Cro's mention of taking cuttings and growing soft fruits in his last blog post got me thinking about how much I want to have a garden of my own. His "Haddocks" is a joy to read about. I love the idea of growing most of the fruits and vegetables that the family eats.
Something most people reading here probably don't know about me is that I used to do a fair bit of gardening. I spent a large chunk of my twenties slightly obsessed with growing heirloom tomatoes and trading seeds with other similarly obsessed people from all over the world. I grew dozens of plants in my small rental backyard and in large containers each year, and also kept fairly good notes on all the varieties that I tried. Most years I'd also grow a few pepper plants with the odd cucumber thrown in along with the tomatoes. The soil was a challenge and I spent years improving it, even going so far as having a small compost bin that I worked on faithfully. Just when the garden soil was finally getting nice and fertile, we moved. Since then I've been reluctant to put so much effort into doing that again in a rental house. We're finally starting to make plans to find a realtor and to buy a home of our own, and it will have to have a good yard for making a garden!
Even though I'm not in a place right now to do any seed starting, this time of year always reawakens the urge in me to do just that. I find myself browsing the seed catalogs and daydreaming about what I'd pick if I could. Something about the lengthening days at the end of January calls to my soul, and I want to see tiny delicate green sprouts popping up. Normally when germinating vegetable seeds I'd start about 6 weeks before our average last frost date, which around here ends up being early to mid February. It's almost time!