I have an addiction which I have tried to deny over the past year but I have now come to the conclusion that I have to embrace the addiction and find a way to make the most of it.
What is my addiction? Propagation! I just can’t help myself. I get a thrill from sowing seeds and seeing them germinate and taking cuttings. I tried very hard last year to curb these impulses. I didn’t order seeds from the Cottage Garden Society or the Hardy Plant Society seed schemes and I concentrated on vegetable seeds for the allotment plus a few other things but nothing much or special. I put my energies into my new allotment and growing vegetables did go someway to satisfying my need to create plants.
Why did I try to curb this obsession? Well despite being ruthless when pricking out I still end up with more plants than I can accommodate in the garden and despite trying to off load them on gardening friends I still have lots left. I don’t have a lot of space to accommodate the pots of plants waiting a home so they end up getting thrown. Such a waste.
However, I really missed the thrill of growing ornamental plants especially ones that are a little challenging. I have decided that there is nothing for it but to embrace this addiction as it makes me happy and it isn’t that expensive a hobby. Yesterday I gathered all my boxes of seeds (there were 4 boxes) and had a really good sort out. In a moment of extreme organisation, which won’t last, I even organised the packets into the months when the seeds need sowing. In January alone I have 17 packets of seed to sow and the number for February and March is far in excessive of this, and I still have seeds to come from the RHS and Hardy Plant Society seed schemes. Of course, I don’t have to sow all the seeds and I was saying this to my son and interestingly his response was that I should and I should start selling the plants.
I have thought about this a lot over recent years but I have never had the courage to put it into action. It’s a confidence thing I suppose. I worry that the plants won’t be up to standard, where do I sell them, if I sell them on ebay how do I post them etc? I know there is little point in selling perennials at car boot sales as people who attend them generally are looking for bedding plants not unusual perennials. After a discussion on twitter I am thinking that maybe selling on ebay might be worth a go, if I can sort out how to post plants. However, I do still worry that people might not be satisfied with the quality of plants or want what I grow but I am putting this all down to my natural inclination to worry about things and my lack of confidence.
So today I tidied my little greenhouse up and bought some seed compost and the other necessary bits and pieces for plant propagation. I also sowed my first seeds: acquilegia, eranthis, honesty, angelica, hollyhock and some cauliflowers. Some of the seeds aren’t that fresh but you never know they might germinate and that is all part of the fun. As for selling the plants well I shall see how I get on growing them and I will investigate what is involved with selling on-line. After all I have a nice number of digitalis ferrunginea sitting in the cold frame far more than I can accommodate in the garden and maybe I should consider looking to sell them in a couple of months once they have bulked up.
So who knows 2012 might the year when I actually get my act together and make that first move towards selling my own plants.