This is at least my 3rd year planting vegetables and herbs from seed and it never ceases to amaze me. I'm not sure why I am always surprised to see a tiny sprout coming out of the soil. It is truly a miracle what grows from a tiny seed.
My kids look at me funny when I call them "my babies" but I really do get attached to them, watching them grow, nurturing them and then having them reward me with delicious fruits to nourish my family. I remember last summer when we went away for a week and left the babies with a teenage babysitter (and cat sitter). When we got home, the beans, the round french zucchinis and almost all the sunflowers had been eaten to the ground! I went into mourning for days (I'm sure a longer mourning than if the cats had gone lost!) But after my period of mourning I planted more and (surprised again!) they flourished into grown fruiting plants. (The groundhog was later transplanted to a new home.)
What I will do with all these seedlings is another question. I certainly don't have room in my garden for all of them. I'll have to put some of them up for adoption to a good home and the rest I will squeeze into the tiny plot outside my kitchen door. Mark is working on a plan for a bigger garden next to the raspberry patch with a fence to keep out the deer. I feel though that it won't be the same as being able to watch over the babies right up next to the house with the bricks' radiating heat to keep them warm through the night.
Pictured below are Annie's zinnias. She planted a zinnia plant in preschool last year and it survived the summer, even providing shelter for a Monarch butterfly chrysalis which we witnessed in stages from caterpillar to butterfly. Grammy helped harvest the seeds from the zinnia last fall, and now - more babies! Behind the zinnias are Calendula which I'm told are the "2008 Herb of the Year". I have no idea what they will look like since the seed packet had no photo but the babies sure are cute. I guess I'll just have to be surprised!