|Reality, late March in NB|
I am enthralled by the text in Veseys catalogue and spend a lot of time poring over the written descriptions. Evocative names like Indigo Treat blueberries, Applause tomatoes, Pay Dirt corn, Red Ace beets, Sugar Sprint peas, Noir des Carmes cantaloupe, Calypso cucumber, Star of Yelta morning glory, Snackface pumpkin and Kong sunflowers might have been penned by a writer of romance novels. There are passages loaded with adjectival phrases and similes that stir the imagination: cauliflowers with "beautiful lime green heads comprised of small pointed florets," tomatoes in the "one-slice-per-sandwich category," and pansies "with ruffled edges like whirling petticoats." Words like "synergistic", "uniform," "earliness" and "bolt resistant" seem to jump off the pages.
|Matthew Ridley (1848-1904) Wingfield Park, Lucknow, India|
My own modest gardens have been planted in soil native to Canada, Europe and South America under a wide range of climatic conditions. The Veseys website informs me that the last frost in this area (Zone 5A) of New Brunswick can occur as late as May 24th, and the first frost as early as September 27th! Four months is not a long growing season, but it's enough time to produce food for the table and freezer. It's long enough to engage in the annual cycle of digging, planting, weeding and harvesting that satisfies the need to get your hands dirty with authentic work. In the meantime, as the snow flies, I'm filling out my Veseys order form and dreaming of Espresso corn with "delicious 9" cobs, 16 rows, tapered ends and good tip coverage."
N.B. For a look at another paper garden, read about Mrs. Delany and her amazing botanical mosaics.