Friday, December 29, 2006

Sorting Through Seed Packets

Tucked up in the dining room last night with my duck-egg blue filing box stuffed with seed packets. I laid them all out across the table, and wondered at the amount. Really, I ought to stop buying tomato seeds, but the packets just seem to call out to me from the entrance of garden centres.
I think its the huge fat red colour that appears to shine like a horticultural beacon, promising me summer sunshine, lunches on the terrace, the chink of cutlery on plates and food in my tummy. All that from a packet of seeds. The most enticing packets are Franchi. As an example of horticultural pornography they are second to none. I tried to upload their packet of costoluto fiorentino tomatoes, but the picture transferred too small to really appreciate the scarlet enticement. And their section on lettuces makes me want to grow a mixed bed just to lie down amongst them midsummer.
I sorted the seeds out into months for planting. Unbelieveably, next Tuesday January 1st marks the start of the strawberry sowing season, and this morning I checked that I have fresh compost and a good supply of 60-plug seed trays. I really can't be bothered with all that pricking out business. If you sow your seeds into one large tray, then you have to face the inevitable pricking out and potting on. It's so much quicker and I think less stressful for seedlings to germinate in their own little plug, surrounded by their companions. Last year I had a crack at growing Golden Alexandra strawberries, but didn't get the germination heat right and they all failed. This year I'm trying Mignonette. Fingers crossed, and by May I might have enough of these darling little alpine strawberries to squish into whipped cream on summer scones.
"Live as if you are going to die tomorrow. Garden as if you are going to live forever." Kipling was right. And happy Eid to you too xxx

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