Friday, January 13, 2012

Seed Catalog Fantasies

   This is the month for gardening catalogs. No doubt about it, every year January's slow rhythm and cold climate join forces to draw me into colorful, papery daydreams about how my flower beds and vegetable gardens will look in the coming months. If I am a willing slave to  list making and reVolutions, then I am a love struck teenager when it comes time to dream up the new year's lushness. 

That is a heckuva lots of carrots, you guys.
Do not forget to thin them once they sprout to about an inch of green fluff.
This makes all the difference in the world.

My Grandpa has always grown it, and I agree it performs really well in Oklahoma.

   Between farm chores, ironing Handsome's work shirts, sort of doing P90x, cooking meals that are NOT chicken-lime-cilantro-tortilla soup, and reading for our fabulous little book club, I have been salivating over the myriad possibilities held teasingly in the pages of two truly gorgeous catalogs: Burpee and Gurney's. Click on those links just to browse, but also do yourself a favor and request their free catalogs. 

Some like minded soul somewhere in the world painted this. 
It made it to the internet without a source. 
And now sits on my lowly Pinterest page, 
inspiring and reminding me to dream big green dreams.. 
Three cheers for Audrey Hepburn.
As well as for the neat and tidy, anonymous artist 
who loves gray paint as much as I do.

   This year we'll be tackling some major improvement projects around the Lazy W. And just so no one thinks I am throwing around the Victorian "we" too loosely, it is true. I am one of the lucky women whose husband is happy to do some heavy lifting in the garden. In fact, he freaks out a little if I do certain jobs myself. Another way I am spoiled, I know.XOXO

   We'll be building raised beds in the largest (and also enclosed) garden plot which is on the west side of our house, sort of the way to the pond and back field. Within those raised beds we're installing plastic and/or cardboard weed block, infilling with layer upon layer of horse and buffalo manure, chicken litter which includes  shredded paper, hay, dirt, chopped leaves, you name it. This lasagna process has already begun, thankfully, several weeks ahead of our first seed sowing. Between those raised beds I hope to grow something short and fragrant but also mow-able. We'll see how THAT pans out. Any brilliant ideas?

   The bald spots in the east facing flower bed are gradually diminishing, each season since we've lived here bringing with it more "kept" plantings and bigger, prettier shrubs and perennials. But there aren't NO bald spots yet, so flowers will be planted. Big flowers this year. Really big ones.

Can you see the sparse garden over there? It's the east facing one.
This is how we first saw the house back in September 2007.
Let me just say that the previous owners had been renovating the home's interior
 and had great ideas for the garden but ran out of time to implement them 
before being relocated by the military.
Since 2007 we have replaced the roof with a really pretty dark charcoal shingle,
following a vicious hail storm which was followed by an equally vicious tornado.
We have replaced the front door and picture window 
because of a pretty devastating house fire,
and moved back then replaced that chain-link fence with three wire.
Also, that is not our horse, but she was a sweetie.

This is more or less how the flower bed looks now, 
when viewed standing at the front door. 
I think this photo is from November 2011.

   I am only planning to dig two new beds in 2012, and they are both small ones, and I have already started amending the soil to make the job easier. One is the space near the chicken coop, where a few things like butterfly bush, cedar, and Rose of Sharon have gone wild. The other is a curvy spot right outside my kitchen window, which this year will be my very own potagerie. A place to grow heat-loving herbs like basil, oregano, and mint. As well as those little food stuffs that a cook needs quickly while preparing meals. Cherry tomatoes, strawberries, carrots, hot peppers, etc. Smaller crops that require less real estate but more attention.

   Thanks for listening to me ramble about farm improvements and for joining my little garden fantasy. We're approaching the end of January soon, so the time to stop dreaming and start working in earnest is upon us. I'd love to hear what your garden plans are for 2012!

Slow Food is the Best Food


  1. Nothing like a January day to dream and plan for the next summer. Looks like you will be one busy lady (and hubby). Also sounds like some of the same projects we have on our list - raised beds, expanding existing bed.

    This keeps happening. Were we separated at birth?

    Happy Weekend, my friend. We finally got our first real snowstorm and I'm lovin' it as I look out while painting the tv room.

    And you would definitely be sitting at my table of eight!!

  2. Wow, you will be busy! They sound like wonderful plans, it will look so beautiful when it's done. And I think that the planning is a large part of the fun :-)

  3. I love poring over the seed catalogs. Then all my plans go out the window when I go to the Tilth Society's Edible Plant Sale in the spring and my senses get overwhelmed. Two hours later I stagger out with armloads of plants I never expected to plant: Fairy Tale Eggplant - how could I resist?! It's lavender and white striped!


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