Going to be busy seed sowing soon

Hardy Plant Society and Baker Creek Seeds

Hardy Plant Society seeds arrived today, I’m most grateful to the people who take the time to gather the seed and those who then facilitate the distribution.

It seems that many plant societies and gardening clubs are experiencing dwindling memberships. Our local village garden club appears to have folded as no-one has stepped forward as chairman, (Hey I’m not a joiner – OK?) which is one of the reasons for the decline I guess, nor are others – and perhaps I should?

Baker Creek Heirloom seeds from Missouri also arrived this week. I got walloped with customs duties and a Royal Mail handling charge so they come rather expensive! Is it my imagination or are UK customs getting hotter on stinging small stuff like seeds? The seeds came to $31.46 before penalties, so borderline for duty- the Etsy effect??

Their packaging is certainly distinctive, the website is comprehensive. Some US suppliers seem to bring a bit of quirkiness and zest to the gardening party. Another favourite is the Annie’s Annuals website. Do we in the UK take this gardening thing all a bit too seriously, earnest and rather tweedy? Guilty Moi?

I remember in my twenties turning up with plants, including I think it was Valeriana phu Aurea, for a garden society plant fair at The Garden Museum a long time ago now. An elderly lady took one look at my carefully potted-up and grown on offerings, hissed Virus! at me and stalked off. Somewhat off-putting for someone newish to gardening. I’ve also seen nursery owners ignore younger punters in favour of the older and perhaps more informed. Although I know it’s difficult juggling customer’s demands on a busy day.

Hey Kari, what’s happening in the garden?

Cyclamen coum silver leaved

Snowdrops nowhere near out, they’re in the same tightly clasped state as the picture Jannicke Leknes tweeted today from Norway. Monty Don also tweeted today that the temperature had hit the heady height of 6C in Herefordshire, ’tis 6.3C here in Wiltshire. The frost and cold we’ve been experiencing will definitely be sorting the borderline hardy’s out now.

Cyclamen coum are coming on which is a pleasing, as very little else is in flower, apart from Witch Hazel Westerstede which sadly doesn’t appear to be scented, a rather tentative effort at the moment from Daphe Jacqueline Postill and some Sarcococca confusa.

A rather glossy rat has discovered the bird feeders, it joins the 3 squirrels, pigeons and Collared Doves all scrabbling for the leavings from the sunflower seed feeder. One squirrel emphatically saw off a Blackbird which had had the temerity to try to join the feast, chasing it all the way down the garden. A female Sparrowhawk swung by on Monday but went away empty taloned.

The cacophony of birdsong is building towards the breeding season, morning and evening. I believe the finches are colouring up, the male Greenfinch looks that little bit greener, the male Chaffinches sport more deeply blushed chests and the male Bullfinches are plain showing off.

I’m glad we weren’t too tidy in the autumn, on the margins of the stream 3 Goldfinches were feeding on the seedheads of the Hemp Agrimony this morning.

I do believe the hornbeams are starting to shuck last year’s leaves – they must be waking up. Must remember to record the flowering time of each hazel in the garden, they flower in succession, but is the succession the same each year?

I need to get on with some seed sowing, this week nurseries have been tweeting pictures of this year’s fledgling seedlings.

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