Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Step away from the catalogue...

I am determined not to fall for it again this year.  It fell through my letterbox yesterday and although I briefly flicked through it just for the eye-candy, it is now in the recycling box.  That's discipline for you.  It doesn't feel right to publicly bad-mouth anything on here but maybe the eagle-eyed of you might have a hankering to what I'm going on about.

I have spent a lot of money in the past with purchases and in most instances I have been disappointed.  This is what my 'Jescot Julie' dahlias looked like:

and this is how they looked in the catalogue:

Not quite the same, and yes, I am fussy when it comes to colour.

This is my 'Ambition', not really the rich, dark red/burgundy as advertised:

My cutting garden last year was a complete disaster.  I guess I could just blame it on me being a hopeless gardener, but I don't think I'm that bad.  I bought a load of gladioli - 45 to be precise.  Planted at different intervals to give a long flowering period.  I had 5 flowers in total.  5!  My disappointment was mind-numbing.  I wanted vases full of them in the house, like this one:

I had very few vases of flowers in the house, come to think of it.  This little posy was the first lot of flowers I collected from my cutting patch.  I didn't really get any better. 

This year I am going to think a bit more about what and how I grow flowers AND I'm determined to get my allotment sorted again.  The good news is that I have a helper - YAY!  We have got a mammoth task on our hands, but big plans!


  1. I only have a small patch of garden for planting veg, but this year I have decided to give up one of my raised beds to grow 'Sweet Williams' they are my most favourite flower and last when cut for ages.

    I hope my expectation don't fall flat on there feet.

    Vanessa x

  2. oh how frustrating....
    I tried gladioli last year, the slugs enjoyed them........

    this year I don't even have any flower beds dug yet. or planned even. better get busy.....

  3. I think I know the catalogue to which you refer and I am shocked! I have not bought, but been tempted and always thought, pricey, but worth it for the gorgeous colour selections.

    Now you make me glad that I missed the boat with ordering the venitian tulip collection I had my eye on.

  4. I don't think you're alone in your experience, but I was lucky with the seeds and bulbs I bought from there last year. Though this year I am ordering from somewhere a little bit cheaper!

    Glad to hear you'll be rejoining the ranks of allotment nutters!

  5. It all sounds so familiar. I planted 3 punnets of bean seedings last season and they produced two beans, both only 2 inches long and both fell off the plant. On the otherhand the peas grew nicely. I harvested plenty of them!

  6. I did the same when my catalogue arrived sad. But very happy news about your new allotment helper! K x

  7. oh no. that is terrible...

    You be strong girl!!!

  8. Well I look forward to seeing what you come up with. I bought some summer flowering bulbs this morning - fingers crossed that they come up. x

  9. I have received a seed catalogue without pictures so if I order anything it will be interesting to see what comes up! I am going to concentrate on vegetables this year. Interestingly in this catalogue there are no hybrids so you can collect the seed for the following year. I still think your flowers looked lovely even though they wasn't what you expected! x

  10. I also attempted a "cutting garden" last year buying quite a few bulbs and had nothing to show for it which was very disappointing, I think I'll stick to veg!
    I know this is very random but I'm sharing some love and just wanted to say Hi and that I've given you a sunshine award, just head over to my blog to pick it up!

  11. The catalogue and packaging are so beautiful aren't they? How can a person resist? I'm such a messy gardener and this seems to be a benefit - I've found a fair few self seeded things that are good for cutting in the last few weeks (cerinthe, red valerian, marigold, verbenas). I think I'll focus on those this year and try not to buy now.

  12. I know who you mean, and have suffered too with my dahlias. I might use again for certain seeds but that's all. That doesn't stop me enjoying the catalogue though!

    Yay to your allotment helper!


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