Oh, to order or not to order. That is the question sparked by the buy $25 worth, get $25 free stickers on each. In years past, I would pile up the catalogs, making lists, even spreadsheets noting what I was ordering from each of the tomes of impulse purchasing.
Then the boxes would come. Don’t get me wrong; there are deals to be had. But the tiny little pots and (heavy sigh) bareroots aren’t exactly like shopping at the nursery. The items are extremely infant and a little sad and lonely when treated like a nursery-sized perennial in the border.
I now let myself have one order, because the half off deal on the cover is as titillating as the weight loss headlines on the checkout magazine covers. Its a shot of encouragement on a 5 below January night.
So I treat myself to the one indulgent order. But I follow a few maxims:
1. No bareroots (read the fine print) unless the plant is a real must-have.
2. Ignore #1 if it’s a delicious plant that is typically started from bareroot in the spring, like a dahlia or canna.
3. Splurge on a perennial that is tough to find, like Blue Sea Holly.
4. Get an unusual houseplant. Like a Myer Lemon Tree.
5. Go for the attractively priced trees and shrubs if size doesn’t matter to you.
6. Buy something that you never would without seeing it in a seed catalog, like a grow your own mushroom box.
Most of all, commit to changing your plans the evening that the box comes from the catalog warehouse, ususally somewhere in Ohio or Michigan. Though they are a bit of a pain, the seed catalog is a piece of gardening history that I hope never goes away.