A recent blog post from Dee at Red Dirt Ramblings has reminded me that gardeners tend to be seed, bulb and plant hoarders. We buy more than we need. Well, who can say, really, what someone needs? What is a need? Maybe we need them for mysterious psychological reasons rather than for planting purposes.
I think seed, bulb and plant hoarding comes from our Pleistocene roots. Ten thousand years ago, all humans were hunter/gatherers and had been for millenia before then. Having a full larder meant that we would eat over the winter. I think shopping for seeds, bulbs and plants somehow addresses that old genetic drive to collect and store food.
Right now, my potting bench is full of 6-packs that I haven’t planted yet. I have two blueberry bushes in the yard still in their nursery pots. They’re going into their third spring at my house and they’re still not planted. And yet I will continue to buy more plants at the nursery.
I’ve practically filled my backyard with iris and narcissus bulbs in the past few weeks. I know that they will multiply and in a few years I’ll have more than I have room for. And yet I bought a couple more iris rhizomes the last time I was at Home Depot because they were cheaper than at Lowes. I have no idea where I’m going to put them.
Today Sylvana at Obsessive Gardener blogged about her uninventoried seed collection. When she did take stock, she discovered that she had seven packets of chives. And needed none since they’re perennial in her area (Wisconsin).
Oh, I’m guilty of seed-hoarding too. Big time. I save seeds from my heirloom vegetables. And I love to buy seeds. Can’t resist seeds. It’s those darn seed catalogs. They come in the dead of winter when most gardens and gardeners are dormant. We envision spring. We can picture how pretty those plants will look or how delicious those vegetables will taste. We’re seduced by the strange and exotic, and are just dying to try a new variety. And so we buy those pumpkin or corn seeds, knowing that we don’t really have room to grow them or that they generally don’t do well in our garden.
Hope springs eternal in the breast of a gardener, especially in the dying days of autumn, and the cold dead of winter. And so it should. Give in to the urge. Buy more crocus bulbs. Place that seed catalog order. Damn the inventory.