Saturday, March 28

Seeds in the post

All spring, the Daily Telegraph, among others, has been running "free" plant offers - you know the sort of thing, pay (a little over the odds) for postage, get the headline plant for free. My allotment has become well-stocked with these freebies over the last year - my Victoria plum came from Grow Your Own magazine, pinks were from Good Housekeeping, Clematis from a copy of the Daily Mail found in the canteen at work, and the Telegraph has contributed more Clematis, more pinks, snowdrops. Today my latest batch arrived, an enormous envelope full of seeds.

If I recall correctly, this offer was published in the Telegraph on one of the first really good spring days, early this month. I spent the whole day at the allotment, and only saw the paper because I'd popped to Sainsbury's-at-Jacksons (or whatever they're calling themselves this week) for lunch after a hard morning's digging - much as it is my intention to be self-sufficient in veg this year, unfortunately North Yorkshire allotments aren't terribly rich in immediately consumable produce in early March, so a slightly dodgy cheese pasty & a chocolate bar it had to be. The prospect of a "free*" raised bed kit, and the seeds to plant in it, tempted me to a paper to read over lunch. I duly sent off my cheque, and apparently - for I promptly forgot entirely - ordered two seed collections as well, for now I have 17 varieties of vegetables and herbs, and eight of cottage garden flowers (though no raised bed kit yet, I assume that'll arrive soon.) Where I'm going to plant them all I do not know, perhaps I'll take up guerrilla gardening.

  • Broccoli (early purple sprouting)
  • Cabbage (Golden acre)
  • Carrot (Nantes 2)
  • Spring onion (white Lisbon)
  • Beetroot (Detroit)
  • Lettuce (Marvel of four seasons)
  • Tomato (red cherry)
  • Swiss chard (ruby)
  • Sweet pepper (California wonder)
  • Salad (California mixed)
  • Aubergine (F1 mixed)
  • Butternut squash
  • Chili pepper (Jalapeno)
  • Pumpkin (Atlantic giant)
  • Parsley (Italian giant)
  • Basil (sweet Genovese)
  • Rocket
  • Lavender (dwarf Munstead)
  • Pinks (cottage garden)
  • Nicotiana (Roulette F2 mixed)
  • Candytuft (Amara)
  • Brachycome (swan river daisy)
  • Night-scented stock
  • Sweet William (Indian carpet)
  • Wallflower (my fair lady)
I am now going to hide the catalogue that, naturally,arrived with the seeds, so I can't buy any more until next winter!

*I can only assume the suppliers make their money by tempting you into buying more, either there & then or later, when a new catalogue of "special offers" drops through the letterbox each month.

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