What unbelievably strange times we’re all going through. Along with many others, I’ve been self-isolating at home as one of the household has suspicious symptoms and I feel very lucky to have a garden, albeit a small London pocket-sized version.  And with so much spare time at home, it’s going to be a bumper year for sowing seeds.

As ever, trying out new lettuces seems to be high up on my agenda, and I didn’t even realise this was a space-age variety when ordering. Cor blimey!

I find that Real Seeds always has the most tempting choice of the lot, and as well as some of my favourites, Reine des Glaces (pictured above) and Flashy Butter Oak, I’m also trying out Red Iceberg on the lettuce front. Once on their site it’s hard not to have a good look around, and Summer Crookneck Bent Summer Squash looked so tempting with its nobbly fruits and Dazzling Blue Kale and Asparagus Kale beckoned me too. As with many other seed and gardening sites at the moment, they’ve been overwhelmed with orders, but they have a lovely note saying to hang on in there, and they will get to your orders eventually. Bravo! And we’re only at the beginning on the growing season, so there’s loads of time to sow during spring and summer.

I’m trying to sow little and often, so these two lots of seedlings have been planted 3 weeks apart in my green house (you could also use a sunny windowsill or plant out directly from now on) and hopefully the top ones will be ready to be planted out in about a week or so. But I ‘ll still have too many seedlings to plant out in my petite London patch, so will have loads to share with neighbours all around, who are, unsurprisingly, all very keen to grown their own this year.

I always over order on seeds, so I really liked the idea of the Mixed Climbing Bean packet from Thompson and Morgan that I saw at the Garden Press Event in February,

with purple, green and pale yellow varieties all in one pack.  These will definitely make a handsome trio growing in the front garden this summer, with lots of beans for dinner too.

And Suttons Seeds kindly donated 60 packets Reisetomate tomato seeds for our community gardening project to trial (wanted to put on a link to these, but there was a 10 minute wait to get onto the Suttons website!). These look intriguing, as a number of cherry tomatoes are fused into a larger fruit, which can then be snacked on a piece at a time. Sadly, we could’t meet up for one of our regular  ‘Cake Sunday’ community get-togethers to give the seeds away, but instead we’ve posted them through letterboxes, and have had lots of positive responses from neighbours who are growing tomatoes form the first time ever!

And I’ve posted a short video on Instagram about potting on tomato seedlings should you be in doubt on what to do once your seedlings have filled their trays.

Chelsea Fringe (Cake Sunday) Dog Show https://outofmyshed.co.uk/btg

Another disappointment is that we’ve had to postpone our Chelsea Fringe Dog Show to Autumn instead of May (here’s hoping!),

and I’ll be so very happy to spend time with friends and neighbours when the dust has settled.

Until then, happy gardening and may you all stay safe and well.

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