This time of year is the worst for a seed addict. With nothing much growing in the garden and only a few jobs requiring my attention when the weather permits, I find myself cooped up in the house with a fresh set of seed catalogues from my dealers to tempt me and I inevitably become stuck in the same cycle.
You see, my ideas are much, much bigger than my plot. My curiosity for growing new plants is almost endless, so every item in those glossy pages catches hold of my interest, and I am unfortunately all too easily seduced into purchasing just another packet.
Perhaps it is the excitement that got me hooked. Few jobs in the garden are charged with the same emotions as seed sowing. The anticipation I feel when I receive a new packet, the excitement as the seed is carefully sown, the joy as the first shoots appear, the nerves as they are carefully pricked out and weened to adulthood, then the pride you are filled with as they finally develop to maturity, fulfilling their potential and filling your garden with their bounty.
My collection is burgeoning. A tin dedicated to their storage was soon filled, so I upgraded to a shoe-box, which inevitably wasn’t enough and I now have a bag-for-life bursting full of potential life. Not content with just one variety of tomatoes, I find myself wanting to compare several to see which is my favourite. This would not ordinarily be a problem, but when it begins to extend to several varieties of peas, beans and radishes, I begin to wonder ‘where on earth will I sow them all?’ And ‘how will I find the time to take care of them?’ I have an allotment, a veg patch in the garden I take care of, and a few spots in my own minuscule back garden, but even these combined are still nowhere near big enough to grow everything I would like to.
I have tried to give it up. I reason with myself that I now have more seeds than I will ever need. My collection is starting to rival a seed bank, but I still find it so hard to resist. I have tried saving seeds from my own plants, thus hopefully cutting out the charm of the salesperson and their innate ability to convince me that I need to grow this new tomato or unusual squash, but it has been to no avail. As soon as I hear that catalogue coming through the door I am once again salivating in anticipation, like one of Pavlov’s dogs, ready to get my fix.