Thursday, January 3, 2008

Garden Dreams

The deluge of seed catalogs has begun. J will be spending many a January evening pondering, planning and ordering while I graciously maintain spousal silence over the fact that he already has enough seeds to sow 157 gardens in addition to our own.
Certainly the vegetables, herbs and edible flowers he grows make my cooking easier and more interesting. If only the seed procurement were restricted to ordering from catalogs.
I love the tomatoes he grows from seeds liberated from Alain Ducasse's garden in Moustiers; I didn't love hiding the bathroom tumbler filled with water and seed goo at hotels throughout France. I find it charming that some of our artichoke plants started as seeds purchased from a little old lady in a tiny shop in Sienna; I find it uncharming that some of these plants have thorns designed to rip the skin off your leg as you walk by. And my least-favorite seed-acquisition memory: sitting at a business dinner in Tokyo where dessert consisted of exquisite little melon halves. As soon as I noticed a few seeds clinging to my portion, I knew what would happen. Hoping I was wrong, I glanced over at J, who was, indeed, flicking melon seeds into his napkin while several fellow guests pretended not to notice. And I pretended not to know J.

Tomorrow: a seed quest in Puglia involving a taxi-driver who spoke no English, a couple who speak no Italian and an deeply inadequate English-Italian dictionary.


rowena said...

What bliss! I should let you know that because of your gardening posts I kept after my husband to clear out the back lot which was thick with weeds and brambles. He finally cleared it, all of it in fact, in one weekend of Rambo-esque effort of weedwacking and hard work.

Let the seed collecting and ordering begin!

Lydia said...

I have a friend who is also a seed collector -- but she doesn't limit herself to vegetables. When we moved to our house, sh gave us some grass and wildflower seeds -- unlabeled, all tossed into a bag. So we tossed them on the ground, and waited to see what would come up!