Winter arrived at the end of January with the snow and frost, but before it did, I had managed to plant some extra irises and a Delphinium from the Old Place in the herbaceous border in the back garden. I don’t know how they will tie in with the Hesperis, aquilegia, Rudbeckia and other established shrubs. I am nowhere near being a garden designer – I am just someone who plants stuff in borders and hopes for the best.
With little to do in the garden, planning is what this time of year is about. There is an anticipation of what might be, which is why all those seed catalogues land on your door mat post-Christmas. It is a time for some horticultural pornography, turning the pages with your hot sweaty fingers (better than them being frozen in the garden) as you imagine which hot chilli is going to steam up your greenhouse this summer.
I ordered up some of the early planters from a major seed company for convenience, but have also ordered some of my favourite niche herbs – like Pipiche and Korean mint – from Real Seeds. And of course the annual Red Letter day for veg gardeners round these parts was the Castle Cary Potato Day when Pennard Plants rolled into town like the horticultural circus with the finest range of seed potatoes to wow the thronging hordes. We duly went and paid our dues.
And last night, when doing boarding duty at school, I took a few minutes away from watching dull-witted Beautiful Young Things bitching and flirting on “Shipwrecked” to buy some flower seeds from Higgledy Garden. If I have bought an excess of seeds I will blame it on a temporary paralysis of reason caused by the stun-gun effect of listening to bronze-skinned, bikini-clad structured reality TV. But the flowers will look wonderful (in my imagination, at least, which has little structure, or reality).