Wishful Gardening

winter-2017
Waiting. Waiting. For the first sign of spring with seed catalogs.

Acting as if it is the first crocus to sprout, a Vermont Bean Seed Catalog snuck in before Christmas, a perfect way to search for a gift for the Lazy Bee garden, one which has never produced a bean bush with any promise.

This catalog, however, seemed to have the remedy, Nature’s Aid Rhizabia Inaculant, for all types of beans and peas.  The product puts billions of live active thizobia bacteria into the soil for beans which are to grow sturdier with better quality.

The fancy name: Jacobs Cattle, also known as the Anasizi, will be planted when the soil warms up.  We came across the Anasizi beans during our tour of the Pueblo Ruins at a little farm grocery in the middle of no-where land.  They came in a ten-pound burlap sack, these little white beans with maroon splashes which turned out in a crockpot with pinto and a few black beans to make the most delicious Cowboy beans.

These beans were unearthed in an antique Pueblo pot by a Utah farmer who was plowing a new field.  They may be also called “Trout – Couch Dog, or Dalmatian.  Centuries old, they live on today.

Since the arrival of the Vermont Seed Catalog, other garden companies are sending their catalogs, one a day it seems: Farmers – Jung – Burpee – Dutch Farms – R.H. Shumway – Select Seeds.

The colorful seed catalog covers are distinctive as the presentations of seeds, plants and nourishing products offered inside.  They reach out to readers – see me – read me – relish me – try me – buy me.

The Lacy Bee garden is smaller this planting season because the upper portion was planted with wild flowers last spring.  Vegetables to be planted, only the ones Bud will eat, will be: broccoli, carrot, kale, lettuce, beans – bush or runner, eggplant, tomato, zucchini, potato.  A few herbs continue on, year to year such as oregano.  No peppers, horseradish, although there is a plant resembling horseradish, onion, peas or sweet potatoes. Cilantro can’t be grown even in a container in the green house.  The green house must be cursed.  BZ once planted rows of left over veggie there one year but the rodents drug it all underground to destroy his perfect rows of peas.

A recipe for home-brew fertilizer (one third each of Bone meal, sugar, Epsom salts mixed a little dirt) given by the St. John’s who learned of it and sweat by it from a Martha Stewart garden workshop they attended when they lived in California, does add pep and vigor.  It’s cheap, easy.  Plants seem to like the combination.

Now it is time to put to one side the seed catalogs and to sketch the locations for the seeds.  This task is more challenging than placing accessories and furniture; may be because seeds seem to have lives of their own and desire to be planted in a soil warm enough to suit and a gardener willing to be there by their side, step by step, to get rid of weeds and to protect, as some of the gardeners will do, to place shields over their tender bodies when the sun is too hot.

It takes premium effort to be an effective gardener.  I am a WISHFUL gardener.  Last season I wished the wild flowers would grow after I followed the procedure offered by a U-Tube gardener.  They did come, perky and gave delight through the summer.  This season.  Like swallows, I hope they’ll return this season with renewed gusto.  One can only hope.  No problem with zucchinis.   They’re like poor relations, they’ll thrive no matter where or however they’re planted.  (Okay, I have a zucchini secret: BZ every year brings me five or six plantings so I don’t plant them from scratch.)

Winter season not only brings snow, as shown above at the Lazy Bee, it offers the beauty of seed catalogs.