Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Seduction of Seeds

The last time I went to the garden center I was very strict with myself. I only allowed myself 6 seed packets. To me, they are practically irresistible. Such charming, quaint illustrations! Usually I go for the old-fashioned, heirloom varieties that Botanical Interests sells. But the luscious photos of plump, tender peas on the more mainstream packets draw me in, too. And they're rarely more than a couple of dollars. What can a few extra seed packets hurt? Of course, this means that downstairs in our seed box we have packets upon packet of seeds, some, I confess, unopened. But to me seeds are a pure expression of hope and potential. In honor of seeds, here is a poem I love by an exceptional girl I know, when she was in second grade (I used to edit the annual poetry anthology at our elementary school):

As My Seed Grows
by Audrey Deutsch

As my little tiny seed grows
I will water it and give it sunshine
as my seed grows. As my seed grows
I will sometimes put it in the shade
if it gets too hot as my seed grows.
As my seed grows I swear never to
pick it cross my heart as my seed
grows. As my seed grows I will bring
it to class as my show-’n’-tell
surprise as my seed grows. As
my seed grows I will love it
as if my seed was my brother
as my seed grows. As my seed
grows inside of my seed is
a vision of my seed when it
is a flower as my seed grows. Now
as my seed grows it is no longer
a seed it is now my beautiful
spring flower and still it will
always be my seed. As my seed

On Valentine's Day I planted some of the seeds I bought. It was warm and sunny, and those seed packets were staring up at me so seductively. On the unplanted side of the raised bed, I planted Purple Haze and Chantenay (regular orange) carrots. Sprinkled among them are some French Breakfast radish seeds. Down the middle of the bed I planted bush peas. The western side are peas from Slide Ranch (not sure if they’re sugar snap or what), from several years ago; the eastern side are Novella shelling peas from 2003. Peas are usually pretty reliable, but we’ll see what comes up. I artfully arranged the grapevine cuttings over them to protect against the cats, who have not yet bothered the raised bed. Slugs and snails have not yet discovered the raised bed, either. I cross my fingers. I hope.

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