The bright spot in January's murk? Seed packets of course.
I have hoarded literally packets upon packets in recent years and with many unopened or barely touched the pile just gets bigger. The reality is I have a problem chucking any away. I'm more than happy to gift them to people, but sooner or later it becomes apparent that gifting starts to resemble 'backdoor' refuge, more off loading than good intention and all because I have this problem doing away with any that are unused or no longer a whim. Sigh.
If there's one corporate department that consistently enjoys inflation busting increases, it has to be the creative people handling the packaging etc at all the various seed companies worldwide.The presentation just seems to get better and better. Some of the designs are so perfectly 'chocolate box' you simply have to avoid ripping open the packet at all cost. Better to gently steam the gummed flap over a kettle, avoiding any damage whatsoever and gingerly remove the little packet from inside.
Of course there are others that take a different approach. Packed in super strength foil with a label printed in courier or other straight talking fonts, these are the no- nonsense, 'does what it says on the tin' brigade. Rip them open, chuck the seed at the compost and take cover.
Well I 've pretty much made my seed choices for this year. Pink Cosmos is on the list, it simply has to be. So far the others are;
Cosmos bipinnatus ' purity'
Verbena x hybrida 'blue lagoon'
Echinacea purpurea 'pink parasol'
Nepeta transcaucasia 'blue infinity'
Verbena hastata 'blue spires'
This list will grow, it always does, but old favourites inevitably creep in. For one, I find Nicotiana sylvestris 'only the lonely' practically irreplaceable. With its white tubular bells and six foot leafy stature, I can't think what would look better, particularly during the evening down near the riverside terrace.
So with the seed displays strategically placed at garden centres, catalogues dropping in the post box and daylight just starting to lengthen, it just feels like it'll be no time before things get busy in the garden, but then there was no real down time. We all know that.