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Editorial: Promise catalogs

On these dark and frosty mornings, when the next weather front could bring something even worse such as ice and snow, there is something comforting about a seed catalog.

Genius marketers some decades ago learned to get their catalogs to the consumer as early in January as possible. When the landscape is barren, the birdbath is frozen, and the grass brittle and brown, their photos of Earth’s bounty seem doubly attractive and achievable.

Hoping to harness the sunshine and promise of these beautiful illustrations, consumers send off their orders and anxiously await the seeds of summertime that will come in the mail.

Seed catalogs are the hope chests of people who do not enjoy winter. When the sun does not shine, and the thermometer’s mercury remains in uncomfortably cold zones, it’s easy to anticipate better days ahead and even easier to forget the muggy, buggy, weedy work that goes into a successful garden.

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