In the beginning

was the catalog photo… small stack of new catalogs

There is something about browsing seed and plant catalogs that doesn’t feel like work to me and without Gail here to say “it’s ok!” and “we need to get the orders in by the end of the month!” I’m inclined to put it off until the “real” work is done. (That only gets more complicated when I enjoy the “real” work so much that I put it off too.) It’s like waiting to have dessert until after dinner. Eat dessert first; browse catalogs now! Or first thing when Gail is back. For me it’s less productive to shop alone and a lot less enjoyable. I love settling into the quiet, chilly potting shed companionship of a browse with Gail. She’s always got the more interesting catalog in front of her and I’m forever craning over the table to see what she sees. And I need her to bounce off my “what about this’s?”. Half the time whatever I’m taken in by was tried before I got here with disatrous results (ie. infestation and/or “Julie doesn’t like it”) and the other half of the time Gail rewards me with a “ooh! I love it – put it on the list.” Guess what I live for! We haven’t gotten all of the catalogs in yet – the stack is usually at least 6″ thick and so slippery we’re constantly chasing landslides. I’m going to wait (maybe I’ll sneak a peek and dogear a page or two during lunch) but I promise to get right on task (and tell all about it) as soon as Gail is back at work. Do you browse catalogs alone or with a friend/partner?

Iris reticulata ‘Clairette’ emerging 1-2-08Meanwhile, for those of you who took Julie’s bulb forcing class last October – and anyone else who started bulbs this past fall, have you checked on them lately? The Iris (Iris reticulata ‘Clairette’) that Julie has been keeping in the cold dark of her bulkhead steps are ready for the light and we brought them home to the greenhouse this morning. more Iris reticulata ‘Clairette’ emerging 1-2-08For the first 3-4 days they need to adapt and should be keep cool (55-60 degrees F. – we put ours in the coldest house which can dip to the 40’s) and in indirect light. After that they can be given a warmer, full sun spot. It can take another 10 days to 3 weeks for them to start blooming. Keep in mind that temps of less than 65 degrees F. are best for prolonged bloom and they prefer to be kept even cooler than that at night. In a couple of weeks we’ll think about bringing the tulips up into the light…

8 thoughts on “In the beginning

  1. It definitely is more fun to look at catalogues with another gardening fanatic. Besides, I like spending other people’s $ for them more than spending my own.

  2. Hi Kris,

    Oh I wish I was like you … my problem is putting the real work off and doing what I like first (like right now this minute!). Much more dangerous.

    We’re now gearing up for round 2 of the Garden Bloggers’ Carnival -a bit different this time, in that I’m asking people to nominate a post from another person’s blog. Full details on my blog today (Jan 3rd). I hope you’ll participate again, like you did last time. And of course, if anyone else reads this, please join in!

    Happy New year!


  3. Mr. McG’s D, It’s easier too I think to spend our own money with someone else’s encouragement – that’s what friends are for!

    Sue, Thank you for the invitation – I’ll take you up on it although choosing only one from all of my favorite blogs will be much more difficult!

  4. What fun to be able to pore over catalogs like you are doing and get to choose so many interesting things. It’ll be fun to see what’s new and blooming at Blithewold next year. (and who knows, one of these years I might actually get to visit!

  5. I had to smile when I read your comment about Gail always seeming to have the more interesting catalogue. It must be great fun picking out what to plant for Blithewold … it’s so much better with a friend, I agree. Mostly I only order online and try not to do too much of that.

    This is the first year that I didn’t force any bulbs … I am missing them.

    Happy New Year!

  6. Jodi, I’m looking forward to your visit!

    Kate, I wonder how long it will be before they stop sending us the print catalogs and we’ll be ordering online too – I hate to think of all that paper but I do love flipping actual pages…

  7. Unfortunately, I’m more like Sue–I tend to do what I want and put off the rest. When seed catalogs and things like Plant Delights’ spring tome come out, I can ignore dust just as well as my DBF does! lol.

    (By the way, I think I missed something. Who is Julie, and why should you care if she doesn’t like something?)

  8. Kim, Dust is a whole different story… (dust – what dust?) and I’m glad you asked about Julie! – Julie Morris is Director of Horticulture – she’s the doyenne, the diva, the big cheese. She’s been here since the dawn of time and Blithewold would not be Blithewold without her (and her opinions on things like the color orange and how often to water the greenhouse). She’s retiring this year – more on that when I can face it…

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