I received my first gardening catalog of the season today, from Nichols Garden Nursery, and I applaud them for sending me one now to take advantage of this daydreamy wintertime mood that’s already beset me. It’s their 60th birthday edition, and they have an adorable drawing on the front cover of barnyard animals having a party to celebrate. The hen and the rabbit are carrying a banner after my own heart; it says, “Veggies & Flowers for All.”
By the way, I don’t get paid to endorse anybody. I like Nichols for several reasons, one of the big ones being that they are charter signers of the Safe Seed Pledge.
This year, I’m enjoying the fact that the catalog contains excerpts from their catalogs going back six decades, with the original text and prices. In fact, they’re selling some of these old-timey varieties still — and for their anniversary celebration, charging the original prices (as low as 25 cents!) on six of the classics.
Plus, did I mention they have 22 varieties of basil? Yes, I counted.
And they have the Grandpa Ott’s morning glory that I photographed all summer and that was one of my loves in the Victory Garden, with its fairy-dust-like, silvery-white pollen, pinstriping, and glorious, glowing color. Not to mention the red star. Its gorgeous violet bud is pictured above. It even looks good when dying. (With all those links, can you tell I like writing about this morning glory?)
Of course, I don’t need seed for that. I have plenty saved up for next year, since it’s an open-pollinated variety. I mention it in case you were interested in trying it in your garden next season. I wouldn’t blame you. Really.
About the only drawback to this company is, of course, that their focus is on their own region, in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, to be precise), and so many things they sell just won’t be suitable for South Carolina… but will still, unfortunately, make me long for them. Just to name one example from today: old-fashioned, fragrant sweet peas.
Still, there’s plenty for a Southern girl to put on her list. Maybe too much.
Here’s a question for all you avid gardeners: Can a garden ever be large enough to contain the gardener’s imagination?