Amongst the coffee quaffing and cake crumbs last week, Threadspider and I got down to the serious business of deciding which seeds we need for next year. As members of the Chippenham Garden & Allotment Society we're entitled to a whopping 40% off D.T. Brown seeds and 10% off anything else in their catalogue. We'd had to look sharpish as the deadline for the order was 1st December. There's plenty to choose from what I'd call the 'basics', plus a few more of the more exotic line thrown in for good measure. Though for more unusual seeds it's often better to go to the more specialist catalogues. What better excuse is there for a few weeks of browsing through masses of shiny booklets and dreaming of perfect plots and gardens whilst curled up in front of the fire?
Anyhoo back to more pressing matters, our order. As well as the bargain catalogue in front of us, we've decided to share the seeds between us wherever possible - pretty sensible when we're talking about 2,500 carrot seeds per packet. For some seeds we'd like we've had to order 2 packets which has immediately put us into the bulk discount category too. Can you see how this bargain just keeps on stacking up?
So the upshot is, I've ordered £37-ish of seeds for the knock down price of just over £23, with the prospect of a further coffee and cake session to relish with Threadspider in the spring when we get to sort out and divide the seeds.
Surprisingly we didn't order any sprouts (!), though we're both going to have a go at growing gherkins for the first time next year and I'm going to make a welcome return to Lemon Crystal cucumbers. I've also added a few packets of flower seeds for good measure - perennial Rudbeckia and multi-flowered sunflowers for me and a packet of Statice for you dear Threadspider! We've also plumped for a courgette that's 'good for growing up north' in view of this year's poor summer, so we're confidently predicting a hot and sunny summer for next year folks!
If you're not a member of your local garden society already, it could be worth seeing what's on offer in your area, particularly if you do (or want to) grow lots from seed. The company used will vary though. My membership's thrown in with my allotment fees, though I do believe you can belong without having an allotment, usually at a nominal cost. A lot of societies have talks, trips and social events, so are good value even if you don't use the discounted seed scheme. If you do use this kind of thing already, I'm interested in hearing about how it works for you.
Emmat - I did manage to get the seed order in on time in spite of your efforts to thwart me with your latest Slightly Homemade Christmas Pudding Gardeners' World last week. Chortletastic!