Things are definitely stirring. I’m not talking about snowdrops, either: gardeners, too, are emerging blinking blearily into the watery February sunlight, daring to think the worst of the winter might be over. If there’s one thing that all gardeners share, it’s an unquenchable optimism: the unshakeable belief that a new season will come, seeds will be sown and will grow, and this year will be better than the last.
Seed swaps are the first gardeners’ gatherings of the new season: they start in January and continue till April, overlapping somewhat with potato days (I usually go to both). The idea is that you bring along some seeds – ideally those you’ve saved yourself, but if not your unwanted spares will do – and exchange them for seeds other gardeners have brought. It is such a lovely idea: sharing the bounty, making sure nothing goes to waste, and coming home with exciting new plants to try and grow, without any money exchanging hands at all.