Seed Catalogs

by Alanna


They arrive like expected guests

In the days after the New Year

A steady parade of seed catalogs

All shapes and sizes

From varying corners of the country

Filled with beckoning colored photographs

Of fruit, vegetable, & bloom waiting to fill the garden

Ready to awaken the winter-weary to a fresh frame of mind

The possibilities of the planting season.


Some years I resist the seed sirens

But this year I succumb to their call

What magic can I coax from the soil this year?

Cardoons caught my eye- exotic relatives of the artichoke

Never seen nor tasted one

Live dangerously.  I write its number down.

Then comes green beans. There are 35 different varieties

All with tantalizing descriptions.  How to pick?

I choose a pole bean named Musica

“This magnificent pole bean produces a massive crop of huge tender beans over a long season…..”

How can I miss?

Onto an arugula named “Speedy”

Then the grand finale- melons!

Dare I plant melons in my NW Oregon soil?

I accept the challenge and pick an early cantaloupe

Then not one but TWO watermelons- an early variety

And the one named MOON & STARS (which I know is delicious).


The soil is tilled.

The seeds have all arrived

Sleeping in their tidy paper packets

Waiting to be planted

And I, having seemingly forgotten about leaf miners, aphids, and weeds,

As with my garden fatigue from last Fall

Can hardly wait for the show to begin.


Photo by the author

as also seen on





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