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Time to wake up the blog again!

I know: it’s been a long time. What can I say: writing and gardening got in the way. I won a Proper Award from the Garden Media Guild, for a year-long series I did in 2018 for the RHS magazine The Garden all about gardening without plastic: a cause that is now so close to my heart that I set up a whole website dedicated to it (with an equally neglected but soon-to-be-revived blog) at http://www.gardeningwithoutplastic.com.

Carol Klein on the left, Julia Boulton (Beth Chatto’s granddaughter) on the right, and some garden writer or other in the middle

I have raised a lot of vegetables, written another series for BBC Gardeners’ World magazine about growing food for your family (another cause that’s close to my heart) and seen my eldest daughter off to university in Newcastle.

I have gained a cat and lost 12 sheep: last year I sold my beloved flock of rare breed Dorset Down ewes, mainly because I really couldn’t justify producing that much meat when there are now only two of us to eat it and we’re mostly vegetarian anyway. They went to a very nice man in Dorset where they now live in splendid luxury in a little paddock where they are fussed over by all who pass.

You lookin’ at me?

But now it is the start of a new decade and I am feeling the itch to record what I am up to in the garden again. There is much to talk about: a rewilding project, rebuilding the chicken run in preparation for restocking after a couple of years’ break, experiments with exotic vegetables from far-off climes…

But first things first: before you bring in the new, it’s out with the old, and I’m having a big clear-out. As a garden writer I accumulate a lot of packets of seeds. Though I try to sow as many as I can myself, inevitably there are some left over.

I’ve done one of these seed giveaways before but not for a while now. So the stash has grown to epic proportions. Time for a bit of a declutter, I think.

Here are the rules:

  1. Make a donation of at least £5 to my JustGiving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/seedgiveaway2020 in aid of Plantlife, a charity which works quietly but tirelessly saving rarities like wild orchids, persuading councils to stop flaying the wildflowers from our road verges in the name of neatness, and generally campaigning for us all to be a little kinder to the natural world around us.
  2. Choose up to five packets of seed from the list below
  3. Let me know which ones you’ve picked, plus your postal address, via email at sally(dot)nex(at)btinternet(dot)com
  4. Once you have received your seeds, get planting!

List of available seeds (I will update this as we go along):

  • Asparagus ‘Mary Washington’
  • Basil (green) (4 packs)
  • Basil ‘Red Leaved’
  • Beetroot ‘Rainbow Beet’
  • Broad bean ‘Crimson Flowered’
  • Broccoli ‘Early Purple Sprouting’
  • Broccoli ‘Romanesco’
  • Brussels Sprout ‘Brodie F1’
  • Brussels Sprout ‘Evesham Special’
  • Calendula
  • Carrot ‘Autumn King’
  • Carrot ‘Chantenay’ (3 packs)
  • Carrot ‘Nantes’
  • Cauliflower ‘All the Year Round’ (4 packs)
  • Cauliflower ‘Amsterdam’
  • Celeriac ‘Monarch’ (2 packs)
  • Celery ‘Giant Red’
  • Celery ‘Solid Pink’ (Heritage Seed Library)
  • Chives
  • Courgette
  • Courgette ‘All Green Bush’
  • Cress (2 packs)
  • Dill
  • Fennel ‘Di Firenze’
  • Foxglove ‘Apricot’
  • Kale ‘Nero di Toscana’
  • Leek ‘Autumn Giant 2’
  • Leek ‘Lyon 2’
  • Marrow ‘Long White Trailing’ (Heritage Seed Library)
  • Mustard (for windowsills)
  • Onion ‘Ailsa Craig’
  • Onion ‘Bedfordshire Champion’
  • Onion ‘Red Baron’ (2 packs)
  • Oregano (2 packs)
  • Parsnip ‘White Gem’ (4 packs)
  • Pepper ‘Asti Red’Pepper ‘Friggitello’
  • Pepper ‘Corno di Toro Rosso’
  • Pepper ‘Skinny’ (Heritage Seed Library – dwarf bird chilli, tiny but very hot!)
  • Poppy ‘Flanders’
  • Radish ‘Albena’
  • Radish ‘Blue Moon and Red Moon’
  • Radish ‘Cherry Belle’
  • Radish ‘French Breakfast’ (2 packs)
  • Rocket
  • Runner bean ‘Scarlet Emperor’
  • Sorrel Red Veined
  • Spring cabbage ‘April’ (2 packs)
  • Spring cabbage ‘Greyhound’
  • Spring onion ‘White Lisbon’
  • Summer cabbage ‘Golden Acre’
  • Thyme
  • Tomato ‘Gardeners Delight’ (4 packs)
  • Tomato ‘Ildi’
  • Tomato ‘Moneymaker’ (2 packs)
  • Tomato ‘Red Cherry’ (2 packs)
  • Tomato ‘Red Pear’
  • Tomato ‘Super Mama’
  • Watercress ‘Aqua’
  • Winter cabbage ‘January King’

All seeds are in date and in a sealed packet ready to go. This giveaway will run until the end of January (or longer if it’s still going strong beyond that point). Enjoy!