As certain as Kathleen's perspective story on catalogs are the piles of mine too...and all before Christmas. What ever happened to that first week of January catalog blitz?
This zone fiver, however, has a new dilemma this year with an addition of five more acres added to this property for the hedonistic pleasures and enslavement of gardening. Albeit, my mind set is on a vineyard and orchard, now I have to research and make decisions upon possible grazers ie; sheep and perhaps a guard animal such as a donkey or llama to protect the grazers from coyotes. I'm still cursing my entrace in the Master Gardening program which fed such notions and drives me to dreaming, working and the enslavement to the tasks of the growing season. Imagine! Five more acres to toil in the soil!
For this first year on this new addition, I'm keeping to a small wine & table grape vineyard (okay, 200 vines-I admit) ,eventually to hone my wine-making skills and a small orchard of 40-some grafted chestnut trees. What I'm going to do with all the harvest is still unknown and I'll whine about that indulgence later.
So, to dissipate my catalog fever I do two things. First, I obtained a Ephrems bottle cutter and began making vases out of wine bottles. Next I'll meander the gardens and begin cuttings of dormant flower quince, forsythia, cherry, apple, spirea, willows, etc for forced blooms to adorn the desks of my co-workers in this upcoming January month. My ideal is that for every minute I do these tasks, rather than pining over catalogs, I save myself hundreds of dollars. That's the theory anyway.
Now its a test of will, for as I hit send on this letter submission, those menacing piles of catalogs, just a few feet away, are like singing sirens drawing me to the shore of indulgence.
Well...one can never have too many blackberries or blueberries, I submit.
I was suck into the black hole of a Stark's catalog just last night - raspberries and blackberries and a Japanese hybrid gooseberry caught my nearly undivided attention for half an hour or so until I was rescued by a phone call.
And EXACTLY! Why do they torment us at Christmas time? What happened to sending out little prescriptive cures for cabin fever in January?