Time to be inspired by seed catalogues

A very happy 2014!

A very Happy New Year and already full of thoughts and ideas for the year ahead! Put simply, inside there’s quite a lot of action and outside it’s more planning!


As ever, a mixture of tweaking the existing (such as repainting the woodwork in a particular room) or starting something completely new. So for that, a trip to one of my favourite places – RHS Wisley early in January inspired me to rearrange one of the larger borders in the garden.

Of course being RHS & Wisley at that, everything looks wonderful and the scale and scope there only inspires – I did remind myself of how many folk work and volunteer to make it such an amazing set-up! – But all that aside, the borders of dogwoods and cornuses with brightly coloured stems just lit up that January afternoon. More on this later but I am full of good intentions!


Inside painting to refresh for the season ahead began in earnest. Somehow that low winter sun piercing through the windows can be a harsh critic. Then onto testing new recipes for guests and the annual marmalade making ritual.


One of the best things about January is the arrival of the seed catalogues – seriously I have to positively restrain myself. They make it look so easy, and tempting as it is be seduced by thoughts of exotic or even Mediterranean fruits and veg – I’m thinking melons, cucumbers, grapes & asparagus – the fact is – this is northern Cumbria and even with a bit of global warming, these remain a pipedream.

This year though I shall be focussing on lots of cut flowers, which thus far have flourished and on the produce side shall only grow tried and tested varieties. So hoping for lots of courgettes, beans, shallots & onions, potatoes, tomatoes Swiss chards and lettuces …


And so the annual cycle continues – even here in February, the greenhouse cleaned, seeds are planted, potatoes chitted.