Sunday, November 13, 2016
The time has come for seed catalogs. They arrive in the mail and are so enticing. The morning glory above is blooming this morning, surrounded by seedheads that might germinate for a future set of blooms. It encourages me to think beyond the here and now, into the misty future.
I also received some sweet pea seeds that I ordered last spring. There is a one day event in Sebastopol every May where you can go see the sweet peas in bloom and order seeds for planting yourself. In our area the best time to plant is now (as long as I am watchful and keep the snails and slugs away from the seedlings). Our winters are usually mild enough that the seedlings become strong by January or February and we get early, beautiful, sweet smelling flowers.
The morning glories have already self-seeded by the hundreds. Some will surely live to brighten a spring morning!
Planting seeds is foolhardy in a way because if conditions are not right, they don't sprout or they don't thrive. They can get eaten by various bugs and other predators before they can grow or bloom. The heat can wither them if too hot in the early spring...and all it takes is one day. With veggies there are all kinds of predators to contend with.
Still, I plant them, year after year. To me it is a given that I will plant seeds and have a garden. It is part of my ways of connecting with Mother Earth. It is hopeful. It is a recognition of the ephemeral nature of things and that life has cycles, which are all good in their own ways. A time to plant, a time to tend the plants, a time to harvest, a time to die...and then to plant again.
It is also the nature of plants here in Northern California to be thrown by shifts in temperatures. We had lots of rain in October, a bit earlier than usual. Now it is sunny and warmer than usual. Some plants might experience this as the coming of spring. We'll just have to see.