09 March 2006


Just when I was beginning to despair, some seeds I planted almost a month ago have finally appeared. The tiny first leaves of either Clarkia or Lobelia or both were just visible through the carpet of camellia petals (not as picturesque as it sounds: see?) this morning. And last night I spotted a single stem still struggling to unbend itself in a makeshift flat on the porch. I'm not sure what this is because I didn't label the flats, but it's either piquillo pepper from Spanish seeds or za'atar ("Syrian oregano") I got from Johnny's -- I'm a sucker for rare herbs. In fact, if anyone knows where I can score pebrella (wild Spanish thyme), let me know.

Why are seeds so hard? I actually like waiting for other things -- for plants to bloom, or to stop blooming in the case of the camellias -- but I just can't stand looking at the same bare splotch of potting soil and wondering if I fucked it up somehow. Then, of course, when the seedlings come up, the feeling is that much sweeter.


More on names: On the other hand, sometimes the name alone makes you want to grow a plant. Félicité et Perpétue is a beautiful rambling rose, but anyone who knows the sad story will find it especially hard to resist. But Tess of the d'Urbervilles might be too sad for my garden.


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