A Compromise

compromiseA compromise has been decided on, and some of Christmas Carol’s leaves have been trimmed – you can see from the pile that they are indeed perfectly healthy and perhaps appreciate why I was so reluctant to remove them. It may be that she is so happy there that she has retained every leaf she has ever produced (which might explain the density of them) and on that premise it was the chunkier ones that were cut – the fact that the offshoot I removed and planted separately had taller and more sparse foliage adds weight to this conclusion. The main plant still looks as happy as she ever did, but there is now less of a struggle to admire her flowers.

Meanwhile, some organisation was being put into place for this year’s seed sowing, which hopefully will be less haphazard than it has been. Last year saw some improvement in the process and more timely sowing, but I was overambitious with early sowing and have learned a lesson from that. The first seed purchasing expedition was to our local garden IMG_1124centre for Thompson and Morgan seeds at 50% off, then to another nearby garden centre last Wednesday with a wider range for a 10% discount and finally an internet order to Sarah Raven (again with 10% discount!). It’s worth knowing that Sarah Raven seeds are more expensive instore than buying direct, although there is postage to take into account. T&M also had some trial seeds at 99p and a small selection of seeds free with any other two packets, so there were some things added that were not on my original list. SR’s seeds should be arriving tomorrow and will join the appropriate piles which have been sorted today, based on time of sowing and whether they need any heat. Three packets of sweet peas were sown yesterday, a few months behind an October sown packet and I have surprised even myself with this precocity!

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15 Responses to A Compromise

  1. Christina says:

    Sowing seeds is the most exciting gardening job, don’t you think. All that hope of things to come. I have already sown a great deal, especially salad crops, some of which I’m happy to eat as micro leaves and prick out a few of the better looking seedlings to hopefully become proper lettuces. I use heat trays to give bottom heat and I find that very successful.

    • Cathy says:

      I had many years of not sowing seeds, or only a few, so it is good to get back to it. Most of mine will be flowers as I am limiting my veg even more. Our kitchen is always warm because I have an Aga so I have been starting seeds there until they germinate.

  2. Very organised Cathy – I’m very disorganised and had my first attempt at sowing any sort of seeds there in the autumn. I’m hoping that the pots of tiny seedlings I am nurturing are Primula and not weeds.
    I do like how you have collated them, this would never have crossed my mind. I think I’ll keep this tip in mind.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Angie – hopefully it will help me to pace myself with the sowing, whereas last year when we had all that snow I found myself sowing things inside when it was a bit early because I couldn’t get out and do other stuff.

  3. Julie says:

    You are looking very organised Cathy – my Sarah Raven seeds arrived today, along with packets from Seeds of Distinction. Hopefully I will find time to organise them over the weekend. Like you I am tending more towards flowers, although I do like to have a few vegetables of my own. I am planning to start sowing in February as last year I ended up with a greenhouse I could not move in with all the seedlings that could not be moved outside because of the cold.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes Julie – I can already see now how useful this extra half-greenhouse will be once everything is sown! I am sticking to veg that have proved successful – tomatoes, peppers, climbing French beans, courgettes, and last year squash and cucumber for the first time – but losing beds to flowers for cutting and to the new greenhouse will mean a rethink of where to grow them!

  4. bittster says:

    It looks as if you have everything well under control, very impressive! You’ve inspired me to take a look through my seeds -since I know there are a few that still need some cold- because if I continue to drag my feet things just won’t get done in time. Thanks!

  5. Anna says:

    It goes against the grain with me Cathy to cut off healthy hellebore leaves so I have to remind myself that the flowers should be the stars of the show. You are well ahead of me with your seed sorting. Unlikely to do sow much here before February half term, which was always my marker for the start of seed sowing in my working days. I see a question mark on the packet of poppies. I’m not sure whether you have grown them before but they do not respond well to root disturbance so now may be too early 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      And you can see how much I struggled with this too, Anna – but this hellebore is the only one it has ever been an issue with as there were just SO many leaves. Today the flowers look grateful for being ‘released’ from their cage! Thanks for the advice on the poppies – I haven’t grown them (successfully) before and the packet suggested they could be sown inside in pots in Autumn or direct in the spring, so the ? mark was to decide whether a mild January could count as Autumn!! I should be patient and just plant them direct, but there weren’t many things I could sow now, although it’s not long till February! I must have been too busy in the past to think of sowing at half term, but the Easter hols were a last ditch incentive!

  6. Have you considered buying seeds off of eBay? That’s where I’ve bought all of mine this year (flowers and vegetables) and have been really impressed so far with the quality and quantity. It’s rare to find anything for over 99p

    • Cathy says:

      Do you know, I haven’t?! And yet eBay is where I turn to first for so many other things – looking for seeds has not crossed my mind although they have come up in searches when I am looking for plants. I will have a look and see what is available for future reference, so thanks for that prompt – I really appreciate it.

  7. That’s my job for today, sorting the seeds I have and then putting together a (hopefully sane) seed order. Viewing the plant porn in the catalogues is the perfect antidote to all the dull wet weather, and that frisson of excitement as you daydream about all the lovely plants that will result is impossible to beat. Must clear the conservatory enough to get the growlight rigged and ready…

    • Cathy says:

      ‘Plant porn’….? There is an element of truth in that I think, Janet! Fortunately I started with a rough list which didn’t stray from much 😉 I now have to be sensible in my sowing – and keep on top of it, so that will be a challenge. Hope you got your seeds/order sorted today.

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