As I type this seasonal piece, the sun is busy shining brightly, bringing me optimistic thoughts of the coming spring (it’s still warmer inside than outside though). Once we get past Christmas, I begin to anticipate lighter evenings, buds coming on the trees and bulbs poking green shoots through the chilly earth. Accompanying these spring dreams, I have thoughts of seeds and seasonal sowing plans. We will be raising a mixture of bought and saved seeds; some of the bought seeds are new and some left over from last year that it seems a pity to waste.
To look at the saved seeds first: our biggest seed haul by far is from our chive plants (bottom right) closely followed by the Welsh poppies (tin on the bottom left). Mostly we scatter the poppy seeds around areas that need a bit of brightening up, rather than save them to cultivate in trays. Similarly, with the chives, we have strewn the seeds in patches where the purple flowers would be a welcome addition rather than sow them indoors. However, as you can see from the photograph, we still have plenty left. The other seeds are wallflower seeds (top right) which I have never tried to grow before, and the seeds of a tall purple flowered plant that we like, but can’t identify (top left hand dish).
After an audit of the unused seeds from last year, we have discovered that as usual some seed packets have gone past their ‘best before’ date. As I can’t bear to give up on them completely, I usually tip them out in a corner somewhere in case they do actually germinate. This year, I have found two packets drastically out of date, having a ‘best before’ of 2014. Several sachets are dated 2015, but I think I will chance those and the remaining seeds packets carry an expiry date of 2016. As you can see, we have plenty to sow if the weather ever warms up enough to start planting. I know spring really will come again, but it just doesn’t feel like it when my toes are cold, (as Piglet might have said if he was a gardener).
In the new seeds category comes a packet of perpetual sweet peas, a Thompson and Morgan variety bought from the great range at Mr Middleton’s in Dublin city centre. We have long admired some perennial sweet peas in a garden near our house, which climb through the hedges every year in a very attractive way. Apparently, this variety has no scent so there will be a downside to growing a perennial. I think we will probably buy a scented annual variety (we had a spencer mixed last year) to plant in between. When I look at the range of flower seeds available in the shops, my fingers begin to itch with the growing possibilities. As I mentioned in a previous post, we are trying to make the garden as bee friendly as we can. A good excuse for buying more flower seeds methinks!
What seeds are you planning on growing this year? Do let us know.