It must be the time of year, everything is on the verge of coming back to life. and I find myself thinking more and more about seeds. I even dream about them. In my previous life, I was more likely to be excited about the arrival of the Next Directory, or a nice catalogue from John Lewis. Now my heart is a flutter whenever a new seed catalogue drops on the mat, or I find a wonderful new website, selling them.
With this in mind, I was delighted when the new round of Seedypenpals swops was mailed out. I mentioned last time that I had been paired with two ladies, one to receive seeds from and one to send them too. So I shall start with the seeds I sent. These were off on a bit of a jaunt, in fact to the South West of France where Sarah lives. Lucky them. With this in mind I tried to pick stuff that would grow well in a hot sunny climate.
Some were seeds I collected myself in the garden, pink poppies and antirrunhum originally from seeds I got from the Lost Gardens of Heligan. There were a couple of things I got on my trip to Florida last year, Spaghetti Squash, Mixed Beans and Habanero's and some others including Beets, Asters, Larkspur and a couple of my Chilli Willy seeds.
I was impressed how quickly they arrived. I think Sarah was pleased with the selection. I shall look forward to pictures of them growing in the garden of her beautiful home which she runs as a B&B. Have a look Villa Leon . They also run Bob Dylan discussion weekends if that interests you.
I will return to Seedypenpals later in the blog..
So as this blog is mostly about seeds, I better tell you what else I have been doing.
Leeks have been high on the discussion list amongst my gardening pals. So I decided it was time to finally pull the last of mine.
There were only a few left standing forlornly in the middle of a bed. It didnt take long to pull them.
None were very big this season. I think I choose the right variety, but the weather didn't help. Those that we had, which I must say was quite a few, were delicious. I therefore bought the same variety for this year, With one difference.
Last year as I was new to this, I had purchased a tape impregnated with seeds which I then had to thin. This proved to be a real waste, and I could not bring myself to pull many out. This may be why those remaining were small. This time, I bought a plain old packet of seeds.
I have started one tray now, and will do more next month. To save wastage, and so that I can plant at the right distances, I have decided to plant them in cells. Its a bit fiddly picking up individual seeds, but this may work better.
I also planted a few flowers, so if we do actually get a summer this year, I will get early colour.
The cosmos and antirrunhum are seeds I collected from last years flowers, but the Cleome came from a wonderful flower grower called Ben who has a business called Higgledy Garden. I may have blogged about it when I received the seeds. If you love flowers, have a look at his website. The growing guides are a joy to read.
The Chillies I planted last week are sprouting. Peter is a lot bigger than this little shoot now.
And I found this in a sheltered spot in the front of the house
A bit blurry, but I was excited to see a flower.
And the second rhubarb plant has joined his mate, by sticking his head above ground
Everything is nice and snug in the greenhouse
Now back to Seedypenpals, via pickled eggs. A strange route you may think but all will become clear.
The lady I was to receive seeds from is called Rebecca. Seedypenpals started on twitter and so we all follow one another and talk about garden related things. I was wondering what to do with the excess eggs that I always have. I am trying not to make so many cakes as I have had a bit of a disagreement with my scales. They seem to think I am heavier that I actually am..
Another lady suggested Pickled Eggs and sent me the link to a recipe for some rather spicy pickling vinegar. So I thought I would give it a go. This caused a bit of debate in a wider circle, with Rebecca declaring herself quite firmly in the anti pickled egg camp.
They really didn't take long to make and I was finally able to use some of the Star Anise I bought on a market stall in St Lucia about 12 months ago.
The smell was wonderful, so they are now resident at the back of the fridge for the next couple of weeks, to pickle. I shall let you know how they taste.
So yesterday a package arrived from Rebecca. I was delighted and as I was doing something else at the time put it down to open with a cup of tea later. I did though give it a quick squeeze. I could feel three rather large roundish object through the packing. Ooh I thought, I wonder what on earth they are. Seeds that big must be awfully exotic. I was thinking of all sorts of things, Avocado was top of my list.
I abandoned my other job as the package was now my priority, I carefully opened it and poured the contents onto the floor. Out rolled the three large objects... Imagine my delight when I saw this.
CREME EGGS !!!!!
How wonderful. Not only did I receive some lovely seeds, but three little creme eggs. I think these will be eaten a lot quicker than the pickled ones.
The pack included borage, nasturtium, cabbage, romanesque courgettes, french beans and other loveley things which shall all find a place in my garden.
Thanks Rebecca .
So thats all for now. Its pouring with rain again so once more trapped in the house.