My January seed order has always been such a big tradition in my life, and this year had a little bit more sentimentality. I did this for years and years with my uncle; we would gather around his table, coffee and pastries around us while my aunt fussed about around us. We planned our gardens, planted them together when they arrived, discussed our harvests.. it was our thing. And now they are both gone, my uncle and my aunt. Big memories around this one tradition.
Last year, my uncle had “retired” from gardening and I had a fun garden and seed planning morning with my sister-in-law Chrissy and my niece. This year, though, we couldn’t get together. We tried to find a safe way, but with the weather we decided to forgo it.
But my husband and son came to the rescue! Billy knew I was feeling sad about it this year, and he and Wyatt gallantly stepped in.
We made it a pastry picnic! We spread out a cheery quilt, and all piled on top surrounded by seeds and books and pastries and pencils, and dug in. We looked over the seeds we had left from last year and the year before, made a list of what we still needed (emphasis on need not want, since we just don’t have space in our house for starting all the seeds we want lol), and Billy threw together a quick sketch of a garden plan. We didn’t need to order too many vegetables, as we are good on those still, and Billy has been wanting to start a cut garden, so it all worked out. We picked out flower seeds, which was really fun – neither of us really know too much about flowers so we just chose based on what sounded and looked pretty! I enjoyed the planning with my guys. My uncle would have been happy to see it.
Then, I actually got to the ordering! I went to the quiet basement office, took a glass of wine and my laptop, and started the process. And discovered it wasn’t as easy as previous years! Some seed companies are a month behind processing orders due to COVID, others were not taking orders from non-commercial growers (and I understand that), and other companies were sold out of a lot of seeds already! So if you are sitting on a seed order or wish list, you may want to put it in now. I made adjustments and swaps, and still ordered what we needed plus flowers for Billy’s flower gardens, it just took a bit longer, but that was ok. And I ordered something special as well: a lemon tree in honor of my uncle. My uncle grew a lemon tree from a single seed from a lemon he had used cooking, and he was understandably so proud of it. It is one of the plants I think of when I think of gardening with my uncle. I have to wait until spring for it to arrive, which makes sense with the cold temperatures and shipping right now, but I am so excited to get it. It is definitely something to look forward to!
This year we will also have another new addition to our yard – elderberry bushes. Billy has wanted these for years and finally ordered them. The cuttings arrived and are happily sitting in the window, awaiting their time to be planted outside. It will be here sooner than we think!
All of my seeds have now shipped and I will be checking the front porch a million times a day to see if they have arrived, until they get here. Until then, we can dream of gardens and flowers and color and vegetables from inside our cozy house, eating soup and homemade bread and finding what flowers we can to get us to spring.