Seedaholic and the Quest to Grow the Elusive Blue Poppy

I just received my super cozy, and decidedly well packaged package of seeds from a delightful nursery in Ireland.  (God bless the internet.)  Seedaholic is a place that I found in the wee hours of the morning, as I dig deeper and deeper into the world of rare and exotic flowers from across the globe.  The seeds came stapled to handouts citing nomenclature, habitat, sowing instruction and photos.  SO COZY!


My garden has long since been amended, as the soil in SF tends to be heavy clay.  Trusty Reynaldo got out the shovel and with 30 bags of compost he dug the entire garden down 12″ creating a fluffy but still a touch dense canvas of soil in and on which I have been planting like a madman.  Yes, this is indeed an obsession of mine, planting bulbs, corms, seeds, tubers, rhizomes, etc etc etc.  (No veggies as I have yet to satisfy my thirst for a garden resplendent with blooms, accented by fine conifers.)


The only problem with this obsession. (Is there not always a troublesome quirk that irks when one is obsessed?) I cannot remember where I planted all my 1,240 bulbs.  So I gently raked the soil into a fine tilth and after sitting quietly and staring at the open spaces, trying to remember where the Casablanca Lilies and daffodils and fritillaria and hyacinths were planted, I began to sow the seeds.  And while many of these may not make it as I am unwilling to follow the oft tiresome instructions of constant temperatures and thrice transplanting, I am confident that the soil is in a sufficient state to nourish the likes of Himalayan Blue Poppy, Bunny Tails, Windflower, Sunflowers (YAY!) and the ever fair and super easy White Cosmos among other fantastic varieties.

I am super grateful to have a garden.  And while it is not the best look, I often find my hands blissfully beaten up and callused from work in the dirt.  I never wear gloves.  When I need gloves for roses and blackberries, I, well, I call staff and have them take care of that part.  I just hate the feeling of gloves on my hands, but I digress.

  I know not everybody in our fair city has access to the ground.  But I guaran-damn-tee you that there are plenty of places in town that could use a quick planting of say sunflowers or nasturtiums.  Additionally, there are many beautiful plants and flowers that one can grow in containers INSIDE and outside of your apartment, condo or home.  Surprisingly to most, the number one and two killers of indoor plants are overwatering and lack of fresh air respectively.  So should you choose to keep plants and or flowers in your home, and to grow them yourself, please remember they are tougher than you think, and like you, they like a bit of sun on their face and fresh air.

I will be sure to keep you posted about progress and germination.  Many of you reading this will be the lucky recipient of some of the jewels in my garden in forthcoming arrangements.  Others will have the opportunity to be part of a fundraising Easter Egg Hunt I am planning for friends and clients to benefit organizations who are dedicated to brining musical instruments into classrooms.  By then, the garden will be an embarrassment of riches-the perfect backdrop for my weighty French toast and fluffy cheesy eggs.  Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s of course.

Get in the dirt!  Smell it and touch it.  Find yourself wiping a dirty hand across your forehead and breathe in the deep sweet air that is all around you.


John James