Hook, line and sinker

Zinnia 'Queen Red Lime'For a mid-January Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, as much as I always want to show off greenhouse flowers, I think it’s more honest to say that the only thing in full-full bloom around here is desire. A raft of seed catalogs is spread across the potting shed – there’s no bare surface – and Gail and I are writing endless wish-lists.

Seed companies just know how to get us. There’s the picture – that tiny image of a perfect flower. When I squint my eyes at those little pictures I can only imagine that this could be the plant – the one! – that will make the garden more beautiful – or now that even I am thinking about growing some food at home – more productive than ever before. The description always backs that up and practically guarantees that if we buy a packet of this particular seed, we’ll live happily ever after and be rich beyond our wildest dreams and the weather will be perfect every day.

Am I wrong? Don’t the words “New!” and “nonstop” and “juiciest” affect you the same way? But we’re all adults here. Just like cruising the personals for our dream date (not that I’m admitting to ever having done that…) we have learned to read between the lines. “Self sows”? Uh huh, that one will be back like a bad penny, like it or not. And we check references. Gomphrena 'Fireworks' close-up 9-15If it’s offered by different companies, which picture is the clearest? Which description sounds the likeliest? How many seeds for how many dollars? Is it a match made in heaven? And we’ve been burned before so we’re cautious. “Purple” might mean hot pink and “cream” might just be bright blazing yellow. But we’re also willing to take our chances.

Cleome - Spider flowerWe’re in the honeymoon phase of the relationship with our seed orders. They’re all perfect. They all have tremendous potential. We’re totally in love. Right now, in my mind’s eye the garden has never been more glorious and perfect and in the fullest of bloom. It’s when the orders arrive, that the real work of the relationship begins. Our hearts might be broken right away by poor germination; the relationship could just damp-off; or worse, the plant might grow and flourish but not live up to our expectations. If only we had seen a full-body shot rather than a close-up… but the seed companies know how to get us. And thank goodness – in January we need their blooms to build our dreams on.

Is your dream garden in full bloom right now? (For a look at what’s really in bloom today around the world, visit May Dreams Gardens.)

6 thoughts on “Hook, line and sinker

  1. Once again you’ve written a right on post. Gosh I so dated myself with that right on statement! Have you noticed how many new plants have food names as well as juicy and delicious in their descriptions? Fascinating! Have a delicious and juicy day out there Kris! gail

    Thanks, Gail! It’s true – the names of plants are often the biggest hooks – though we often go for the slightly perverse and a little bit weird rather than the juicy, delicious names! -kris

  2. You are right that desire is always in bloom. And that desire is fed by catalogs, garden tours – and wonderful blogs.

    Commonweeder, So many of the plants I need-want are ones that I saw on a blog! -kris

  3. You’re so right about the seed catalogs! I like to do a google image search on the name of the flower/plant, so I can see it in a few different settings (hopefully.) At the very least, I get a better idea of the true color/nature of the plant… and at best, I might get some good ideas on where to site it in my yard. For example: “Oooh… that ‘Merlot’ lettuce looks really good next to the bright chartreuse lettuce in that photo. Hmm, maybe I’ll plant a few next to my ‘Sweet Kate’ spiderwort….”

    Kim, sometimes I’m like the shooting gallery bear, jumping between the table with the catalogs and the computer. Sometimes it helps, and other times I just get further confused. (That’s often when we decide we just have to see for ourselves.) -kris

  4. ‘The only thing in full bloom is desire’ – That’s brilliant. I love it. I actually recycled a number of reject flower catalogs this week because I’d spent an imaginary million dollars just drooling over the photos. First time visitor. Found you through Carol. I look forward to more laughs with you and Gail!

    Kate, I should add up our wishlist against our actual order – it might come close to a million dollars… I’m so glad you visited – see you again soon, I hope! -kris

  5. Yeah, I wonder sometimes if those photos are, um, enhanced. Is that illegal? Well, it should be! Hope a goodly number of your garden dreams come true, Kris, both at home and at Blitheworld.

    Karen, it’s the descriptions that get me. They’re all too good to be true. And yet…! Thanks for kind wishes – back atcha! -kris

  6. I have a friend that works on some of the big seed catalogs. Let’s just say there is a lot of photoshop going on. Hope does spring eternal for us gardeners.

    hrrrummph. But we know it, don’t we? (We’re such easy prey!) -kris

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