My favorite part of winter is not the crystalline beauty of the snow and ice. Not even the incredible birds that show up here. No, my favorite part is that January is the month that they start sending me seed catalogs for the upcoming gardening season. My favorite one is the one in the picture above, from H.R. Shumway seeds, out of Randolph, Wisconsin. I love it especially because (as you can see from the cover) the pictures inside of the veggies and fruits are all hand drawn. It is absolutely a work of art. It's an oversized newsprint papered bounty of the most wonderful things your heart could imagine. Every year I start checking the mailbox the first week of January, and I always can count on them to have it in my box at or before my birthday. It's one of those" little gifts from the Universe to me" kind of things. lol Well it came and it's beautiful and I plan to wear it out by the time spring arrives.
I get another one I really like from a company in ...Connecticut or Vermont. It's called Kitchen Seeds. And it's a hip and slick publication full of things you rarely find elsewhere. I like it a lot, but it's no Shumway....lol
I'm one of those gardeners that plan. I have a garden journal where I draw diagrams showing where I've planted what in any particular year, so I can identify them, when they start coming up and also so I know how to rotate when necessary. I keep detailed notes on germination times and yields, and this helps me to organize my garden for the next year. Also helps me to remember what not to plant again. (Like the baby Japanese Eggplant....) I am a companion planter, so this helps me to learn what does well next to what, and it really does make a difference. I keep some sketchy weather notes in there as well, like the date of the last frost
and about how much rainfall we have.
I have high hopes for the 2010 gardens, especially now that we have water.
Well, it's officially midnight here and I am officially 57 years old. Time for me to go to bed, my sister is talking me to lunch tomorrow and I am really tired tonight. So, I bid you adieu and sweet dreams of gardens and all things green. (And that's a really nice wish, especially around here this week, whee the temps have been as polar opposite from spring temps as is possible.)