I started my first seeds last weekend -- leeks, lobelia, and something new I want to try this year, artichokes. Lobelia 'Crystal Palace' is always the first of the flower seeds I put under the grow lights. I plant some every year for its stunning deep blue flowers. The blossoms are tiny but when the plants are grouped en masse, they practically glow in summer's dusk. They're just beautiful, and they are super-low maintenance once established.
The artichokes fall into the "wouldn't it be nice if I could grow some of those" category, but I'm not holding my breath. I've never seen artichokes offered at the farmers' markets around here, and that's a sign that I'm probably pushing my luck. Artichokes are a perennial plant and it might not be until next year until I see a choke, if I even get that far with them. We'll see. This is definitely an experiment.
Here's a picture of my seed stash. Last year I had just one bucketful of seeds; I've since added a stuffed-to-the-brim shoebox. This past weekend I had the best intention of going through all those seeds and throwing away the oldest ones that I'll probably never plant. Like the cucumbers. Somewhere along the way I accumulated a lot of cucumber seeds. I have some packets in there dating back to 2004 and 2005 -- some of them unopened. My eyes were bigger than my garden plot back then, clearly.
I ended up composting only about 10 packets of seeds, mostly the unwanted cucurbits. I really have trouble getting rid of the excess. I always think, maybe THIS will be the year I'll plant those extra beans from 2006, or maybe THIS will be the year I'll plant that free packet of flower seeds I got in 2007 when I didn't have the space for them.
But if past behavior is any indication of the future...
What can I say? My seed stash looks pretty much the same after my half-hearted vetting process. And I just received 7 new packets of seeds -- my mail order from Seed Savers Exchange. I'm popping the lid off another shoebox.