Seedy weekends

So far February has been a month of work deadlines and half term (aaaagh) limiting my ability to get going in the garden. But my appetite has been whetted by the appearance of a solitary flower on one of the three hellebores I planted last autumn;

 By palest purple crocuses appearing in the lawn behind the trampoline;

 By the lemony sweetness of our inherited Daphne odora (I’ve always wanted one and there it is); and by the first snowdrops;

 At weekends I have managed to sneak in a little preparation for the gardening year ahead.

First stop our local “Seedy Saturday”. This was mainly dominated by Middle Weed who made the most of having me to herself to indulge in cress head planting and clay modelling.

 When I finally managed to snatch a few moments to myself I threw myself at the nearest seed stall and bought everything on my wish list in 5 minutes flat. This included first early seed potatoes, main crop seed potatoes, broad beans ‘Bunyards Exhibition’, ‘Meteor’ peas, ‘Cosse Violette’ purple climbing French beans, ‘Enorma’ runner beans, chives, purple sprouting broccoli, lemon balm, borage, ‘Nero di Toscana’ kale, ‘Nero di Milano’ courgettes (what’s with all the Neros?), rainbow chard and two varieties of sweet pea in silver and blue (‘Nimbus’ and ‘Alan Williams’). My mother who had come along for the ride, shook her head sagely and said ‘You’ll never plant all of those’.

I mean to prove her wrong and have since added two types of heritage tomato (Gardener’s Delight and Purple Calabash), Sarah Raven’s Nigella ‘Moody Blues’ and wildflower poppies and some children’s seed packets of carrots and calendula for the little weeds.

Now all I need is for half term to be over (just the one Roman shield to make) and I can get planting.

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