Event: My Seedy Valentine

If you have a small kitchen garden, or you’re growing edible plants on windowsills or in window boxes, you only need a few seeds to fill the whole space with plants. Unfortunately, you usually have to buy the seeds in large quantities, and they don’t always stay fresh and viable for that long after you’ve opened the packets.

It’s a bit of a waste, and it doesn’t help you to get much variety into what you’re growing, and variety is half the fun. To partly counteract this, I sometimes swap a few seeds and bulbs with other small gardeners via websites here and there, although it’s a rather piecemeal process. It got me thinking about how great it would be to get all my swaps done in one go next year so I could get straight on with the sowing and growing, and how other urban gardeners were probably in the same position.

So I’ve decided to arrange a swap shop for urban gardeners in early 2012, before the growing season starts. I’ve picked Sunday the 5th of February, the weekend before Valentine’s Day, which will give growers enough time to start off the earliest seedlings. The location isn’t decided yet, but it will be a central London location where people can drop in after lunch to chat and swap. Probably a cafe or a pub where we can book a booth or table.

Who’s invited? Anyone who wants to grow edible plants:

  • On a windowsill (even if it’s only a couple of pots of herbs)
  • In window boxes
  • In pots on a patio or fire escape
  • In a small garden
  • On an urban allotment
All you need to do is turn up on the day and bring at least one thing to swap, whether it’s seeds, bulbs, seedlings or rooted cuttings.┬áPlease don’t bring anything that’s been opened for more than a year, or is past its sow-by date, and make sure you know what the variety of the plant is – instead of just ‘tomato’, be able to tell people it’s a ‘Marmande tomato’ and so on, so they can find out how to look after it.
The plants can be from any of these categories:
  • Herbs
  • Vegetables and salads
  • Fruit trees/bushes/crowns – ones suitable for small gardens only, please
  • Edible flowers
  • Plants that encourage bees and other good wildlife
  • Companion plants that protect edible plants from pests or diseases

If you’re an experienced gardener, why not stick around for a chat and a drink or two, and pass on your tips and skills to the newer gardeners. I’ll bring along a few small envelopes too, in case people want to split up larger packets between several swappers.

There will be more announcements nearer the time about location and the plants on offer, but for the time being can I get a rough idea of how many people might be interested in joining in? Leave a quick message in the comments below or drop me a quick email at penny @ pennygolightly dotcom.

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