Marty's Gardening Journal February 6th, 2014


Seed and plant catalogs have started to arrive. I take my time looking through them, drooling over new plants or plant combinations. I wanted to buy a seed starting mat; something that provides a bit of heat under your newly planted seeds to encourage them to grow faster. Looking online I discovered there are many different types and couldn’t make up my mind which one to purchase. That brought me to check the availability of different seeds online. I had come across a Kong Coleus plant in a nursery which was being trained into a tree form. Too expensive to buy, I realized all I had to do was get some seeds and start training my own Kong coleus plants into miniature trees. None of the catalogs at home had Kong coleus seeds, but an English firm sold seed for a number of different King coleus varieties. I picked out the variety pack with 15 seeds and placed it in my – virtual - cart. Oh, look, if you order $40 worth of seed you get free shipping to the US. What else could I find? I wanted to grow some more Castor Bean plants from seed (beans), but they didn’t carry those. Wait, Johnny’s seed catalog carries those, both the green and the red variety. Back and forth I went, adding seed packets to my cart trying to get to that magic $40 threshold for free shipping. Half way there, I abandoned my cart. Who was I kidding? All I need is a few Kong Coleus plants and if I wait two more months I can probably find them at a nursery for a low price.


 Meanwhile there are two tiny coleus plants growing in an orchid pot. Somehow some seeds from the garden found their way into an orchid vacationing in the gazebo over spring and summer. Maybe I’ll transplant these two plants and cultivate those in miniature trees. They won’t get as big as a Kong coleus, but it will give me something to do.


 Then there are more plants blooming. The first moth orchids (Phalaenopsis) are in bloom; the dancing ladies (Oncidium) are blooming too and the second slipper orchid (Paphiopedilum) has opened. My amaryllis is just about ready to open up and two hyacinth blooms provide fragrance throughout the house. But it is still not enough. I won’t be happy until I can go outdoors again. However, with more snow storms in the near future that, however, does not seem very likely any time soon. ARGH!