Monday, 7 January 2013

The Seeds of a New Year

These are tiny packets of old seeds from Germany I think, given to me by a lovely friend, Tina, who owns another of my favourite shops, Old Bakery Antiques in Wymondham near Melton Mowbray

 Happy New Year!

This is one of the most difficult times of year to get up and running after all the excesses and frivolities of Christmas and New Year with lots of family and friends' gatherings and the continued dark early mornings and evenings don’t help.  

It has been a great two week break over Christmas and New Year. Many comedians have created sketches and prepared rants on the ‘strange’ no man’s land of the period of time between Christmas and New Year, 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th saying we should just jump from Boxing Day to New Year’s eve.  I love that bit of no man’s land. It gives me the opportunity to catch up with more people, who, more often than not, have that rarity of shared time off work in unison.  Mmmm, more social gatherings, lovely!

This morning however, it was back to just me and the computer and the garden and trying to get my mind focused on work.  2013 is already looking like it will be a fab one, with so much to look forward to, new products to make, floral art ideas to try out when the flower season begins, markets to attend (I am already getting withdrawal from the opportunity to chat and share my passion of flowers in the forum of the Farmers’ Markets). Lots of lovely weddings already booked in too with some spectacular venues throughout Suffolk, Cambridge and Norfolk and a few further afield, in the year ahead.
So where to begin?  My usual habit for New Year is to start checking my inventory of both hardy and half-hardy annual seeds.  I am more an alphabetical girl than a chronological girl in the seed planning and ordering stakes so I keep an A-Z of annual seeds clearly in my head at all times.  Within this A-Z my mind usually starts the year with antirhirrnums as they are such tiny, tiny seeds that just seem to take such an age to get to a decent ‘handling’ size.  But this year I am a bit preoccupied by thoughts of an earlier alphabetic annual, ageratum or ‘floss flower’.  Not the short bedding variety, I’m not keen on those, but their taller relatives ideal for cutting.  In the past I have got a bit stuck in a rut and always just order the blue variety.  But having visited the Easton Walled Garden near Grantham in the summer to get inspiration into good sweet pea tying techniques, I fell in love with all colours of ageratum.
They are like a gorgeous pastel cloud of blooms when sown together like this.  Although I must say I prefer them cut a little earlier than the above specimens as I like the contrast of textures early on in the flower heads when they look like polka dots with a green background.

Multi-coloured ageratum it is this year and onwards through the annual seed alphabet for me.

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