greentapestry : Itchy Fingers

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Itchy Fingers

Well, I know it's much too early and way too cold to start seed sowing but how could I resist ? Today I had an appointment with the Slimming World scales. Having been conspicuously absent during the festive season, I was feeling rather apprehensive about stepping on to the scales of reckoning. I had a bit of time to kill before the session started, so decided to have a browse round Wilkinsons or Wilkos as it is usually known in these parts. I have a feeling that this chain of stores may be more prevalent in the north of England rather than the south, but with the sad demise of Woolworths there are rumours that Wilkos may expand. Oh joy of joys - gone was a lot of the post Christmas stuff and its place the gardening section had remorphed. Much to my delight there were three seed ranges to chose from - an increase on last year. I wonder if this a reflection of the fact that more people are growing from seed especially vegetables. As well as their own brand of seeds which are fine but a bit limited variety wise both Johnsons Seeds and Mr. Fothergills were available.

After some dithering I came away with the above packets. The red leaved lettuce 'Delicato' will be heading for the allotment. I grew 'Bijou' last year which I will grow again but I fancy trying another red leaved lettuce. I do not know whether it's is my imagination but I am sure that the molluscs do not find these as appetising. Also for the allotment I am going to try an early purple sprouting broccoli by the name of 'Rudoph' as seen looking most appetising here

My final choice presented me with the biggest dilemma. I chose
echinacea pallida
but was also tempted by echinacea 'Dreamcoat'. The latter is a new variety this year and promises a range of colours. I am a bit dubious and think that there will be a predominant colour. I like the shape and the soft pink shade of pallida so it won the day. I have not previously had any success with echinaceas. I think that the garden is too damp so instead when big enough, I will plant some of these down at my much sunnier allotment to see how they fare.

Seed browsing was a real tonic on a grey and cold January day and I am sure that I will be nipping into Wilkos regularly as the season progresses. The feel good factor continued when I leapt on the scales, to be told that I have only put on a pound over Christmas !


  1. I can't wait to get going. Still the spuds will soon arrive to start chitting and next month we may be able to get out and plant the shallots depending on how this freezing weather goes!

    I haven't succumbed to those shiny packets yet, but it's only a matter of time...

  2. PS your pictures back peeking out at me this morning :)

  3. You said "Well, I know it's much too early and way too cold to start seed sowing...", but I say "NUH UH!!!!" I sowed my first seeds on Dec. 27 through winter seed sowing. I highly recommend it!

  4. I know what you mean - I was wondering today about planting early peas (lol)

  5. PS - Well done for only putting on a pound - I haven't done the whole leaping onto the scales yet!

  6. Well done with the is always good to know that Christmas hasn't added another half stone.

    We have a local Wilkinson and I agree they are a fab store....
    I have bought lots of perennial seeds, I can't wait to get started but it is freezing here at the moment. Whatever happened to global warming.......

    Tks for dropping by my blog.....

  7. Planning a garden is the perfect way to pass a January day!

  8. I just can't wait to get out there and plant some seeds. I might plant a few Winter lettuce seeds on a windowsill and get them hardened off in the greenhouse.

  9. Oh yes not long too go to buying spuds - there's a light on the horizon. I have not grown shallots before so there's something for me to maybe try this year. Glad to hear that I am waving out at you again VP :)

    Monica, I have not forgotten your article about winter seed sowing. I am going to give it a go with some perennial seeds. I am just waiting for it to warm up enough to spend time in my greenhouse where my compost is, otherwise I will not only have itchy fingers but frozen ones too.

    Thanks Karen. I probably did not leap onto the scales more likely tentatively put my big toe on :) It's especially hard in this cold weather trying to keep to an eating plan. I must remember to get some early peas in.

    Welcome Cheryl, Nina and Matron. It's good to see you here and thank you for your comments.

    I find it hard to keep out of Wilkos Cheryl especially now we have got one almost on the doorstep. It's a lot warmer here today in the north west and quite windy. Maybe it will soon be warmer with you too.

    You are quite right Nina. January is a the perfect month for garden dreaming and scheming.

    That sounds like a good plan Matron and one that I might well soon follow. It will help to easy the itchy fingers.

  10. The excitement of chitting potatoes - glad to see I'm not alone. Those Echinacea look lovely; I'm growing White Swan this year - maybe we should do a couple of swaps?

    P x

  11. I have to confess, I have succumbed to the 'shiny packets' as VP calls them. I think it is one of the great consolations of January, standing in the warm bit of the garden centre, looking at all the colourful packets and fantasising about how everything is going to look six months from now. You're right: there seems to be a much better selection on sale everywhere this year.

  12. Welcome Pam and Victoria - it's good to see you here.

    I would be happy to swap seeds Pam. There are far more echinacea pallida in the packet than I know
    what to do with !

    I agree with you there Victoria - garden centre browsing provides a welcome glimpse of summer on the dreariest or coldest January day :) Those 'shiny packets' are hard to resist.

  13. Planning and researching for the garden is fun in January, but certainly taking action is even more fun. :)
    Nurturing those sprouts will tide you over until things pick up in the garden. It would be an interesting experiment to put the different coloured lettuce leaves in a container with a snail volunteer, and to record the preferences. I'm sure they would all wiggle a tentacle to volunteer for this duty, as long as they didn't know the final outcome that awaited after the experimment was finished.

  14. Hello Northern Shade and thanks for visiting. Your experiment sounds as if it could be fun. I am sure that there would be no shortage of mollusc volunteers at the allotment :)

  15. Well thats two plugs for Wilko's that I know of, Yours and one on a recent post on my blog. Like you I have started back on track with the scales, but with weight watchers. I have to weigh in on tuesday and I don't feel that I have done too well this week.

    I started planting some seeds indoors over the week-end, so I feel cheered up now and look forward to them peeping through the compost soon. It's good to read your blog BTW.

  16. Welcome Maureen and thanks for your comment. As a non driver Wilkos is great for me as I can seed browse at leisure without himself getting restless :) Good luck with your weigh in. Sometimes when you think that have not done well you can be in for a pleasant surprise. It's hard work at this time of year. When I am at the allotment I am away from temptation :) Hope that your seeds are soon shooting - it's so exciting growing from seeds.


All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at :


- Anna.