Friday, January 20, 2012

The Big Seed Giveaway

Anyone want some seeds?

One of my new resolutions for this year is to get stricter with the number of seeds I sow. No - really. I will.

(At this point, probably best not to mention the fat envelope full of little packets of RHS seeds I found while clearing out which are just so mouthwateringly gorgeous I can't bear to let them go).

The thing is that every March I pull out the old floppy disc* box I use for keeping my seed packets in, and rifle through the section labelled - rather conventionally - 'March'.

This is where I stuff all the packets of seed I acquire during the year, just as somewhere to put them, really. Result: far too many seeds. And I mean far too many: this year I counted around 60 packets I know for sure I will not have time, space or if I'm honest inclination to grow.

No point in keeping all these spare seed packets: but what to do? They're all within date - some with 'sow-by' dates this year but most longer than that - and it seems such a waste just to chuck them out. Nearly all are pristine and unopened: some have lost their outer packets and therefore instructions, but I still know (because I've written it on the inner foil packets) the variety and sow-by date.

My usual fallback is to offload them at a seed swap, but I'm not planning to go to one this year: last year's was great but it was a bit of a hike, being in Wiltshire, and I haven't found one near enough to go to around here (yet). And besides, I've already got quite enough seed to sow to be getting on with for this year and - see resolution above - I really, honestly, truthfully don't need any more.

So I thought I'd just... well... give them away, in my own sort of seed swap without the swap bit.

Therefore, I hereby announce, in its inaugural year of what I suspect may become an annual event...

The CG Big Seed Giveaway for 2012
(rules (not many, I hope) follow the list)

(I'm having to be a bit coy about the exact varieties in some cases, so where I've only listed the name + colour, email me if you want the full details (see below))

Poppy (Papaver laciniatum) (pink) (2 packets available) - both taken
Hollyhock (two-tone mix) - taken
Godetia (pink) - taken
Foxglove (pink)
Foxglove (white with purple dots) - taken
Foxglove (compact, pink) - taken
Calendula (single, yellow)
Coreopsis grandiflora - taken
Antirrhinum dwarf mix
Phlox (mauve mix) - taken
Zinnia (striped mix) - taken
Californian poppy (double, mix) - taken
Salpiglossis (wine-red)
Cornflower (pink & white mix) - taken
Petunia (pink and white mix) - taken
Wildflower mix (for bees) - taken
Gaillardia (butter yellow) - taken

Courgette (yellow variety) (2 packets available) - both taken
Chilli pepper 'Hot Cayenne' - taken
Chilli pepper (medium hot, red) - taken
Brussels sprout 'Evesham Special' - taken
Carrot (yellow variety) - taken
Carrot (white variety) - taken
Cabbage (green coleslaw type, autumn/winter variety) - taken
Cauliflower 'Aalsmeer' - taken
Tomato 'Moneymaker' - taken
Tomato (patio variety, cherry) - taken
Onion 'Long Red Florence' - taken
Onion 'Ailsa Craig' - taken

Seeds saved by me (NB I am a little erratic on the seed-saving side so viability can't be guaranteed, though it's quite likely: all the following are heritage varieties)

Martock beans (9 packets) - 3 taken
Squash 'Potimarron' (9 packets) - 6 taken
Climbing French bean 'George's' (9 packets) - 4 taken

Opened packets (still with plenty of seed in):
Cabbage 'Ruby Ball' - taken
Beetroot 'Chioggia' - taken
Bronze fennel - taken
Artichoke 'Purple Globe' - taken
Runner beans (no variety given as this was a seed swap acquisition) - taken

How to claim your free seeds:
- comment below giving the names of the seeds you want (if you have any questions about how this works, do just ask. Ditto re more information on any of the named varieties above - most of those named can be found on the interweb if you google)
- then send an email to sally dot nex at btinternet dot com confirming your request
- I'll send you an email back giving you my address
- send an SAE to me and I'll put the seeds in the envelope and post it back to you
- I'll update this post regularly giving details of what's gone and what's left
- the giveaway will last for a week, until 27 January: since this post will go wandering off down the blog, follow me on Twitter (@sallynex) for updates
- if you enjoy growing your seeds, please blog about them later in the year if you can!

- no more than 10 packets of seed and no more than one packet of the same variety per person.
- after the week is up, I'll divvy up the remainder between those who have said they want more than 10 packets, so do indicate if you'd like to be part of this.
- first to place their order in the comments below gets the seed
- sorry but the offer is only open to UK respondents, otherwise I'll get clobbered by customs and those nice people who try to stop nasty diseases crossing borders on the backs of foreign seeds

*remember floppy discs? Mine were 3 1/2" and made a whirring noise when you put them in the computer: they seemed the ultimate in hi-techery at the time. The only thing I couldn't quite work out was why they were called floppy when they were so... well... un-floppy. All in all it was quite a relief when CDs and memory sticks came along and relieved me of having to think about it any more.


The Constant Gardener said...

Since Blogger is weaving its usual magic and refusing to allow some people to comment, here's a note from Janey Stewart giving the seeds she's claiming:

Courgette yellow
Carrot yellow
Carrot white
Squash potimarrion
Martock beans
Coreopsis grandiflora
Hollyhock two tone
California poppies double
Cornflower pink and white

(if anyone else has the same problem, do just email me :D)

patientgardener said...

Floppy disc box - lightweight! I had to go and buy a new big plastic storage box for mine and I have still to add my RHS & HPS seeds.

Esther Montgomery said...

Dear Sally

Please may I have some?

I'd like some white foxgloves with purple dots.

Some Poppies if they will grow in dry ground and be happy while un-tended during Auguat.

Coreopsis grandiflora
and some wild flowers for bees

and some Gaillardia if it will grow in ground which, during summer, has fierce sun for half the day and is in shade for the rest.

That would be brilliant!

The Constant Gardener said...

(**whispers**) I actually have two floppy disc boxes and a shoebox. Plus assorted fat and overstuffed envelopes in unlikely bits of the house.

I am looking forward to seeing what you're growing from the RHS. I have Musa velutina, Inula helenium and Heuchera micrantha plus 17 others equally mouthwatering. I shouldn't, I really shouldn't, but I just can't stop myself...

The Constant Gardener said...

Esther - they're yours :D

drop me a line by email and I'll send you the address for the SAE.

Happy sowing!

Rachel said...


I would like to rehome the following:
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage - green
Onion - Long Red Florence
Onion - Ailsa Craig
Cabbage - Ruby Ball
Beetroot - Chioggia
Bronze Fennel
Squash - Potimarron

Thanks, will email you too.

The Constant Gardener said...

they're yours Rachel :D

PS that opened packet of Chioggia seed has enough to keep you going for about 5 years... and that's if you really, really like beetroot :D

VP said...

Snap! I've just been rifling through my seed tins and have found loads of seeds I don't want. They're going up on my Giveaways page at some point in the coming week :)

Mind you, I'm also considering going to BoA's seed swap - I don't have the canal trip to go on like I did last year...

The Constant Gardener said...

It was Bradford's swap I went to last year - fantastic, really busy and lots of interesting seeds (that's where the 'George's' French beans came from).

Will look out for that Giveaways page... but stop me if I ask for any, OK? ;D

Stacy Drury said...

now I am at the other end pf the spectrum and suspect of the comming years i too will have far to many seeds but i would love a packet of each:
Squash 'Potimarron"
Climbing French bean 'George's'

The Constant Gardener said...

OK Stacy - they're yours :D

don't forget to email me for the address to send your SAE to...

The Constant Gardener said...

And another claim via email for:
Poppy (Papaver laciniatum) (pink)Foxglove (compact, pink)
Petunia (pink and white mix)
Martock beans
Squash 'Potimarron'
Climbing French bean 'George's'
Artichoke 'Purple Globe'

Papaver said...

Oh please could I have some chillies - don't mind which/both - thanks

Roz Tappenden said...

Hi Sally.. I'd love to have some veg seeds if you have any left, particularly the squash, both toms and both chillis. We get through a lot of those in our house. Also, coleslaw cabbage would be useful if there are any remaining. Thank you.

The Constant Gardener said...

OK Papaver - both varieties of chilli are yours :D If you could drop me a line by email I'll let you know where to send your SAE.

And Roz - both tomatoes are yours, and I'll send you the runner beans too if you want them? Plus a packet each of the heirloom varieties - though if you want more than one packet let me know as there are plenty! Drop me a line by email and I'll reply with my address for your SAE too. Thanks!

The Constant Gardener said...

PS Roz - have just noticed there's also one packet of yellow courgette left too, so will bung that on the top :D

Amy - Get Busy Gardening said...

Good for you!! I like to do the same thing. I hate throwing away old seeds. :-)


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