I stood in the middle of a long wall displaying seeds from many sources and took this shot looking one way
then turned to my left and took another shot. This impressive display is at Garden Fever in NW Portland. The catalogs have provided me with reading, dreaming and planning time in the off season, but why would I pay postage on top of the price of the seed when I can walk into this shop and find anything my little green heart desires. Now, if you happen to live far from the madding crowds, nothing could be more inspiring than a package of unusual seed delivered straight to your doorstep. The colored photos of the end results of planting these seeds are nothing short of inspiring. Come to think of it, I’d best send in a token order just so this source of inspiration will not dry up. For now, though, here is what I will be starting indoors before my next trip to Garden Fever to pick up a few more little magical nuggets of life.
From Botanical Interest, formerly Renee’s Garden, if I am not mistaken: ‘Kentucky Wonder’ pole beans, Zinnia ‘Envy’ and Agastache rupestris. Each of these seed packets is a little work of art, with a watercolor rendering of the mature plant encapsulated in each tiny seed. From Seeds of Change, in an environmentally friendly package, green deer tongue lettuce. From Seed Savers Exchange, Aunt Molly’s ground cherry, or Physalis pruinosa. This last is a nostalgic pick, as I fondly remember the ground cherry preserves made by my great-grandmother. The plainest packets in the racks shown above are from Nichols Garden Nursery located here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. If you can find a seed source that is local, it will deliver a product reliably adapted to your own climate. For the run-of-the mill, stand-by veggies, you might as well shop at the local super market, where there may even be 50% off sales. The pennies saved can be applied to more exotic fare from the local garden center…or…the catalogs.