the longing sets in

I received my first gardening catalog of the season today, from Nichols Garden Nursery, and I applaud them for sending me one now to take advantage of this daydreamy wintertime mood that’s already beset me.  It’s their 60th birthday edition, and they have an adorable drawing on the front cover of barnyard animals having a party to celebrate.  The hen and the rabbit are carrying a banner after my own heart; it says, “Veggies & Flowers for All.”

By the way, I don’t get paid to endorse anybody.  I like Nichols for several reasons, one of the big ones being that they are charter signers of the Safe Seed Pledge.

This year, I’m enjoying the fact that the catalog contains excerpts from their catalogs going back six decades, with the original text and prices.  In fact, they’re selling some of these old-timey varieties still — and for their anniversary celebration, charging the original prices (as low as 25 cents!) on six of the classics.

Plus, did I mention they have 22 varieties of basil?  Yes, I counted.

And they have the Grandpa Ott’s morning glory that I photographed all summer and that was one of my loves in the Victory Garden, with its fairy-dust-like, silvery-white pollen, pinstriping, and glorious, glowing color.  Not to mention the red star.  Its gorgeous violet bud is pictured above.  It even looks good when dying.  (With all those links, can you tell I like writing about this morning glory?)

Of course, I don’t need seed for that.  I have plenty saved up for next year, since it’s an open-pollinated variety.  I mention it in case you were interested in trying it in your garden next season.  I wouldn’t blame you.  Really.

About the only drawback to this company is, of course, that their focus is on their own region, in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, to be precise), and so many things they sell just won’t be suitable for South Carolina… but will still, unfortunately, make me long for them.  Just to name one example from today:  old-fashioned, fragrant sweet peas.


Still, there’s plenty for a Southern girl to put on her list.  Maybe too much.

Here’s a question for all you avid gardeners:  Can a garden ever be large enough to contain the gardener’s imagination?

6 Responses to “the longing sets in”

  1. My father used to fall asleep planning his spring garden in his head. I love the daydreamy thought of that.

    You can’t plant sweet peas in the South? Why not?

    • Well, you can, and I’ve done it — and gotten about three blooms before they die from the heat of late spring setting in. Not worth the effort, really. Oh, and those I planted were called “heat-tolerant” varieties, the old-timey ones from Italy way back when. It’s too bad, too, because I really love them. Ah, well, you can’t have it all! 😉

  2. Thanks for all the kind generous comments about us at Nichols Garden Nursery. One suggestion about Sweet Peas that shall go into next year’s catalog. Their is one variety that doesn’t require long days to flower so can be planted starting in October, this is Elegance. Lovely flowers, fragrant and in South Carolina treat them like a winter or spring crop the way you would handle shelling peas.
    Happy gardening,
    Rose Marie Nichols McGee

    • Thanks so much for visiting, Rose Marie, and I’m happy to say that the comments were well-deserved. I’m excited about trying the new Sweet Pea next year! How wonderful! 🙂

  3. In answer to your question – no. But isn’t that the beauty of the imagination? There’s room for a little of everything and then some 🙂

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