Tuesday, 17 March 2015

My cure for the March blues

This recent flu-type bug I had left me with a bad case of the Blues.  Day after day I felt no positivity, took no pleasure in anything.

Yesterday I decided I would try and work a cure, so took myself to Wyevale where I don't often go because they are so blardy expensive, but they DO have the best selection of Seeds hereabouts, so it was a case of needs must.  My husband sat in the car with the paper.  He HATES garden centres and doesn't like gardening, but mows the lawn (muttering) and if he had his way, his perfect garden would be a lawnless back yard with a few things in pots and NO VEG.

I didn't go mad - the prices forbade that - the Sweet Pea selection was £4.69 on its own, but actually represented very good value for money as there are 6 seed varieties and only one had less than 18 seeds in it.  The individual packets of Sweet Peas cost over £2 each for a similar amount of seeds.  The Franchi seeds are good value too - excellent germination and after going to Florence last year, I am now a sucker for Italian anything!  I wanted the green flat beans, rather than the yellow, but only Duchy Originals (Organic) offered green and there were very few seeds in the over-priced pack, which I have bought in the past but germination was poor.  Whilst I would prefer to be all organic in the seeds, needs must.  I spent a good hour yesterday afternoon sowing the Sweet Peas.  "Take a 5 inch pot and sow 5 to a pot" the directions told me. Then I ran out of 5" pots - or rather, I am sure I have some more but they are almost definitely at the bottom of one of the big bin liners of pots I have lurking in the back of the chicken shed (lapsed).  So I ended up grabbing some 6-hole large plug strips I'd bought young plants in last year - nice and roomy - but even then I had to put a couple of seeds in each plug as there were lots of seeds in some of the sachets.

The varieties are: Bijou Mixed, Old Spice Mixed, Blue Velvet, Spencer Mixed, Cupani and Swan Lake.  I think they will love it in the former soft fruit patch at the top end of the (south-facing) yard and the bees will love them too.

Last week I hit Wilko's and took advantage of their 3 for 2 offer on seeds.  These are destined to be planted near the sweet peas, in that same sunny border.

If you are thinking it is an unbalanced mix of veg seeds, the beans are already sown, and brassicas don't do well here.  Or more likely, I am a crap brassica grower!  Anyway, OH is a fussy devil and tries not to eat much veg if he can get away from it and wouldn't touch any of these with a barge pole (apart from the occasional carrot which I manage to slip in).  Broccoli and peas and the occasional bit of cabbage and that's his lot.

Some of the floral stragglers from last year, which I never got around to sowing.  I am about to rectify that.

Whilst we're on the subject, why ARE seeds so dear?  Go to Lidl and you can buy excellent seeds for pennies . . .  OK, the selection is limited, but they all grow!

I've just popped across to Fleabay to see if I can get some green flat beans, only to find I could buy PURPLE strawberries, or BLUE ones . . . don't think so!  They don't look at all appetising and I should think as genetically modified as it's possible to be!

Anyway, I did find some flat beans for 99p a pack, so got two (one for eldest daughter T who now has an allotment!  Several friends are sharing, so they will find the digging easier . . .

Whilst I was in Wyevale, I spotted some half price Tomato seedlings - originally £1.99  or £2.29 for 4, just a couple of inches high, I didn't mind trying them half price.  They were bone dry and needed potting on and tlc, but they are now sorted and in the polytunnel (another Wyevale bargain from last year, just one of the green sort).

I declined to buy the "bargain" bucket of 50 fat balls for wild birds at "just" £6.99 a bucket, reduced from £12.99!!!  Since I have been buying these at Charlies or Wilko all winter at £5 a bucket, it didn't seem much of a bargain to me!

Oh, and I AM a bit more cheerful this morning now : )


  1. next time you are feeling down pop up for a cuppa, I popped to wyvale yesterday needed some more ericasious compost, also popped to pound-stretchers needed a drawer unit for the cabin and they had boxes of wild seed mixes for a £1 so picked up a couple to scatter along the verges of the driveway

  2. That would be lovely Dawn. The glumps is not a nice thing to have - seem to have shaken the worst off now though. Perhaps we could meet at the PO in the village? I'm free this week bar tomorrow and Sunday. I'm pretty sure 90%) I know exactly where you live but don't want to roll up and find I am at the wrong place after all!!

  3. I do hope what remains of your glumps disappear soon. Even the smallest amount of gardening helps cheer me up. I often use the inner cardboard roll from toilet rolls for planting individual seeds such as sweet peas, broad and runner beans. I then plant the entire unit in the ground at my allotment when the weather is suitable. It also defeats the mice/moles that eat a lot of my seed. The garden centre had some blue see potatoes that apparently stay blue when cooked which I had to buy. I look forward to seeing photographs of your produce later in the year.

  4. I hope that you are feeling a bit more yourself now. Thankfully my Blahs have gone, a little trip to the seaside helped no end, not to mention the chips! I am having a seed sowing fest, my sweetpeas are up but I do have a second packet to set. I only grow sprouting broccoli, brassicas take up their space for far too long. My sweetcorn will be planted into loo roll middles, they like a long root run. I picked up several packets of the Italian seeds for 50p a packet before Christmas and am looking forward to seeing how well they do.

  5. Even just looking at the packets has cheered me up no end BB. I think we are all ready for some warmer weather and a bit of sun - we have not seen the sun here for days and there seems to be no chance of us seeing the partial eclipse on Friday. For us here the Northern Lights are forecast for tonight - what is the weather like? Cloudy and misty, so no chance.
    Hope the cheery feeling gets stronger each day.

  6. Thank you all. Just reading your comments has cheered me up no end. That and a really DIRE DVD we got for £1 (thankfully wasted no more!) at the car boot sale on Sunday. OMG, it is truly AWFUL! You should see Thor - bright red wig(s) and a large silver plastic hammer . . .

    Pat - seeds bring hope don't they? I sowed lots and lots more today and am fast running our of room in my small polytunnel.

    Pam - which bit of seaside did you go to? Pembrey is lovely, but you have to avoid the rudey nudey men bit if you wander too far to the right!! Neither of us like Sweetcorn, which is a shame. I'll eat it in a casserole or curry, but don't care for it on its own.

    Welcome to From A Worcestershire Hill. Glumps improving by the hour, I'm glad to say. If I hadn't squashed and burned all the loo roll middles, I would utilise them! Mind you, I have a LOT of sweet peas sown so would have needed to save them all winter I think! Blue potatoes I've seen, and can cope with those, but those blue STRAWBERRIES? They looked like they'd been spray painted!

  7. I had a huge job that I needed to finish and finally did. Did not want to do it but I had to.
    I have been collecting seed that I want to plant and can't wait to start. My garden is all in pots but still fun.
    Spring gardens are always a great way to feel better.

    cheers, parsnip

  8. parsnip - but I bet you were pleased when you got that huge job finished? I have a book on growing stuff in containers and it's amazing what a show you can put on. Edible or just decorative.

  9. The seed purchases are medicinal and therefore justified....
    Recovering from illness by self. Currently on the artificial high provided by Prednisone....

  10. Lucky you, all those seeds to be transformed into a garden full of flowers and vegetables, a great pick me up! Hope they dispel the grey moods X