For the last five years we have worked with Wooden Keepsakes to offer inscriptions on the small tool handles. Wooden Keepsakes is now streamlining their business – and there is no longer a place for us. We thank them for the years of successful collaboration, and wish them well with the next phase of their business.
This email arrived in our inbox this morning. What a lovely start to the day:
“I have just found the receipt for my hydra hoe and to my amazement it is dated Jun 08. ( Hellen’s Garden Extraveganza). Despite constant use and quite a lot of the time on gravelly or stony soil it remains sharp (although the blade is narrowing). At the time I thought I was mad buying such an expensive implement but I convinced myself to go ahead because of the success of the Nunki Weeder I had been given as a birthday present. Looking back it was money very well spent indeed. My implementations tools are the best I own. Ill be back for a new blade in due course.”
I sowed a pack of 80 Marmande tomato seeds at the end of January, put the tray on top of a kitchen cupboard where it was warm and safe, and waited. A week later they had started to germinate – all of them. Our greenhouse is small, so we will only need four plants. Marmande tomato seedlings, anyone?
Every winter solstice I decorate the trees in the garden with baubles. They sparkle when the sunlight catches them. This morning two collared doves sat on one of the trees among the silver and gold balls. Not quite the turtle doves from the carol, but not far off!
Warm wishes from the turning point of the year, and wishing you many good things in 2014
What to sow next year … November is seed catalogue time. Through selling the tools at shows we have met some small producers of flower and vegetable seeds. They each offer a range of seeds that they have cultivated and prepared themselves, so they know their plants and love what they do. Here is a selection:
Beans and Herbs. As the title says, they specialise in legumes – beans and peas – and herb seeds, although she also has other vegetable seeds in the range.
Edulis is a nursery specialising in edible and rare plants. They also have a selection of bulbs.
Garden Organic, the national organic gardening charity runs a Heritage Seed Library of varieties that have dropped out of the national catalogues. Seeds are available to members of the library rather than to buy.
Pennard Plants is a go-ahead nursery whose stand you may have seen if you have visited one of the major garden shows. They always have an innovative display. They also sell vegetable and flower seeds by mail order.
Stormy Hall offer a range of 250 biodynamic flower and vegetable seeds.
Thomas Etty Esq offers a range of heritage vegetable and flower seeds, specialising in Victorian varieties. They have a most informative website.
At the London RHS show we were next to Pippa who runs the Beans and Herbs stall. We asked her what seeds can be planted now. She recommended a hardy pea, Douce Provence, and the broad bean Super Aquadulce, both of which can be bought from her website.
We also asked her about tasks in the garden for this time of year. Her advice: prepare the unplanted parts of your veg patch for next year, covering it with grass clippings, fallen leaves or compost from the bin. She also advised covering it with plastic (or old carpet if you have it) and weighting it down.