It’s not the gradually growing hours of daylight, the appearance of the first clump of snowdrops or the sudden increase in rowdy birdsong at about 5 a.m. It’s the fact that nice Mr Home Delivery Man has brought my seed potatoes.
They are Belle de Fontenay and Juliette, which is a new one for me; last year’s experiment was a blue spud – disconcerting to look at, but tasted good. Some of these are enormous, so I’ll try the old trick of halving them and see if it works. However they’re all in a box in my dark and cold porch because I haven’t saved enough egg boxes. If you know about egg boxes, then you’ll understand; if you don’t, you’ll find out. When I’ve got enough.
On the seed front, I’ve got all the Real Seeds I bought, plus these:
I’ve not grown celeriac – hiding at the back here – before. I try something new every year. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t germinate, sometimes it germinates but I really wish it hadn’t when harvest time comes and I turn out to hate it.
It was time to get out the tin and reassess (again).
Saved, I’ve got my tomatoes. The stars are Cuor di Bue, which I strongly recommend – beautiful taste, productive, easy to grow – and Black Russian (which doesn’t really sound like a tomato, ahem, but definitely is). A couple of years ago I managed to grow a single BR which weighed half a kilo and silenced the pub. Er, when I took it in to show a friend – I haven’t gone so mad that I’ve started taking my tomatoes out for a drink. Yet.
I’ve also got a shedload of beans, so I’m not quite sure why I bought more, but there you go. There are four runner beans, but four plants could supply a small army; French bean Cobra, Cherokee Trail of Tears, a few borlottis (OK, a whole jar), and some yellow dwarf French beans. I’d given up on dwarf beans because I found them irritating to pick, but I think I’ll cram a few in anyway, as I’ve got the seed.
I’ve also got mangetout, rainbow chard, peppers, spring onions, a huge assortment of salad leaves and herbs, plenty of things to plant in summer for next winter’s crops… And then I dug down to the bottom of the tin and investigated the 35mm film canisters and anonymous envelopes. Should have done this sooner.
Courgettes. Beetroot. Not just a few. Lots. Squashes.
And I’ve bought more (in all fairness, I did know about the squashes). All I can say is that they must have been buried under catalogues and last year’s seed packets.
Now I have everything I need, apart from a garden double the size.