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The catalogs are coming! October 1, 2013

Posted by ourfriendben in gardening, wit and wisdom.
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What a tempting and terrible time to be a gardener and food lover. Silence Dogood here. It’s that time of year, the time for fall planting, the time leading up to Christmas, the time when garden and food catalogs start filling our mailboxes and e-mail.

White Flower Farm. Logee’s. Horticulture Color Blends. Gethsemani Farms. Cowgirl Creamery. Peony’s Envy. Rare Find Nursery. Yow!!! When I see those gorgeous bulbs, peonies, and shrubs, when I see and read about the flavor of all those fabulous cheeses, well… I just want everything. And I know it’s urgent to plant things as early in fall as possible to give them time to put down a good root system before winter, not to mention that many cheeses are seasonal and sell out quickly. The heat is on! Can you relate?

I’ve always thought it was a cruel trick of fate that spring-flowering bulbs typically need to be planted in autumn. After all, you’re not exactly focused on daffodils and the like when the air is bright and crisp and you’re trying to find pumpkins and mums for fall decorating and enjoying the gorgeous fall leaf display. But worse still, all your own bulbs are long dormant, and you’re all too likely to chop into them while trying to add new bulbs. It’s not fair!!!

Still, I can’t help looking at daffodils and pastel tulip mixes and the like in White Flower Farm’s fall bulb catalog and drooling helplessly, like our black German shepherd, Shiloh, when I’m eating a cheese stick and she desperately wants a piece. (Don’t worry, she always gets the last bite.) I’m dying to order container edibles from Logee’s, like the ‘Day’ avocado and the variegated vanilla orchid (source of vanilla beans). Peonies are my favorite flowers. And checking out the gorgeous, colorful displays of foliage and berries on the shrubs in my area this time of year turns me a brilliant spring green. Why aren’t we growing those?!!

Then, with today’s mail, came the most dreadful blow (at least, as far as our bank account is concerned) of all: White Flower Farm’s Christmas catalog. It’s the first of October, for mercy’s sake, yet here it was, with everything I love in a single catalog.

There were the amaryllis, tempting me with stunning new varieties. I’ll admit, I normally can’t bear the beautiful paperwhites because I find the fragrance overwhelming (where others smell heaven, I smell underlying decay, as with Madonna lilies). But WFF was featuring some yellow-flowered types, and I was very tempted to try them and see if they’re less overpowering. And of course, there was an incredibly alluring assortment of fresh wreaths, table-toppers, door swags, and the like.

But what really killed me was that they’d added artisanal New England cheese assortments (and local maple syrup and artisanal honeys) to their catalog, even the best-looking homemade caramel I’d ever seen. Not to mention luscious citrus, a great assortment including blood oranges, ruby grapefruit, honeybell tangerines, Meyer lemons, and Cara Cara oranges.

Ow! They say the Devil’s in the details, but I think he must be lurking in those photographs and descriptions. My birthday’s coming up. Maybe I’ll just ask our friend Ben for one of each…

‘Til next time,




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