Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dreams of Perfection

Earlier this month these three plant catalogs arrived at our mail box on the same day.  Each is from a favored supplier and each will receive an order from us this year.  Richters is located in Canada and has the most extensive herb seed and plant list ever seen here.  They supply us with three new lemon verbena plants each year.  Additional plants will fill out the order.  McClure and Zimmerman are an excellent source for native rootstocks.  Roots and Rhizomes have an extensive list of day lilies and Siberian iris.  Rough draft orders have been made and revised.  Why we do this is a puzzle of sorts.

Our garden already exceeds our ability to properly care for it.  Despite our full understanding of this reality, we continue to open new planting beds.  Illustrations in the plant catalogs may influence this madness.  Pictures of perfect plants fill the pages of these catalogs.  Those perfect plants represent the goal of every gardener.  In reality what we grow seldom lives in a perfect world.  Late frost, insufficient or excessive rain, pest explosions or disease, intrusions by wild animals or the neighbor's damn cat in some combination challenge our plants' mission to grow and flower.  Persistence drives us to try again.  This year is less than one full month old and our plants are already stressed by unfavorable weather.  Yesterday the temperature climbed above 50 F degrees.  Excessive rains filled the streams with raging muddy water as more topsoil moves toward the ocean.  Perennial plant crowns have been exposed to repeated freeze thaw cycles devoid of any protective snow cover.

Plant catalogs really sell hope for the future.  Hope that this may be the year when the weather is stable and we manage to stay just slightly ahead of the weeds.  For me, time spent with my hands in the soil is curative both spiritually and physically.  Perfect flowers and sweet scents are just a bonus.  Once again we will trade money for plants and start the cycle once more.

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DeVona said...

Great post! Sums up why people garden, hope, dream, and getting hands down and delightfully dirty in the soil!

Tell Becky that even though Pat Stone didn't offer me a cover illustration for the Spring GreenPrints, he gave me a full page drawing to do! I gave it my best shot!

laveta'splace said...

I know how those seed catalogs and gardening magazines can get to us. I had to stop even looking at them. My problem is not wanting to thin out what comes up. I want them all to grow!
I like your ad free blog; it's so easy to read.