cosmos.

Zinnias I plant every year or culture those that reseed on their own. Zinnias are my dad's favorite flower, so I take pleasure in showing them off to him each summer. I chose State Fair Mix, another traditional look and also a reliable performer.

Each year I either choose a melon or a gourd vine. Last year was my failed attempt at pumpkins. They made marvelous flowers, but then either failed to form a fruit or formed a tiny fruit that withered and fell off. After crying over it a while, I concluded it was a lack of pollination by bees. This year I've ordered Snake Gourd. I've had marvelous luck with birdhouse gourd in the past and am excited to see the novel fruit from snake gourd.

I've gone a couple years without planting Swiss Chard, but I started thinking about those marvelous summer breakfasts I've been missing, fresh-picked Swiss Chard sauted quickly in oil as a side for a fresh laid, soft-fried egg. Mmmm. I got the variety Bright Lights because of its beauty, both in the garden and on my plate.

Leeks! I got the variety Tadorna not for any particular reason except that it looked sturdy. I plant leeks to make leek & potato soup which is fantastically delicious when made fresh. Although I had a bowl of it at an Irish pub in Amsterdam that was as good as I make myself, and those leeks probably weren't fresh-picked.

I don't always plant okra because it's a sun lover, and I don't have much sun space to give over to it. I did some rearranging last autumn and think I have a place for it now. Okra is another that I cut & cook within a few minutes. It's a beauty as well. If I had room, I'd plant it just for the flowers. This year I chose Cajun Delight.

Last of my order from Johnny's was a Sunflower called Holiday. It's tall and has a traditional sunflower look, brown disk and yellow rays.

Naturally, I'll plant many more vegetables and flowers than what I bought from Johnny's as seeds, but I'll purchase those as plants from my local Atwood's. Among them will be tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and marigolds. ...just waiting on the soil to be a tad warmer and the nights more reliable as far as temperature.

No comments: