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Seed Starting... The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat


In the cold, dark days of winter, when the only thing for entertainment is watching seeds grow, we put a lot of eggs into our seed trays. Since it's been years since I've started plants from seed--I thought I'd "practice" and plant some herbs--I rationalized it wouldn't be a waste of time as I could have a windowsill herb garden that would keep me going until spring.


I also started some lisianthus "seeds". I'm still wondering if there really was seed contained in the "pelletized seeds" I bought off of Ebay (in all honesty it looked like bagged dust). Again, dear reader, I implore you to buy your seeds from a reputable dealer. I thought I would try a few seeds (the claim was 15 pelletized mixed Echo lisianthus seeds) in an effort to avoid the higher shipping costs at Johnny's. Dumb move. What do they say--penny wise, pound foolish. Truth!


So... I started my mini herb garden--four basil, four parsley, and four cilantro seeds. As it stands right now--I have three basil, two parsely and two cilantro up! A little over a 50% success rate--I'm still holding out hope more will germinate, however, I am counting this as a victory! I've removed the greenhouse cover and will continue to baby my babies--I can taste the pesto now. Okay... maybe a bit optimistic, but I'm so happy to see something green (other than algae).


Now let's turn our attention to my lisianthus "seed". I am moving into week four and I have yet to see a speck of green. Each morning and night I religiously make the pilgramage to my seed starting room (a.k.a. my rarely used formal dining room)--I remove the greenhouse cover, and stare intently--looking for some sign of life. Tonight I swear I saw something. I blinked, trying to focus my tired eyes, only to lose it. I am coining this phenomena as Lisianthus Mirage Syndrome (LMS). While I know it's time to give up the ghost, I still am holding out hope. I tend to my empty seedling tray as if those "seeds" will miraculously germinate--I water, provide warmth, light... love. We are four weeks out folks... hope diminishes, exponentially, with each passing day. I will keep going until my new lisianthus seeds arrive... whenever that might be. They are lost somewhere between Mississippi and New Jersey.


I... will... not... give... up. I am determined to get ONE lisianthus flower before my first autumn frost. That being said, I will not let it become my holy grail. There are too many other possibilities--zinnias, sunflowers, snapdragons, dahlias, etc. I have to let the lisianthus agony of defeat fade into the light of a summer cut flower garden. Remember, it's never defeat if you learn something in the process--yes, you may quote me on that ;) Happy gardening from the Bumbling Gardener.





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