Thursday, 20 January 2011

To everything there is a season

I guess I have answered one of my "Where do I go from here?" questions.

The box on the table is an old army surplus detonator box. R bought it from a strange little shop at the back of Euston Station many, many moons ago. So long ago that I can't even remember his justification for buying it - possibly just because he liked it, which I guess is as good a reason as any.

For a long time he used it to store part of his burgeoning coin collection, but at some point along the line the collection outgrew the box and I appear to have appropriated it.

For my seed collection.

As that is obviously something that needs to be stored in a detonator box!

Growing things is important to me.
The ground was rock hard this morning, with a delicate white dusting of hoarfrost, but I am already thinking about getting started again. It is time to sow chillis, aubergines and sweet peas, and it is always worthwhile setting off a couple of jars of seeds to eat as sprouts. It would also be good to get the greenhouse cleared so I can start sowing salad leaves soon. The speed with which they grow and are ready to pick is always gratifying, even when there isn't a chance of getting anything started outdoors.

Since R died, there hasn't been a lot of planning going on in the garden. I have just reacted to the changing of the seasons, and simply sown what I had when there was time in which to do it. This inevitably meant poor germination in a lot of cases due to sowing old seed that should have been culled. This is a double whammy of crapness as I never seem to catch up even when I do buy new seed - there simply isn't time to sow them again.

And the food I eat has changed dramatically. Much more than I ever imagined it would. These days I barely touch potatoes, the thought of Jerusalem artichokes turns my stomach, parsnips seem to be just for Christmas. Green beans now interest me mainly for the seed inside them. Fruit I enjoy when it is fresh, but R seems to have taken my sweet tooth (such that it was) away with him, so I no longer make pies - or jam or ice cream or even chutney. On the other hand I can't seem to keep up with my demand for green leafy vegetables, tomatoes and curcubits of all sorts.

Then there are the ones that I would love to grow, but that just can't handle the conditions up here, like the sweet potatoes and outdoor peppers. Carrots which do fine in pots in the greenhouse, but succumb to slugs or rootfly outdoors after mid-Summer. Time to either give them up or give serious thought to erecting a polytunnel over some of the raised beds to extend the growing season.

And the flowers.
Megan is right about those. They are not frivolous at all, they are balm for the soul. I think that more time spent growing flowers that do not need preserving or turning into something, and simply give pleasure will be time well-spent.

The seed catalogues have been plopping onto the doormat since New Year, so it is time to set aside an evening in front of the fire to look through the seed stocks and see what is too old, what I may as well pass on to someone else because I know I won't grow it and what, if anything, I need to buy new this year.

It is good to feel a sense of anticipation and growing enjoyment about something.

Yep, whatever the future holds, there will be room for seeds in it.


  1. Good plans, good times and a safe place for the seeds.

  2. I love that you have found a way to use something that R liked and bought because he "needed" it ... I think I shall find ways of using some of the bits that C collected.

    They really were hoarders weren't they? Ahem, I mean collectors ;-)