Friday, 31 August 2012

Letter 46

Seedy Penpals.

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:

There is:
  • 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
I'm very excited about all these seeds, particularly as I think they've come from things Andrew has already grown. I'm excited to grow them all in the Spring.

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.


  1. What lives in the run? You could stick the run over the dandelions and the leaves would disappear in no time! You'd still have the roots, of course.

    Your Seedy Packet seems like a great one, many unusual varieties. I look forward tot he spring when you plant them up.

    And thanks for joining in Seedy Penpals

    1. The problem with the dandeliony bit is that it's super uneven so I'd be worried that my guinea pig would escape :( she is a very god lawn mower though!

  2. Hi Lucy

    Great post and fab seeds from Andrew who I know is a star too.

    The bush we think is Photinia

    I have some information I sent to Andrew about starting a new plot. I'll dig it out and make sure you get it.


    1. Thanks Carl, and thank you for identifying the bush. Would you take it out? I'm not really up for ornamental things ...