Here we are again. Another year older……but what the heck. Every year we reflect, on the highs and lows, it all started too wet and finished too dry, but overall not a bad season. So, the next one begins.
It is all rather exciting actually. I have spent the last few evenings in front of the fire with my head buried in seed catalogues. There are just so many re-shaped, and new varieties on offer this year. I have never seen so many petunia varieties in all of my life. One catalogue alone is offering me six pages of them. There are climbing, crawling, trailing and upright forms, with both single and double flowers of every size in a big range of colours, including black, lime and orange. You won’t miss them. Fight your way through that and there are some rather special bits,and plenty that will come from seed. There are some good new salvias and do check out the gazanias and zinnias. Zinnias have had a troubled history and were notorious for disease, but they are so good these days. The other thing that you are going to see a good deal of are “plant recipes”, a very prescriptive range of planting schemes, illustrated to show that plants go together and that red, white and blue really can work. I am not totally sold into all of this, as it takes gardening a step closer to decorating and two steps away from the adventure of artistic expression, clearly some will find it useful. In the vegetable section too there are plenty of new introductions and I am particularly keen to try the seed raised shallots. I am hearing many good things about them and, like onions they are very straightforward. That’s just for starters, I have yet to open my 2015 CN Vegetable Seed catalogue.
If seeds don’t float your boat, then how about potatoes (I must be great company in a pub don’t you think?). It is potato time all over again and with 7,500 varieties globally, I am always chasing new. The onion sets, garlic and shallots are all in, the rhubarb is pipping and the darkest winter night has passed. I am getting a bit of sowing compost in and will play about with sowing something, probably a pinch of lettuce and summer cabbage. Germination will be slow, they will come though and anticipation is the messenger of hope and the herald of a new season.
And finally, if you need another herald, 2015 is officially The Year of the Sunflower, now there is a challenge for January!
Happy New Year and Happy Gardening.