Leonard Moorehead, The Urban Gardener: Bless Garden Catalogs
Saturday, January 03, 2015
They have slipped under the green curtain. Vigilant migration into the cloud has evaporated most mail. Frozen hearts melt at the trickle. Stray migrants from the do not send catalog mailing lists arrive once, twice, another. A grin the size of Kansas and longer than winter clears the calendar. Urban gardeners understand the glee. Serendipity rules, a leaf tossed lottery has won. We are transported into space and time. Eager to spend our winnings we know we shouldn’t but cannot resist time spent browsing. Yes, we gaze at reddest, most robust, and put first things first. I love to read garden catalogs. Don’t you?
Apple to zucchini
Our culture is moving from the simple apple to zucchini progression of seed catalogs. I’m ok with the old approach and recall it’s time to apply dormant oil to the apricots, peaches and pears. Golden Delicious, marvelous grafted dwarf trees heavy with branches of Granny Smith are ever perfect on the page. Urban gardeners look for the smaller sizes, carefully measure best exposures, ultimate height and width. Not for us the majestic walnuts someone planted two houses over luring every squirrel for blocks. Diligently burrowed right through mulches the walnuts reliably germinate far into the summer, long lost to their thrifty planters. Dwarf, semi-dwarf fruit trees are better in town. Carefully note on the margins, I begin to compare, rate, lust for more space. I’ll spray the trees, maybe tomorrow. Two or three times during winter is enough to dramatically decrease most pests and disease. I do remember to pull off the old “mummies”, potential infections into the compost.
Covers too much
Prompt the imagination
Seed catalogs prompt the imagination. Each variety of bloom, vegetable or fruit reminds us that each has its season. Relentless marketing and opportunity have idealized concepts of appearance and availability. Consider the joys of in season produce. Compare early, middle and late maturing dwarf fruit trees. With little effort it’s possible to extend the peach picking season for weeks simply by planting quick maturing examples. The nurseries will co-operate with you and ship bare root saplings at the best time to plant. Don’t delay. Plant trees for the future. Endorse hope. Our mobile society discourages patience. Gardeners are cut from a different stripe, our world is one endless progression. Take the leap of hope and dare to believe you too will grow one variety after another. Hmm, a new color in petunias.
Tried and true
Many of us stick with the tried and true. Urban gardeners grasp every opportunity to cultivate our patches, plots and pots. Each seed catalog offers the latest advances in plant husbandry. Studious gardeners search for cultivars known for taste, insect and disease resistant types or those, like the pear, which are self- pollinating. Keep an open mind and consider those never found on market shelves. Raspberries are famous examples of poor shipping soft berries. Grow different types together, their mutual needs escape from narrowly defined market ideals and focus upon taste, colors, and size. An urban gardener must needs chose plants, explore a little and find your own pace. An open mind is more than helpful to gardening. Not fastened to delivery times or sales, we can pay attention to the fruits and vegetables forgotten in the haste to prolong shelf life or conformity.
Maybe the paper edition appears full of huckster images of hibiscus blooms the size of children’s heads. Impossibly purple iris are given glossy cover pages. Coupons, deals, free gifts are common distractions What fun! If the A-Z approach runs out of gas near fennel, maybe a catalog for a single plant arrives. Who knew there were so many beans? Urban gardeners do not fear winter, we are too much fun immersed in seed catalogs and visions of gardens to come.
Make lists, notes, discover new plants to try. Gogi berries were a first for me last year and an instant success. No-where was it described that these ultra-beneficial berries guaranteed to add years of gardening have no taste or flavor? Dispel suspicion, yes, those grapes really do come in bushels of deliciousness. Come what may, I hope more catalogs filter through the do not send message. Like a secret vice, I welcome them just as I know it’s better to receive the online version. My crocodile tears tell all.
- Urban Gardener: Hot Peppers And Picante
- The Urban Gardener: Time To Harvest, Time To Plan
- The Urban Gardener: Some Like it Hot, Harvest Time
- Leonard Moorehead, The Urban Gardener: Infinity Beckons
- Urban Gardener: Grapes Triumphant
- Leonard Moorehead, The Urban Gardener: Harvesting Green Beans + Sunflowers
- Urban Gardener: Sweet Summer Gardens
- Urban Gardener: Vacation Harvests
- Urban Gardener: Dearest Peaches
- Urban Gardener: Peerless Pears
- The Urban Gardener: Harvest Moonshine
- The Urban Gardener: Leaves, the Gardener’s Friend
- Leonard Moorehead the Urban Gardener: “Scent, First and Last”
- Leonard Moorehead the Urban Gardener: Gardener’s Wish List
- Leonard Moorehead the Urban Gardener: Hollies Forever Holidays
- Urban Gardener: Composting For Winter
- Leonard Moorehead, The Urban Gardener: Wreaths Go Full Circle
- The Urban Gardener: Cold Frames Endure
- Leonard Moorehead,The Urban Gardener: Minor Bulbs Rule
- Leonard Moorehead, The Urban Gardener: Fall Gardens Flush and Full
- The Urban Gardener: Hunker Down, Look Ahead
- Leonard Moorehead, The Urban Gardener: Before and After