I have received a half dozen garden catalogs over the last few weeks. They are filled with big beautiful photos of colorful flowers and plants. They tantalize the latent garden-lover in me with the promise of new colors and shapes that can be added to my beloved garden.
I look at all the photos of flowers in these catalogs the same way I used to look at the bare-chested Peter Frampton or the adorably impish Davy Jones in teen magazines when I was young – with an excitement and wistful daydream that I could be in the universe that they are in. But the operative term here is wistful. Looking outside at the gray malaise that is our North Dakota winter I know that daydreaming is all I have for now.
I must say though, this year, more than any year prior, I have been of the mind that folks like me – folks who love their flower gardens and live in areas with very short growing seasons – are a vulnerable population. These garden catalog folks know that by mid-February the longing for spring is increasing exponentially. Every day the desire to see a hint of green or any early budding bulb flower grows stronger. Hence, I have mixed feelings about these catalogs coming here to North Dakota at this time. In addition to my delight, I harbor a bit of irritation that these companies are targeting vulnerable populations who would just about kill at this point to be out puttering in their gardens with all their lovely growing friends. I think they sell both hope and despair.
Yet, even though I know that I am a ripe target for all things garden at this juncture, I still willingly engage with the catalogs – I cannot help myself. I yearn for the days of color and sunshine in my garden. And while I am not advocating for a ban on gardening catalogs in states with enduring winters, I am giving a shout-out to others like me. I want all the others that have salivated over the newest color variation of iris or ever-blooming rose in a gardening catalog to know that they aren’t alone in their daydreams. I am right there with them. In acknowledging our vulnerability collectively we become stronger…and it doesn’t hurt to order a little something to hold you over until May.
Day one thousand three hundred and thirty-nine of the new forty – obla di obla da