Snow was prettier than the ice. Ready to be rid of both.

Winter grips my NC garden

Called my little sister to see how much ice and snow they got–she was on the deck planting seeds.

 It’s a family trait–this passion for seeds.  We are a basketball coach’s daughters, always looking for hidden potential,  and seeds are the ultimate happy surprise. 

So much beauty from a tiny seed

Consider the Shirley Poppy–The seeds are as fine as dust, yet each is different, holding a root, a stalk of 2-3 feet, and a unique flower within.    Rake them in now, (or spread them on ice like my sis), and by May, blooms.  That’s the magic of seeds.

I aways try to get my seed orders placed by  mid  January:  Here are some things I’ve learned about buying seeds over the years. 

1) Restrain yourself:  The catalogs are colorful, the weather is grey.     But you wouldn’t go shopping without a list would you?  Make a few plans for your garden.  Figure out where your plants will go.  

Try making a wish list, and paring it down with a reality check.  

2) Try something new:  It’s one of the biggest reasons for working with seeds.  Try plants that you can’t find at your local nursery. 

Spend a winter day with some seed catalogs

Hardy annuals like Larkspur, Shirley Poppies and Nigella don’t transplant well.  If you want them, you’ll have to buy seed.    (Look for HA in the description.) 

Sweet Chelsea and Old Fashioned Goliath tomatoes are also on my seed order.  I allow myself to go overboard here.  Extra tomato plants make great gifts. 

Bunches of Tomato plants grown from seed. I like to have a party and give the extras away.

Large leaf Italian Basil  and single leaf Italian parsley are on my order.  Herbs are easy and very rewarding.  I have fresh parsley and sage in the garden now–It’s so easy just to walk out and pick my own. 

I confess I go nuts over flowers from seed–but that’s ok.  If you  can grow 10 hollyhocks or 20 foxgloves  for the price of one plant, why not.  Seeds are the best way to cover large spaces if you don’t have lots of bucks.   Which brings me to my final hint about seed orders–

3) Consider After-care.  Hardy annuals are easy.  Rake them in and walk away .  Tomatoes and other HHA (half-hard annuals) will need to be started indoors.  Good light is critical.  I turn the dinning room table into a make shift light stand.  And most perennials from seed will not be ready for the garden for at least a season.  I keep these together by my cold frame for fall planting. 

Right now,  I have a big bed of foxglove that will bloom this spring from a sowing last May.  Great fun! 

So fight the cabin fever.   Get out your seed catalogs and think about SPRING.   It will be here before we know it.

Think Spring!!