How Do I Choose?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Waxing Moon n Aries
Celtic Tree month of Birch
Snowy, slushy, and cold

The seed catalogues have arrived. For years, I ordered seed catalogues, fantasized mightily about a lovely garden “someday”, ordered a packet or two of seeds who’d sprout and fade.

This year, I’ve actually got a place to put seeds and containers and all that good stuff. I also have a budget.

I could blow my entire budget on seeds alone.

However, I’ve also got to think about patio furniture and garden statuary and hoses and other things that will keep the garden alive.

On the Holly Walk at Ashumet Sanctuary back in early December, the leader mentioned that things often transplant on the Cape better than growing from seed. Which, to me, means that I should purchase the common herbs as much as possible already in small little pots and just transplant them to my containers. The strawberry plants will come as plants, and I’ve got my eye on a sweet huckleberry bush that is suited for container growing.

So now, it comes to the rest of them. How do I choose?

First, I want to pick a handful of vegetables that aren’t too hard to grow and that I will eat: Two kinds of tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, and I’ve always wanted to grow my own pumpkins. I’d like to also grow some sort of cress and maybe a lettuce.

Herb-wise, I need to grow the herbs that I use, which may not be easy to find around here as plants. I’ll buy rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, basils, the usual culinary herbs in pots and transplant them to containers. I want to try several types of lavenders, and I need bee balm, lemon balm, lemon verbena, a variety of mints, hyssop, and a host of other things. As I take herbal classes in and around the Cape, I’ll realize what I need more for my work. Also, some of the herbs have varied uses, some are kind of borderline and I have to check to find out which (if any) are illegal to grow in the state of MA. I stay away from most of the baneful herbs because there’s too much wildlife and too many domestic pets who might get out and eat something they shouldn’t — but there are a few that are extremely useful in a positive way but can be misused, and I just have to do some more research.

And then, flowers. I’m going to buy impatiens and petunias and the like as small plants, but there are a few I want to try from seed.

Correction: There are too many I want to try from seed.

I also want to have a container for a very specific purpose with specific shade plants in it, in whites, greens, and grays, in the one shady spot on the property. Most of those I won’t find from plants, and I’m having trouble finding some of the seeds.

So, I’m sitting here, making my lists, comparing catalogue to catalogue, making my “master list” and then winnowing things down.

Because Imbolc isn’t that far away, and the very first seeds have to planted in the ceremony.