i love this time of year for the plethora of wonderful gardening mail order catalogs i receive. i can spend hours perusing the selection of plants and vegetables. i dream about the kind of garden i would have if only. if only i could garden full time. if only i had a country farmhouse with a large plot of land. if only i had access to free (or very cheap) muscle. if only the muscle was available and found me
this year's crop (pun intended) of gardening catalogs do not disappoint. take the new 2013 burpee catalog (not literally -- if you try to grab it, i'll smack your hand). this one is a feast for the eyes. my favorite part is the "new" section full of fun, new hybrids with entertaining names like "sweet thing hot pepper" on page 4. one 24" tall plant produces loads of 6-9" cayenne-shaped peppers that transition from green to yellow to orange to red. i imagine relaxing on the deck with a book, silently watching the peppers change colors like a family of chameleons. this makes me smile.
on page 7 i'm drawn to the "caracas carrot". only 2-3" long each carrot has a deep orange color and is loaded with flavor. i imagine myself reclining at the edge of the garden while munching on a juicy caracas and painting orange-filled paintings in my mind. this makes me smile.
and then there's the "sugar heart pea" on page 9. it's a 2012 taste test winner and totally fat free. i imagine an 8' x 10' room filled with 37 bushel baskets of different varieties of peas. in the middle of the green mounds is a wonderfully thin woman (me!) taking her fill of every single kind of 100% fat free pea. this makes me smile.
but as always, reality sets in. my gardens never live up to my expectations. i want to blame it on lack of muscle (be still my beating heart) but i know it's that my garden standards are a bit too high. i want to have meryl streep's garden in the movie it's complicated. her garden is an awesome arrangement of weed-free raised beds, each filled with a bounty of beautiful vegetables. i imagine it's me there in that garden in those super-cute bibs, with that adorable gardening hat and the harvest basket slung over my arm. the basket is filled with sweet thing peppers, caracas carrots and sugar heart peas, all the produce needed to make the awesome dinner i'm cooking for my faithful