Gardening task for high temperatures: Catalogue surfing

It’s July, and everyone in the United States is coping with a heat wave. Although doing so detracts from the legitimacy of my sniveling, I must be honest and confess that temperatures here in my central NC garden are actually lower for this time of year than they have been in recent years. It seems absurd to say that 95 degrees (35C) is a reasonable summer temperature, but it’s all relative. That does not make it any easier to do the weeding.

I am proposing that gardeners across the US uniformly retreat from their landscapes, in the name of health and safety, and embrace that pastime that we usually celebrate in the darkest days of winter: catalogue gardening. Now is the ideal time to sit in the air-conditioned house, sip a cold beverage and plan the glories we’ll enjoy next spring. My new Van Engelen bulb catalogue has been insisting I make my plans before everyone else snaps up the Erythroniums I intend to add, or the Chionodoxas I have long wanted to try, or the Camassias with which I became enchanted after bittster showed off his photos of them in combination with Iris ‘Elsa Sass.’ It does not matter at all that Camassias are said to like moisture, and that I am unlikely to see a moist spring and summer like this one for another ten years.

Brent and Becky’s Bulbs has wonderful selections. Among the catalogs I intend to request are Old House Gardens, High Country Gardens, Sunshine Farm & Garden, and Easy to Grow Bulbs. If you have other favorites, do share.