Spending time in the garden

At this time of year, the amount of time I can spend in the garden is limited by the weather and my energy level. But though I may not be spending time in the garden, it is nevertheless spending time in the garden! The catalogues have now become well-thumbed and I realise that I cannot put off the spending any longer – those orders just have to go in.

Having ruled out vegetable growing in the garden (and given up hope of getting another allotment before I stop breathing), and having got enough apple trees, various currants and berries, I’m now concentrating on flowers. I don’t really have space for shrubs unless something goes to make space and there’s nothing I want to get rid of.

When it comes to flowers, I can divide my needs (well, desires) into four main groups:

    • Seeds
    • Summer bedding plug plants
    • Grown on summer bedding plants
    • Perennials for the borders

This year, looking at seeds has been more a case of deciding which of the packets of seeds I have will get sown. I seem to have acquired a large selection thanks to Amateur Gardening Magazine but most of those will probably be given away. AG gives away a packet of Thomson and Morgan seeds with every weekly issue during the spring and summer months but I’ve found that the germination rates are not that good and I prefer to buy the seeds I want rather than simply try what someone else has decided to give me. So I have something over 100 packets of unopened, in-date, free seeds. In terms of buying seeds, I now turn to Ben of Higgledy Garden. Not only is his website entertaining and informative, the seeds he sells have been harvested from plants he has grown so are as fresh as they could be. He is quite generous with his seed quantities and there’s enough in any packet for 2 years’ worth of sowing. In year 1 the germination rate is as close to 100% as you can get; in year 2 it matches or even beats the year 1 rate in most commercial seeds. Just store the seed properly once you’ve opened the packets.

Higgledy Garden seeds
You’ll notice the handwritten, personalised delivery note and seed packets

So I’ve decided that if it’s not a Higgledy Garden seed packet it’ll go back in the box until someone comes along to relieve me of it. And I’ve added a few more packs of Higgledy seeds to the selection.

The helpful instructions on the Higgledy web site go on about sowing the seeds in open ground although you have the option of sowing a bit earlier under glass. That’s the option I’ll be taking. Resident cat doesn’t use seed beds as a poopinator but he does have a habit of curling up on any bare(-ish) patch of soil he finds and I don’t want squished seedlings. Plus, under glass I don’t have to worry about the weather beating the crap out of the little things. And I won’t have to do any weeding in the rain either!

That’s the seeds sorted. In my next post I’ll complain about a plug plant supplier ceasing to trade and totally messing up my plans for this year.

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