Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bikinis in the Garden

This happens to me every year. The plant and seed catalogs come and I'm a goner.  So many  hours spent drooling over the possibilities contained within those catalogs - it reminds me of when the Christmas catalogs used to arrive in September when I was a kid.

Sears, J.C. Penney, and Montgomery Ward would all send out their little books of temptations and I would retreat to my bedroom, paper and pencil in hand.  There I would make my list of all the things I wanted for Christmas.  I knew I wouldn't get them all - not even close - but it was still fun to make the list and dream.

So it is with the garden catalogs.  I open the pages and my brain goes into fantasy mode, although I don't recognize it as such.  In my mind, I really can grow a Crape Myrtle in my garden.  If I just site it correctly and mulch it a lot, it's possible, right? And I do have enough room to grow 138 different flowers by seed, don't I?

Fortunately, reality slaps me in the face and I remember my resolution to garden smarter.  I tell myself that I can't grow everything anyway, so I might as well grow the things that I know will do reasonably well. No use shooting myself in the foot.

That's not to say that on occasion, rising to the challenge of growing that beautiful but iffy plant shouldn't be done.  Success in those situations is all the sweeter and can be just one of the things that keeps gardening fun and interesting. Take my attempts at growing the beautiful, but elusive, Himalayan Blue Poppy. I'll likely continue to pursue that until I'm successful at getting just one bloom or they have to pry the trowel from my cold, dead hands, whichever comes first.

But no matter how beautiful and appealing some of the pretty pictures and plants are, I'll try to be strong and avoid putting the questionable ones in my virtual shopping cart.

It's kind of like me wearing a bikini in my 50s. I've done it, but that doesn't mean I should.


Eliza said...

Gardening smarter is a fun concept, but leave room for fantasy... and bikinis at all ages. ;) I love the comparison of department store Christmas catalogs and the incoming deluge of seed and plant paraphernalia that arrives during the Holiday season. Thoroughly enjoyable post!

MrBrownThumb said...

Haha. Thanks for the laugh.

The Landreths' catalog is an amazing thing. I wish I had a farm just for it.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Yes, those catalogs bring out the kid in all of us. Dreaming about the possibilities. (Me wearing a bikini is not a dream but a nightmare!!! Those days are loooonnnggggg gone!)

Kylee Baumle said...

Eliza ~ We wouldn't be true gardeners if we didn't dream, right? :-)

MrBrownThumb ~ You and me both. I LOVE that catalog and everything in it.

Janet ~ Oh, never say never, Janet! ;-)

Fern @ Life on the Balcony said...

"I'll likely continue to pursue that until I'm successful at getting just one bloom or they have to pry the trowel from my cold, dead hands, whichever comes first."

This line made me laugh out loud. I can just imagine how your obituary will read...

Nutty Gnome said...

Haha, great post - it made me chuckle! Actually (having lost a fair bit of weight this last 18 months or so) I've been contemplating getting a bikini for the first time in many years - and I'm 50 in April! :)

I've been catching up on your last few posts and I'm wondering whether putting new apple trees in the same area as the old ones which had the fungus is okay or if it's asking for trouble? I don't know the answer as I don't know much about tree fungi, but I'd hate you to loose the new trees too if fungi spores were still lurking.

Whitney said...

Hi, I found your blog through Arcadia1 on Twitter. It's #FF! I noticed you mentioned about the Meconopsis. .you might know this already, but Reford Gardens in Quebec Province is known for their glade of Blue Poppies dating to the 1930's. It's a garden on my definitely 'To Do' list!

Penelope said...

So true! I was puzzled what garden catalogs and bikinis had in the analogy!

Victoria Williams said...

Ha ha! Great post Kylee! I'm sure we all recognize ourselves somewhere in there.
I think I've managed to tone it down with the seeds this year. I am trying Chinese Lanterns from seed, although I recognize that may end up being a futile attempt.

garden girl said...

Kylee, this post brought back nostalgic memories of Sears Wish Books and seed catalog reveries from childhood.

My first 'boyfriend' (in 2nd grade) and I used to have so much fun going through the Sears catalog picking out furniture for our one-day home together. We even 'shopped' for baby furniture! What fun memories - thanks for reminding me!

Lynn said...

I, too, remember the Sears "wish book" and how we did wish. Thought I'd done a good job avoiding catalog mania by just not ordering any, but then go and see Himalayan blue poppies in your post and discover another desire. Off to research and see where I can get seed. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I succumbed to temptation this year too, and have Blue Poppy seeds on order. Any words of advice for me? We did end up going to the home show today, wasn't it wonderful? I kept looking around thinking I'd recognize you! Don't know what's more fun, seeing the gardens or buying treasures!

Kylee Baumle said...

Fern ~ You want to write it? LOL!

Nutty Gnome ~ Do it, while you still can! Yes, I'm concerned about planting them in the same spot, too, but we really don't have a choice. I wonder what orchard owners do when they lose a tree like that?

Whitney ~ No, I didn't know that! It seems that much of Canada has the right growing conditions for the blue poppies. Thanks for telling me about that!

Penelope ~ Glad you enjoyed that! ;-)

Kim And Victoria ~ You really think you won't have success with Chinese Lanterns? I've not grown them from seed, but used to have them as plants. They ended up being rather invasive in my garden and I got rid of them. I do love the lanterns, though!

garden girl ~ OMG, that's hilarious! He must have been pretty special to shop for furniture with you! LOLOL

Lynn ~ You've been sucked in by the blue poppies, too! There are worse things. ;-)

Robin ~ Jodi (bloomingwriter) has a fabulous post about growing Meconopsis here.
We didn't go to the home show today, sadly. The weather made the roads just terrible up this way, so we opted out. If we'd lived within an hour, we would have come anyway, but it likely would have taken us three hours to get there, so we will have to pass for this year. :-(((
So I'm counting on you to tell me all about it!

Kara said...

Hehe I am a list maker too. Always was, as far as I can remember. Like you I went from the catalogs to plants, drooling over catalogs. I think that's about the only good thing about January. The stress of the holidays over, then low and behold the mailbox is full of cheer and possibilities!

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