It’s only December

“It’s only December!” the Brit said as I looked through the Value Seeds site. “What are you going to do in January?”
Let me point out that he is the one who called up the site–and left it up. What was he thinking? Was this supposed to be a test of my willpower? And how did he remember it anyway? I hadn’t bookmarked it.
This is the site that sells Thompson & Morgan’s leftovers for 99 cents a packet or less, plus a flat shipping charge regardless of quantity. We ordered 15 packets of flowers, tomatoes, herbs and vegetables last winter (and opened just about all of them, even used up some packets). The Brit had opened to a page showing deep purple Nicotiana (flowering tobacco)–just the sort of color I fall for. We liked the Nicotiana we grew this year but didn’t get the scent we expected. These seem to promise more. Click.
We ordered a couple other flowering tobaccos that worked well for us this past season, plus two packets of zinnias (I’m particularly excited about the red ones) and some cascading petunias.
I know I just told someone I only plant heirloom tomatoes, and it’s not like I don’t have plenty of tomato seeds already, but I couldn’t resist the sungolds (hybrid cherry tomatoes, billed as incredibly sweet, enough to make children who say they don’t like tomatoes change their mind). I think the black cherry tomatoes are heirlooms, though they aren’t described that way. Click. Click.
Add some white cukes for the Brit and more flowers, a bit of discipline (no burgundy Okra or broken-colored Four O’Clocks) and we got ourselves down to 14 packets and just under $16.
I’m happy to swap seeds from some of the packets (20 white cucumber seeds is more than enough, and I’d like some different types of squash. And 2000 seeds of sapphire trailing lobelia is more than enough too!). Come January or so, I’ll arrange a tomato-seed swap by mail for those who are interested.

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Homegrown containers

Overflowing with petunias
Overflowing with petunias

The Brit gets all the credit for these jam-packed containers of petunias (I can only claim the yellow calendulas), begun under the grow lights and now dazzling our deck (and a bit of the front bed).
We opted for containers after the rabbit nibbled off the flowers of all the red petunias within days of planting them last year. Our only quibble this time is that all the nearly white ones ended up in one pot.
Unfortunately we haven’t had as much success with the night phlox. Or the knautia, which has disappeared after being planted in beds. We now intend to use the rhubarb bed to get perennials big and healthy before moving them to more permanent sites.