I received the last of my back-ordered seeds yesterday (soybean Beer Friend, Par-Cel cutting celery, skirret and Kablouna calendula mix). I woke up pretty late last night and had some trouble getting back to sleep, and my mind kept going over my current seeds, and my seed-starting past.
In that past, calendulas were overlooked. They were too dry, too low. I was an “eyecandy gardener” in my city house, and concentrated mainly on tall-growing perennials that tolerated some shade. I had a pretty nice setup in the basement by the gigantic octopus gravity furnace where the growlights were suspended on adjustable chains above a nice raised table large enough to grow hundreds of seedlings. Often, my friends were the beneficiaries of many of those baby plants, and at the time, I had a lot of gardening friends.
Minneapolis in the early-mid 1990s was a place that young-ish types like me (an architect with a tiny salary) could buy decent, older houses in hip neighborhoods, and fix them up. (Now, well, like most of the country, you can’t buy anything there under $300K: hardly a bargain.) So those young-ish homeowning gardeners got my extra seedlings. I remember well going to my friend Jason’s house and just falling over at the size and amazing color of the foxgloves I had given him: these puppies got to be 3.5′ tall, and I remember one was a deep burgundy. I ADORE foxgloves. And they never grew for me in my shady yard!
Now, well, I can grow foxgloves. I have the sun. And I will be growing hundreds of seedling again, but selfishly, I will hoard them all!