By Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster, Herb Society of America
After cleaning up Christmas decorations, I was ready for armchair gardening season. My first purchase was The Whole Seed Catalog from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. To me it’s the Holy Grail of seed catalogs – 356 pages of unusual, exotic and often extreme vegetables, herbs and flowers from around the world.
I raced through 272 pages of lushly illustrated vegetable porn to get to the herb section. I’ll return later to read about one-pound beets, rainbow corn and celtuce.
In the herb section I savored descriptions from ashwaganda to yarrow. I can’t decide which of the 21 basils I want to grow. I want to try Moldavian balm, a purple-flowered tea herb in the mint family. I could grow dandelion, mullein, nettle and purslane instead of foraging them. But why?
Safflower, toothache plant, white horehound … I want, want, want.
Four pages of new herbs for 2018 include three perillas, oyster leaf and self heal, among others.
While the herb section ends at page 290, the herb options continue in a 50-page flower section. Stars include calendula and milkweed. My favorites are the 11 nasturtium and five edible pansy options. Both are impressive in salads.
From the books and gifts section I may order Clyde’s Garden Planner, just $3.
If you don’t want to spend $9.99 on the full-blown catalog, consider ordering the shorter, free version. Then, settle into your armchair and circle your faves. Better yet, order them and get growing.