Okay, so winter is getting to me. I want it to be over. If it worked, I’d stamp my feet most days and simply will the snow to be gone. But that isn’t about to happen today no matter what I do. It’s windy and snowy and rather than lament, I decided to pull out seed catalogues.
What is it about Thompson & Morgan catalogues that pulls me into the most enchanting world of flowers in a way that few other catalogues do – well, maybe with the exception of White Flower Farms which is more a plant catalogue anyway and their plants can’t be shipped here ?
Every spring, I have visions of the new flowers I want to introduce into my garden. It’s one of my favourite things – ordering unusual annual seeds to start indoors in April. When I first moved here, I used to start seeds in March. Far too early, I discovered, since frosts happen here well into May some years.
One of my all-time favourite annual flowers (shown in photo) is Nigella damascena ‘Miss Jekyll’, otherwise known as Love-in-a-mist. Miss Gertrude Jekyll, by the way, was a famous English gardener. Her life makes for fascinating reading although I’ve always been partial to Miss Ellen Willmott, another innovative and influential English gardener.
Now many of my favourite seed catalogues are available online – check out Gardens North. I have grown many of their seeds, some of which I was unable to find from other sources.
Florabunda seeds is a wonderful place too. They specialize in selling seeds of flowers that were traditionally found in English country gardens. Then for something slightly more exotic, I’m looking at growing some Datura which look great in late summer from Dave’s Garden.
This year, for the first time, I am ordering seeds from a seed exchange at the Devonian Botanical Garden. A trip there is well worth the time.
Lest I forget, there is always McKenzie Seeds, the large Canadian seed house.
And while I am busily dreaming of clouds of scabiosa, amaranthus, cornflowers and larkspur on a hot summer’s day, letting the dog out and the resulting blast of cold air returns me to my reality.