Our family has many traditions. Pyjamas at Christmas, forgetting anniversaries and tearing-up of lottery tickets each week. My favourite tradition of the year, and also the last, however, is the ordering of seeds on New Years Eve.
Armed with seed catalogues (marked like a Radio Times before Netflix was dreamt of), spreadsheet open, glass of rum in hand and grand plans in my head (getting bigger with each glass) I place order after order. In the first few years I stuck to the big suppliers but in the last two years my tastes have become more eclectic. Seeking out the specialist for that elusive seed type or village show favourite.
I cannot lie I still get the majority from one or two big names – they have never let me down – but I look most excitedly towards receiving that order from the little retailer, the one seed type supplier. The Soul Brother record shop vs HMV.
Every seed supplier in the UK is probably an independent but the hunt for that rare seed type reminds me of my younger days when I roamed record shops for that elusive indie LP or import. In a dream world, you will be able to go into seed shops like the record shops of my youth and flick through seed packets. Asking the assistants if they have got that latest tomato seeds or any new releases from Sea Spring.
Anyway my glass is nearly empty so wishing you a happy New Year, a great 2018 and may all your seeds grow strong and healthy.