WELL, look at that. More rain. Driving rain you might call it, straight off Bass Strait via a bitter westerly wind. Nothing for it but to get a fire going and nourish the soul with inspiring words, words that lift one up and speak to the heart of renewal, hope and faith. The new garden seed catalogue!
Here’s how it begins: “There’s an almost overwhelming volume of information pertaining to gardening and horticulture these days, which can make it easy to lose touch with the simple truth that each and every garden begins with love.”
Important note to self, do not get carried away when ordering this year.
It continues: “I gratefully acknowledge the delight and wonder of the beautiful, simple experience of sowing a hard ball of seemingly lifeless matter into the earth and, with due care, watching a plant take recognisable form, eventually providing my body with delicious, natural nutrition.”
It’s hard to resist. And then there’s the transporting descriptions and names of these irresistible tiny bits, flakes and balls of potential.
For example, the St Pierre Tomato – “a lovely French heirloom producing large, round, deep-red fruit full of rich flavour, even in adverse conditions.” The imagination leaps to a summer morning and the sight and the coppery smell of those plump, sweet fruits ...
Or the Vitamin Green - “organic seed, a quick growing, mild, very juicy, tasty, leafy green. Soft, bright-green leaves with a juicy white mid-rib. Harvest individual leaves from the young stage to maturity. Good for stir fries and steaming.”
But does this amazing, all-purpose beauty really grow in ordinary gardens? Only one way to find out.
What about the herb Elecampane, described as “handsome with large velvety leaves and big, bright yellow flowers somewhat like sunflowers ... the root used to be candied and eaten as sweetmeat”.
And I like the sound of Tokyo Bekana with its “young lettuce-like ruffled foliage ... light green, crisp, sweet and tender, hardy and easy.”
And so it goes. Temptation gets the better of the aspirational gardener again.
Michael Self of Phoenix Seeds, who produces the delightful catalogue and many of the seeds from his home and garden in Tasmania, encourages seed saving and swapping.
Here’s hoping, Michael.