We can all dream of the coming spring, when the snow will be gone and the flowers will be in bloom. Until then, we've got gardening catalogs to pore over. (PhotoDisc)
We human beings often crave what we cannot have. My current craving as I write this column is not illegal, extravagant or even high in calories. Forty-five degrees and nonstop sunshine for a week running will fill the bill. I am weary of wearing ice cleats on my boots when going to and from my car and shoveling snow.
The closest I have come to a truly warm ray of sunshine this winter was a week ago when I pulled the 2014 Klehm’s Song Sparrow Farm and Nursery catalog from my mailbox. The photos are truly stunning — dozens of luscious peonies and breathtaking frilly edged day lilies. Huge gatherings of vibrant Echinaceas and colorful, shade-loving Hellebores. And a woodie and conifer collection to tempt even the most complacent homeowner. If you placed an order from Songsparrow in 2012 or 2013, you will receive a complimentary catalog. If not, you can order one ($10) on their website, www.songsparrow.com, or call (800) 553-3715. The complete catalog, along with additional offerings, is also available free online, but you will miss the rays of sunshine streaming from your mailbox
More rays of sunshine
“Moments of Delight,” a photo journal celebrating the beauty of everyday life through the eyes of Michigan author and photographer Anne Reeves, might well be called “Moments of Sunshine.” While not a gardening book, its pages are filled with sumptuous flowers — especially David Austin roses and Peonies.
The dead of winter is a perfect time to collect and even test a recipe or two made of vegetables or fruits you are thinking of growing. Knowing how you plan to use them makes choosing and growing edibles easier and a lot more fun anticipating the harvest. Anne includes several mouthwatering recipes, such as blueberry chutney, along with tempting photos.
“Have you been to the library lately?” asks Anne. If you need to get out of Dodge, but can’t afford the price a stagecoach ride, you can travel anywhere for free in a library.
Available on Amazon for $35, “Moments of Delight” would make a fabulous valentine gift for that special love or bud in your life. You can see more of Anne’s “moments” at www.anadesigns.blogspot.com.
Timely tip: Bordine’s of Rochester Hills has their seed packets on sale at 50 percent off throughout February. All English Gardens stores are selling seed packets at 40 percent off through Feb. 24. For a gift that keeps on giving, tuck a packet or two of flower seeds in that valentine.
Nancy Szerlag is a master gardener and a Metro Detroit freelance writer. Her column appears Friday’s in Homestyle. To ask her a question go to Yardener.com and click on Ask Nancy. You can also read her previous columns at detroitnews.com/homestyle.