You know I love an online exchange. This one is completely new! The tenet is that you swop some seeds, blog about it and your garden and then swap seeds again in the Spring (I think). To know more ask Carl who runs Seedy Penpals.
I joined because for the first time in all my adult life I'm living a much more permanent home. My boyfriend and I will ultimately move, but not for a few years, so I can try and green my fingers on his much neglected plot. The burden feels heavy on me though. My grandmother was an amazing gardener and I grew up in a whole acre of garden that she and my great-grandparents had created. My childhood seemed to be a long lits of country house gardens and garden centres. (I was only ever interested if there was a pond with fish in or a pet shop.) Sometimes I did try and remember growing marigolds that I got in a McDonalds Happy Meal. I also had my own sink garden, with a hosta, a lavender and some weeds. I did manage to grow some apple trees from pips, but after they were six inches high I don't remember what happened to them. I hated mowing. I hated weeding. The thing I was most interested in to do with the garden, was when I was given a rain gauge and a book to note rainfall in. I did. Comprehensively. Then some the rain gauge snapped. The end.
However I must absorbed some things by sheer osmosis, as I'm quite good with plant names. I'm very good at growing potatoes in bags. (Sometimes not even by design.) The growing side of my interest in herbal medicine has also been pushed forward by studying at Dilston Physic Garden.
Still I am not green-fingered, but I've got good intentions. What I am very good at is buying seeds and never planting them. Here is my seed box, that my brother made me to contain said unplanted seeds:
So Seedy Penpals, I vow to you that all my seeds will be planted and my garden will blossom into a beautiful bower ... once I get rid of all these bloody ornamental strawberries.
My seeds came from Andrew at Acuvital. This is a great blog so go and look. Andrew seems to be further along the path I'm exploring through herbal medicine (obviously because he is an acupuncturist), but all his posts struck different chords with me and we follow a lot of the same people.
Here are the exciting envelopes he sent me:
- Cosse Violette - a purple climbing bean - plant direct into sowing site late April/May
- Verde di Italia - early courgette - sow April/May in small pots and grow undercover until three true leaves form
- Summer Crookneck - Bent Summer Squash - ditto
- Dragon Purple Carrot - sow thinly in small shallow drills, 3" apart in dull weather
- Tree Cabbage - sow mid to late Spring
- Albino Beetroot - sow March/April
Here is a picture of our garden. Any ideas of where to start? The overgrown dandelions at the front are slowly being cleared away and I think I'll grow Andrew's beans on the trellis by the bins. Should I take that big bush out? Does anyone know what it is?
My seed package went to the founder Carl (no pressure there) and you can read about what he got here.