In one of L.M. Montgomery's Emily books, Emily and her Cousin Jimmy spend time on wintry days poring over seed catalogues and planning out their garden. I can highly recommend this activity. While I do love winter, there is something rather sweet about gazing out on your sleeping garden -- desolate and withered -- and then turning to a gardening catalogue, whose robust, vibrant photographs of potential bounty verily drive the grey away.
I received a new catalogue yesterday from a company called Burpee. They're out of Pennsylvania. Right smack dab on the cover was the largest tomato I have ever seen (Shown actual size! -- each tomato, they claim, weighs in at 2 lbs., 5 1/2" tall, 5" wide! Holy moly!). Ah, now that was a bit of exquisite torture. Tomatoes are perhaps my favorite garden fruit. I have been known to munch my way through several a day -- especially when they're in season; especially if I can snag a few harvested from a friend's garden. They are one of the foods that really taste discernibly better when they are grown at home. Alas, alack, I have no talent for growing them. In part I blame the lingering drizzle of the PNW that covers my garden all the way up through the middle of July and then returns toward the end of September. Tomatoes need a childhood drenched in sunshine. Yet, my neighbor across the cul-de-sac manages to harvest enough to share every year. He must have a sunny spot . . . or just the knack.
I do not think I'll ever get a satisfying batch of tomatoes until I get a Grow Camp. So, there's the dream: Sell the car; buy a Grow Camp! Or, maybe my studly carpenter husband will build me something similar (but prettier). He's already planning on building me a Rabbit Mansion for our buns for my next birthday (in September -- I like how he realistically gives himself a lot of time). He's built me a compost bin and Sadie a treehouse already. You know, as much as I love Mr. Darcy from P&P, I think I've always loved Almanzo Wilder from the Little House books a bit better -- because he built Laura a house (with an awesome pantry!!). Something so delicious about a man who can build things.
An easy carpentry project for Jason will be to make a couple 4'X4' raised cedar beds for Sadie in the spring. She's going to start her own little garden, into which she insists she will put a plastic flamingo. Kitschy! So, I think I'll have a buddy with whom to mentally devour all the gardening catalogues that come our way this winter. Here's to knowing that spring will come, that spring will always come! Happy garden dreaming!