My fingers are tingling with magic!

I wasn’t even going to write a post today.  But then I read this blog post from ‘Sharpen your Spades’:

Sowing Broad Beans – A great crop for beginners.

and the photos of the fingers in the compost made me need my greenhouse, and the compost and the seed-trays right now.

So off I dashed, with my packet of Cephalaria gigantea (giant scabious; creamy pincushion flowers; first time I’ve grown it; EXCITED!!!)


We haven’t even connected the water supply to the greenhouse yet this spring.  There are leaves on the benches.  The compost-mixing seivey set is still under the bench.

In my frenzy of excitement I found myself standing on three bags of compost, seven feet tall, tottering and waving my arms, assembling the compost-mixing seivey set.  Why didn’t I just move the compost?  Because I was in the zone.  I needed my fix right now and could not wait a minute longer.


The advantage to sowing on the 19th February is that Stevie hasn’t got going yet, and I nabbed one of the module seed trays! Early bird and all that.

The compost is the cheapest 3-bags-for-ten-pounds jobbies.  I had to jump down from my perch in order to rip it open (I hadn’t become so addled as to forget this).  The advantage of the really cheap compost is that it is as light as a feather, so I could have lifted the whole bag over my head, with one finger, had I wanted to.

I could have soaked the compost at this point, but of course we have no water supply.  “No matter!” I told myself, “I will simply spritz them when we return to the house!”  Nothing, nothing, was going to dampen my mood and take away the pure joy that is the first sowing of the season.

I tore open the lovely paper Chiltern Seeds packet (no glossy plastic paper here!) in the style of Charlie Bucket opening a Wonka bar, tipped it up and counted out the little wonders inside.  I may have caressed them and spoken soft words.

The burgeoning botanist in me noted that these scabious seeds are less like shuttlecocks than the Scabious atropurpurea I sowed last year (there was an unfortunate sneezing incident).  These are flatter, and less likely to take flight.

Each one was lovingly tucked up in its little compost nest (no sharing a bed here – modules!  First class treatment).

And then it was back to the house for the spritzer.  You know it’s only February when it doesn’t hurt to pull the trigger.  By April I have repetitive strain injury.

So here they are.


It was over so soon.  It was a delicious rush.  Did I dream it?  Maybe I should go back and do it all again?

I’ll just add another gratuitous greenhouse shot.  Can you smell the compost, with notes of old twine and bamboo cane and encrusted clay?



22 Comments Add yours

  1. I am so looking forward to planting seeds but we have to wait a little while as we have nowhere to keep them war. 🙂

    1. Ali says:

      It’s so hard to wait! I think I’ve done well if I hold out until the middle of Feb.

      1. Are you somewhere warmer than us and/or do you have a greenhouse? 🙂

      2. Ali says:

        We’re in Kent. Yes, we have an I heated greenhouse, but I’ve brought these indoors as they need 18-20 degrees to germinate.

  2. bcparkison says:

    Me too. Just had to get out there and at least get started. Not planting …still digging out mint that has taken over,but there is hope.

  3. Ali says:

    Just doing something gardeny feels good, doesn’t it?

  4. Chloris says:

    Every year the excitement mounts when the Chiltern package arrives with its nice little packets. The first thought is did I really order all these seeds? I have my first pot germinated today. Wonderful moment.

    1. Ali says:

      Ooh, Chloris. You just sent a tingle down my spine just by saying the word ‘germinate’!

  5. Brian Skeys says:

    Giant Scabious is a great addition to any border. I hope yours ‘germinate ‘and do well.

  6. Nothing more exciting in the gardening world than germination and baby seeds

  7. Tiny Urban Farmer says:

    I would love a greenhouse but I think I would still get ichy fingers in January and start sowing indoors then.

    1. Ali says:

      Yes, you probably would, because I do. January is the hardest month I think. Or is it Feb, because we’re so close and the anticipation gets agonising?

      1. Tiny Urban Farmer says:

        February is better as at least the days are longer.

      2. Ali says:

        Yes! And (confession time) I count by how many minutes each day!!

  8. Thinking spring… 🙂

    1. Ali says:

      Yes, our spring has been interrupted by snow, but am sure we will soon be back on track!

  9. Love your enthusiasm, knowledge and glorious photos.

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you, you are very kind!

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