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Twelfth Day of Christmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

twelve seed catalogs!


eleven no great big hawks!
...ten tufted titmice!
…nine frogs a-croaking!
…eight vultures circling!
...seven spiky yuccas!
...six types of milkweed!
…fiiiive! naaaative! plaaaaants!
…four hummingbirds!
…three moorhens!
…two mourning doves!
…and a replacement for a Bradford pear tree!

Seed catalogs are the great glory and bane of my existence. I can sit in a hot bath with a cold bottle of cider and a seed catalog and not get out until the water is tepid and planting eight packets of forget-me-nots seems like a good idea. I highly recommend Prairie Nursery, Plant Delights, Niche Gardens and Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalogs, but frankly, there are no BAD seed catalogs, just catalogs from bad companies.  (Spring Nursery, seriously, give it up.)

Our poor hero is getting pretty battered at this point, isn’t he? I promise it’ll come out all right in the end. But you probably should check back for the day AFTER Christmas, just to make sure…

Originally published at Squash's Garden. You can comment here or there.

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Tomatogrowers.com have the most amazing online catalog (harder to read in the bath, but one could manage with a ziplock baggie and a tablet computer) ... haven't seen their print one, but I imagine it's as much fun. We now have wild "mexican" tomatoes self seeding and growing weedlike through our planter boxes in Ottawa, Ontario, somewhere on the boundary between Zones 4 & 5. Hardy little buggers in other words... but great for filling in empty spots <evil grin>.

Thanks for that! Last year I did everything in my garden from plants (waited too late for seeds). My tastes run towards the nightshades, and I've had a hell of a time finding everything in one place. ALL THE CHILIS.

I am now desperately curious as to what makes Spring Nursery a bad company.

Well, if you read the reviews...


I don't order plants from them anymore after they left off several chunks of my order, and instead of a refund sent me a "Free Gift" of Shasta daisies and French lavender. (French lavender is an annual here, and Shasta daises are a weed.) Then they shipped the coneflowers, and dude. Ziploc bags full of peat and roots. I planted them, none of them came up the next year, and I swore off mail order for anything that wasn't hella obscure.

Oh, man. There are plenty of ways to be a generally Bad Mail-Order Company, but that manages to combine generic badness with seed-specific badness. Which is either inevitable or impressive, depending on how I think of it.

Shipping weeds as a "free gift" is some sort of super-ironic twist, though. I would not have even thought of that as a failure mode for a seed company.

It is never a good idea to plant eight packets of forget-me-not seeds. Unless you're driving up the road to the Carbon River entrance at the farthest northwest corner of Mt. Rainier National Park, and decide to scatter them along between the asphalt and the clear-cuts (the road to Carbon River passes through a patchwork of privately-owned and National Forest lands, about half of which are "managed" in the loosest sense of the term). Someone did that a few years ago, and in April the effect is rather lovely, as compared to the rest of the year.

Love the white flag. And the "really rare seeds." No forget-me-nots in there!

What is it about forget-me-nots that makes the multi-packet seeding so perilous? Non-gardening minds want to know!

I believe it's simply the same problem you have when you plant eight packets of any easily-grown plant: you can see the result from space.

See, this is why I'm not a gardener. I'd end up just planting everything, and telling the damn things to sort out the winner themselves.

I don't know who the winner would be in that scenario, but the loser would probably be the person who now needs to buy a machete to find the ground...

I have a machete!

...and a lawn mower!

And that's it. Because those two things are the sum of my garden tools. I am not really good with gardens. Or house plants. Or living things that aren't mobile enough to whine pointedly when they need more care.

I use the lawnmower to prune my oregano.

Edited at 2012-12-26 03:03 am (UTC)

Forget-me-nots are sort of like really tiny, pretty, blue-flowered kudzu. They seed like crazy, and are just about impossible to get rid of once you've got them. Which is fine, if you don't want to grow anything else...

Congratulations, little hamster! You finished your gift giving, just in time. Now it is time to collapse.

Merry Christmas, Urs. :)

I don't have a garden, have never actually planted anything, and suspect I have a black thumb, and I still like looking at seed catalogs.

Perhaps my eyes are starting to go, but I read two of those as "Purple Nursery" and "Nietzsche Gardens", both of which sound intriguing!

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