Monday, 14 March 2011

Hardy ba*tard seeds...................!!

Newly germinated from a gift in the mail - thank you Little Black Fox!
You know people who collect shoes, or teapots - I think gardeners are a similar breed of person - except we appear to ditch the posh frocks and the killer heel collections in leui of buying, swapping, acquiring by hook or by crook (well not much crook-like-behaviour) plants. And, when I say plants of course I mean every combination of them from air cuttings, bulbs, corm, you get the idea to every type of seed we can get out hands on! Are we obsessed - hell yeah!! But I do manage a bit of family life, I really do!! I do try to temper this obsession within the bounds of normal family life (honest) like playing with the dog (cairn terrier Peedie).
Waiting for me to quit playing with my planting and play with him!
Often, however, this is a tricky balance. For example, when I returned home yesterday from our trip south into the arms of my home alone son and the dog which I feared might actually wag its back end off - I did quickly embrace them both. Right before I went careering into the sunny room to see what had popped up on the windowsill and right up the stairs (two by two) to the airing cupboard to see if my tomatoes had germinated (they are being chitted in a tupperware box in the airing cupboard - a trick which works like a charm that I learnt from a tomato obsessed fiend online). WOO HOO Another lot just about almost germinated - but not quite - [come on bush tomato  'Lilliput' get on with it], these are old seed sent by a lovely online chum through the post (thank you!) which look like they will germinate despite thier 'out of date-ness' on the packet.

I love the kindness of strangers in this virtual interwebblet 'just over the fence' land in which we live thesedays. I have to confess to having half my seed collection these days from friends (virtual and non) and many little seed trays, book shelves and even the kitchen sink filled up with delights that have come in the post (thank you all!!!xx) I'm happy to have indulged in both sending and receiving things in the post and love the surprise it gives me when I find a little parcel like yesterday with some permaculture books on loan in thanks to Daffy! Or a few babby plantlets, in a fish box (where else?) growing on, that I got from another chum a while back in the post - perfect!

Anyway to get back to the title of the blog, while back this kind lass Little Black Fox offered up an envelope in the mail of mixed seeds that she promised they wouldn't come back to bite you in the bum! Anyway - always being in need of a goodly quantity of seeds I did indeed accept her kind offer and got a lot of seeds in the post - what a star. What a great gal! LBF is a fan of hardy heritage seeds and lives in quite an exposed location in the UK, therefore knowing her stuff she's sent me a few things to try up here which might actually go quite well. I'd heard about a seed company specialising in your more, how I do put this - well LBF put it far more eloquently than I could - I've sent you some 'hardy ba*tard seeds' she wrote, what a great idea!! No or limited faff vegetables - brilliant!!!

Anyhow, even though she reckons she's not telapathic, among the delights she sent me were four peedie seeds for an absurdly mega-ultra-ridiculusly early lettuce leaved tomato 'Latah' which has been bred in Moscow (Idaho) for a very short season.  Looking it up on the interweblet I found out quite alot about it - although to be fair LBF had written everything I needed to know on the packet. One of the company's doing this kind of seeds is called the Real seed company - based in Wales and specialises in hardy vegetable and fruit seeds.Thank you very much me dear!! I have great hopes for these little monkeys!!!

Tomato Latah from Little Black Fox (thank you!) they all germinated!
I'm a big fan of bush tomatoes (how did she know???) - less faffy and pretty easy if you want to grow them in the frozen north in a window box. But perhaps not this window sill, at the moment - still a bit BRRRRish later in the year my tomatoes will again live all around the windows in the lounge - its like arm chair gardening, but with a window box. I germinated these in the airing cupboard too and they came up in 2-3 days - that is insanely early! Now they've to put up with a bit of a chilly windowsill but they didn't seem to mind too much.

The normal tomato plant window sill - had 20 growing on this one last summer.....but not at the moment - not in this weather!
And, given the weather we had on Thursday - gales and snow, I think its safe to call this place the frozen north at the moment - I mean - can you spot my house down my track??????? Infact it was a bit hard to see out of the window - oh well, away with the sun cream, bikini and flipflops which hearld the start of spring in the isles {joke!}................and back out with the snow shoes and the woolly thermals. Especially for the little new seedlings - brrrrrr - but they are as hardy as LBF described the little seedlings of Latah sat on the window sill oblivious to the white stuff outside.............

10th March 2011 - um where did that come from and I can't see my house???
How the track normally looks, with random chickens and campervan 'Darwin' - January 2011
Anyways - enough about the random packages in the post I do go one but really I honestly appreciate them all - and get even more excited when they grow and germinate!! Lets hope my season actually begins to behave and I start to get more things sown soon. In and out of the airing cupboard to brave the window sills..................and whilst I know Janet hates red geraniums - but right now they are a bit cheery on the windowsill, despite the snow and they've flowered all year round!


  1. Hehe, I love this "ditch the posh frocks and the killer heel collections" - I've abandoned my perfectly manicured hands for ... oh dear, is that dirt under my nails?!

  2. Good luck with the seeds!

    I always have geraniums in my greenhouse (unheated) and although I can't stand the smell of the leaves, as you say, they provide a much needed splash of colour throughout the winter.

    I noticed on the weather reports that Scotland had had snow but I didn't realise how much until I saw your photos! We have been luckier in the North East but it's very "bitty", one day really warm, followed by some days of really cold or wet, or both! I just wish I could have two good days in a row! Never mind, Spring will come soon...I hope!

  3. Thank you Anna (love your blog btw) - Saturday was strange - sat in garden in north lincs with my cuppa, birdies a tweeting. Then we drove home through snowy Borders, landed here to gale force winds from the far north - breed! I must be odd, I like the smell of those indoor geraniums which of course are very cheerful.

    Christine, you are in good company as I studied my own nails, I appear to be a manicurists worst nightmare.

    Most folk when going on airborne adventures near big cities shop for posh stuff, in my suitcase I has two gardening books, 250 onions as sets (only peedie ones) a kilo of bean seeds and a poly tunnel catalogue. I know how to live eh?!

  4. Breed = weird - sorry!! Darn predictive text....

  5. Fay, I'm pretty sure my nails - and cuticles - could give yours a run for their money, and cause any manicurist to have a heart attack! The latest snowy spell seems a little unfair, but turning your house into a tomato incubator is a good response. I forgive you for the gernaiums - if I only have to look and not smell, they are fine ;-) Enjoy your freebie seeds. I'm already plotting how to put your last tip into action...