Daisy’s Tips: The Secret to a Great Garden is Planning with Seed Catalogs
The days are getting longer, and that means that the mailbox is filling up with seed catalogs. It’s one of my favorite times of year, with pages and pages of potential. My imagination usually runs wild with the possibilities– so much so that it makes choosing what to order nearly impossible. I take a little bit longer than most gardeners to plan and order my seeds and seedlings; I tend to stretch it out as long as possible. There’s nothing more satisfying than preparing a long bath, putting on a little jazz, carefully collecting all the print catalogs, getting my computer with all of its bookmarked online gardening sites open, and indulging in a deeply-personal hour of garden design.
“There’s nothing more satisfying than preparing a long bath, putting on a little jazz, carefully collecting all the print catalogs, and indulging in a deeply-personal hour of garden design.”
Every year I like to try something new and try to switch up the character of the garden. A couple of years ago, I was obsessed with artichokes, so we planted about fifteen of them, all different varieties, and they thrived! The garden was dominated by their huge spiky forms, tall stalks bristling with cone-shaped, thistle-like flowers. It was as though Alice in Wonderland got a sci-fi makeover. It was an entirely new look, and one that kept my imagination going. As with anything else, you never want to stay stuck in one creative place when it comes to your garden, whether it be a full-sized outdoor garden or a few plants on your windowsill. And so after the artichoke, we did a three-sixty: last year was the year of the tomato, with vines everywhere, and cherry tomatoes, my personal favorite, growing in all shapes and sizes, in all different colors. We had heirlooms, plums, Sicilians, yellow, purple, black, even a green zebra-striped tomato.
This year, I’m moving toward a color scheme, going with a purple, pink, and white theme, with a heavy focus on herbs. There’s nothing better than growing your own herbs and being able to snatch some rosemary or a few basil leaves for a soup, salad, or roast. We’ll add in lots of munstead, hidcote, provence lavenders, coriander, stinging nettles, chamomile, purple kale, and borage alongside our staples, such as cosmos and hydrangeas. We’ll also plant tall pink foxgloves, delphiniums, and monkshood, as well as daisies, peonies, and alpine poppies.
Some of my favorite seed catalogs for 2016: