Little things make me happy

Just got my hands on the 2013 Territorial Seed Company catalog today.  With the Johnny’s catalog in my right hand and Territorial in my left, I feel there is little I cannot accomplish as a gardener, provided that I am also holding the Peaceful Valley catalog in my teeth (more on Peaceful Valley in a later post).
Anyway, seeing that catalog made me happy, but that’s not the little thing I mean in the title.  A seed catalog is a big thing, a dense collection of plant information, combined with tools, books, biological controls (nematodes, ladybugs), and the like.  In as many classes as I’ve taught on gardening, I’ve always stressed that anyone interested in improving his or her growing should read and re-read his or her seed catalogs all season long. Yes, don’t put them aside after the mid-winter revels of  seed ordering, because often the information contained within will only really catch our attention when we have a garden problem confronting us, and that’s not likely to be the case from the armchair in February. 
What I like about this year’s Territorial catalog is apparent from the front, without even opening it up (though I recommend doing that, too).  First, there is a sticker affixed to the cover that says 75 cents and under it the words “Growing Guide”.  Those two things make me happy because I got the catalog for free, so I realize I saved 75 cents, and I like the fact that Territorial sees the catalog like I do, as a growing guide, as a reference book, a garden manual of sorts, rather than merely a paper showroom for its newest seeds.  Second, this year’s catalog, for the first time I can remember, has a squared-off spine, versus the stapled, pointy spine of years past.  This again signals to me that it’s more like a book, more like something you’d want to keep on your bookshelf for years to come (or at least until next year’s catalog comes out) rather than send it to the recycling bin right after the seed order is done.  I know my wife wishes I would send so many of the seed catalogs and other garden materials I have collected over the years (including books, imagine!) to the recycling bin or to Goodwill, but that is another matter entirely and beyond the scope of this blog.
So “Growing Guide” stickers and squared-off spines, these are the little things that have brought me pleasure today.  And the big happy thing was getting my Territorial Seed Catalog.  Since this is the last of the major seed catalogs that I rely on, it signals that I may now complete my seed order, and soon a small package of garden concentrate – that being my entire garden’s seeds in a box – will arrive at my doorstep, needing only water, soil, and my time and skill to expand into an amazing, nutritious garden.