Thursday, June 23, 2011


Personally I do not have much enthusiasm for planting seeds in the garden. The East Bay soil (where my daughter's roses thrive) runs toward clay -- heavy, dense, not very breathable. For seeds it must be lightened with mulch or compost, which means digging up the whole bed, and laziness usually prevents that. Nonetheless early in May, against my inclination, that is what I did. Shown here is the resulting mixture of cosmos and bachelor button seedlings, now a couple of inches high and manifestly flourishing. And it's true that if the seeds sprout at all and the seedlings thrive well enough to reach this height, the grown plants are likely to outperform plants from the nursery that have to endure more disturbance. Probably the relatively cool weather this year helped to bring these specimens along slowly so that their roots could keep up with their foliage. Next comes the painful job of thinning them out. It seems wanton to destroy some of the very sprouts one has anxiously nurtured, but the greater good demands it.