Right now I am eagerly awaiting the first 2010 seed catalog. Friends have already received some of theirs. Oh well, it won’t be long now and I’ll be wading through the “wish books” for next years’ garden. I look forward to trying new vegetables and flowers every year so this is a much-anticipated annual ritual. I remember walking down the long driveway at my old place to get mail and the excitement that came with each new catalog. Gardeners, yeah, we’re different!
Gardening is surely not for the impatient. There’s very little instant gratification. The fastest-blooming annuals take weeks or months to bloom. Even a quick vegetable like radish still takes 3-4 weeks, and who can plan a meal around just radishes??? Salad greens take at least 6-7 weeks from seed to full size, less for baby leaves but still a long time. I try and sow lettuce seeds at least once a month so I have a ready supply of young plants to replace those I harvest. Some of the Asian greens are fairly speedy. Tatsoi and the smaller pac choi varieties can be ready in 6 weeks, while komatsuna and mizuna can be harvested even sooner.
Perennial flowers can surely require patience. I decided to grow purple-flowered Echinacea from seed. By the second year I had one plant that finally bloomed. The others didn’t grow enough to make it through the first winter. That makes me less likely to grouse about the prices a blooming size coneflower plant fetches at a garden center, since I know how much time and effort the grower has put into it.
In a weak moment, I bought a tiny seedling Plumeria ‘Loretta’ from a grower on Ebay and four years later, I am still waiting for it to bloom. It is said to have wide pink and white petals with a yellow center and a very sweet fragrance. Next year WILL be the year! At least I haven’t killed it yet. It’s spent the last 2 summers in the greenhouse, and it overwinters in the cool basement under lights, so I guess it’s not going to grow as fast as it would in the tropics. Besides, it was a steal at only five bucks.
Time to wrap this one up fast – I think I hear the mail carrier coming!