No Flies On Mike


Seed Purchases 001 Wm[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=


What with one thing and another I’ve been slow off the mark with seeds this year. The catalogues have been sat on my desk for many a week but still no order has been entered upon the screen.

Yesterday morning dawned fair (nothing wet fell from the sky), the birds were fully engaged in song and all of a sudden I was in the mood for sowing. You know how these things go. Once you’ve decided to tackle that pressing job doesn’t it always just have to be NOW? So given the clement nature of the day why not take a drive up to Rosemoor? More petrol, yes, but surely to be offset by the online delivery charge we’d save.

The trouble with Rosemoor is that it doesn’t stop at seeds. And there was a blackbird singing there too. There’s something about that song that could be enough to drive the early Spring gardener into a planting frenzy. Honestly, garden centre managers should be playing recordings, if they’re not fortunate enough to enjoy the services of a real live bird.

I thought, in the circumstances, I was really rather restrained. But they did have snowdrops including Galanthus nivalis ‘Viridapice’ and I’ve been hankering after that one for a while. It has gorgeous green markings on the outer petals. And then ‘Lady Elphinstone’, now she has a bit of class. Oh dear. How could I have left her behind bearing a flash of white in that burgeoning bud?

When we reached the checkout Mike’s jaw hit the floor.

“There you are, I got all our seed packets bar one and saved on the delivery..”

“Saved on the delivery? If you’d ordered online would there have been snowdrops?”

“One new ‘Special’ every winter. That was the plan. And I missed it last year.”

“So what about the seeds they didn’t have?”

“Umm.. order them online..?”


Such a cute box that Rosemoor used to pack my purchases in, don’t you think?


2017-10-24T19:32:42+00:00February 12th, 2016|Tags: |


  1. Sarah Shoesmith February 12, 2016 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    You did very well there! I think, all things considered, you were very restrained. Did Mike get tea and cake too?

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 7:50 pm - Reply

      I’m afraid not, no. No time you see.. Had to get back and get on with the seed sowing.

  2. Brian Skeys February 12, 2016 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    Tell Mike from me, if he doesn’t already know it, he can’t win!

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 7:51 pm - Reply

      He knows.

  3. Christina February 12, 2016 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    As Sarah said “was there coffee and cake to add to the costs? But, think, you are also helping the RHS and that can’t be a bad thing and I’m sure you found a few moments to enjoy the gardens too. A perfect trip out in my book.

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 7:55 pm - Reply

      Helping the RHS was a benefit I hadn’t factored in. Thank you Christina. Joking aside, with the cost of delivery these days, for plants especially, it actually does make it viable to drive to Rosemoor. Even at their prices.

  4. FlowerAlley February 12, 2016 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    If he complains again, remind him about the onions.

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 7:57 pm - Reply

      Exactly. ????

  5. Sue February 12, 2016 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    I think you were extremely restrained there if all your purchases fitted in that dinky little box 🙂

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 7:59 pm - Reply

      The best things come in little packages. Like diamonds and expensive snowdrops.

  6. homeslip February 12, 2016 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    I haven’t even begun to think about seeds and sowing yet. I’ve been lucky in recent years to receive free/almost out of date seeds from my local garden centre thanks to a good friend and then my daughter working there. I’ve just checked my basket of seeds and see I have half a packet of red epicure broad beans and quite a collection of special saved sweet pea seeds, I think they will do nicely to kick things off for this year. (I also found an envelope of P. Mollie the Witch seeds which I collected last year – had completely forgotten about them.) Thanks for reminding me about seed sowing Jessica.

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 8:04 pm - Reply

      It’s always worth trying out of date seed. I still have plenty of opened packets too from last year and older that I’ll be using again. I just top up those that have run out. And a couple of new things each year to have fun trying. This year it’s melons, following Monty’s efforts.

  7. Tahoe girl February 12, 2016 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    We are going today in fact to the nursery too. Mostly ti see if we can still get some potatoes and onions to put in. It’s always an expensive trip!!!

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 8:07 pm - Reply

      Expensive initially, but pays for itself if you can grow your own. Not including all the things that accidentally fall into the trolley of course.

  8. Chloris February 12, 2016 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    You have saved an enormous amount of money on postage and you also saved the money on postage for your snowdrops and had a nice day out. Win- win situation. You even got a handy box.
    Lady Elphinstone is lovely with her frilly yellow underskirts.

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 8:10 pm - Reply

      I’m looking forward to seeing her skirts when she unfurls them. I just hope she’s not bashful now that I’ve paid so much.

  9. Pauline February 12, 2016 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    Good to see some snowdrops in your purchases, tell Mike these will increase all by themselves! Did you see the sculptures in the garden , I ran out of time to go and see them this year.

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 8:11 pm - Reply

      No time for the garden on this trip sadly, so I’ve missed out too. Hey ho, always next year.

  10. Sol February 12, 2016 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    lol I bought a cook book and then half the veggies in the recipes you cant get in the shops. Had to order the seeds. Ho hum 🙂

    Looks like a good haul

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 8:17 pm - Reply

      Well that sounds like fun.. As long as the seeds will grow in our lousy weather.

  11. New Moons For Old February 12, 2016 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    Hi, Jessica.
    I can relate to your post 100%. We had something approaching a dawn chorus here in Kent this morning. And when we popoed into our garden centre (attached to the local agricultural college, so all takings to a good cause) for some supplies later in the day all those packets of seeds looked so tempting, inspiring fantasies of growing purple carrots and white beetroot. I could very easily become a galanthophile, and did buy some S.Arnott a couple of years ago, but a mole came along and moved the bulbs and I haven’t seen them since.
    Your comment about the blackbird song made me smile – one of our local garden centres has a resident robin, although he usually sings next to the bird food aisles. I wonder why!

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 8:22 pm - Reply

      It’s mice here rather than moles, but they have similar designs on any bulbs that I plant. I’m thinking these snowdrops will stay in pots, at least until I’ve got enough to spread them around. I remember the snowdrop that went for £1200 or something ridiculous last year. Imagine if a mouse got hold of that!

  12. Julieanne February 12, 2016 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    Of course you get a new special snowdrop or two, maybe three, each year. Silly Mike.

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 8:24 pm - Reply

      The mistake I made, years ago, was letting him know how much they cost. I should have just passed them off as the plain old wild one. He probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference anyway.

  13. Dorothy/The Nature of Things February 12, 2016 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    Love this post. I can certainly relate!

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 8:26 pm - Reply

      Garden centres have got very clever at tempting us to buy. And I fall for it every time.

  14. Kris P February 12, 2016 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    My husband used to give me an annual summary, complete with pie charts, showing my expenditures on gardening and other “non-necessities.” He doesn’t do that anymore, but not because I complained – he’s just given up!

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 8:31 pm - Reply

      Oh lord, that sounds just like something Mike would do. Please don’t give him ideas!

  15. Amy at love made my home February 12, 2016 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    Hee hee! Poor Mike! Wonderful to have different varieties of snowdrops! xx

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 8:34 pm - Reply

      I’m not sure how far my collection will go. There are many that look very similar, I’ve tended to go for those that have something a bit different about them.

  16. Beth @ PlantPostings February 12, 2016 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    Well, it sounds like you actually saved some money, overall, and you received instant gratification besides. I’m sure Mike will see the sense of it if he really gives it some thought. 😉

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      Instant gratification is good. I still haven’t sown a seed though. Will need to do it tomorrow or I’ll be in trouble. Even more trouble.

  17. CJ February 12, 2016 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Wonderful snowdrops, and really you were very restrained. One new thing for this year and last and some seeds. Barely anything really considering how skilled garden centres are at separating us from our cash. And a lovely outing as well. Birdsong is good for the soul, can’t put a price on that. Next time tell him not to look when you get to the till if he finds it painful. He could wait outside and listen to the birds singing. CJ xx

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 8:40 pm - Reply

      The birds have really opened up in the last week or so, wonderful isn’t it? It really does feel like the start of Spring out there now.

  18. Linda February 12, 2016 at 10:49 pm - Reply

    I ordered so much online this year (plants not seeds) that I told my husband I would personally pay shipping charges. Just remind Mike that we could have more expensive and damaging addictions!

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 8:46 pm - Reply

      We could indeed!
      The prices for shipping can be mind blowing, at least they can over here. I know plants are difficult to transport safely but even so. The UK as a whole is well supplied with specialist nurseries, unfortunately there aren’t too many good ones in my neck of the woods. Online shopping is a necessity.

  19. Sue C. February 12, 2016 at 11:05 pm - Reply

    It all looks very restrained to me! Only 2 snowdrops? So what interesting seeds did you buy? I went online to order mine last week – it was only going to be 4 packets as I am using up old seed and trying to not plants quite so many this year – so why did I end up buying twice that amount and some??? Enjoy the sowing

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 8:50 pm - Reply

      I’m using up old seed too, but I top up on things that have run out and try a couple of new things each year for a bit of fun. This year it’s melons and red onions, although I’d probably be better off with sets for the latter. We’ll see, it doesn’t hurt to try.

  20. derrickjknight February 13, 2016 at 8:48 am - Reply

    I can just imagine the snowdrops rolling down your slopes

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 8:53 pm - Reply

      Yes indeed, I’ll use the wild ones for that. As soon as they start to go over quite a few will be dug up and redistributed.

  21. Sue Garrett February 13, 2016 at 9:59 am - Reply

    I like your style

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 8:54 pm - Reply


  22. Marian St.Clair February 13, 2016 at 11:13 am - Reply

    It’s not about the math, is it? Mike is lucky to be married to such a clever woman.

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 8:57 pm - Reply

      Of course he’d agree. Probably.

  23. Linda P. February 13, 2016 at 11:21 am - Reply

    Only one or two! The modest snowdrop is a lovely thing. Enjoy!

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 9:03 pm - Reply

      It is. Although Lady Elphinstone is probably at the more flamboyant end. I just hope my investment proves worthwhile.

  24. pagedogs February 13, 2016 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    I think I went overboard on the seeds this year! But I got free shipping … Beautiful snowdrops. Consider them an investment.

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 9:05 pm - Reply

      They will be if they spread. I planted my previous ‘Special’ out in the garden which was probably a mistake. These will be cosseted in the greenhouse I think.

  25. kate@barnhouse February 13, 2016 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    I’m smiling, blackbird song has a lot of lovely things to answer for in my garden too. However, having read this, if I hear one in a garden centre I might be looking for the speakers …. I think it’s essential to fill a good box to capacity, it helps keep your purchases safe on the journey home (;. If there’s nothing hiding tiered chocolate box style under the snow drops, I’d say you were very restrained.

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 9:11 pm - Reply

      Very, very restrained. Just don’t look at the till receipt. I wish special snowdrops spread themselves around as effectively as grasses do!

  26. Joanne February 13, 2016 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    I thought you were incredibly restrained just to come home with just two snowdrops xx

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 9:13 pm - Reply

      Seeds are getting expensive too aren’t they? It’s just as well a packet lasts more than one year.

  27. Wendy February 13, 2016 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    The snowdrops look lovely. I understand all this – I’m really a bit too close to RHS Hyde Hall and I can’t remember the last time I left there empty handed (I don’t think I ever have). No doubt I’ll be there shortly on a sunny day with the birds singing and a full shopping trolley!

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 9:17 pm - Reply

      I’d love to visit the other RHS gardens. I’ve been to Wisley many times, but not the other two. I would imagine they’re all very different given the varied climatic conditions.

  28. Angie February 13, 2016 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    I much prefer to most of my gardening shopping in person although I suspect that’s because I am way to partial to an impulse buy or three. My local GC give out similar wee boxes. Much more handy too pack in the car and carry to the house.
    Nice choice of snowdrops. Lady Elphinstone would have came home with me too. As would have Viridipice except I have that one already.

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 9:20 pm - Reply

      I couldn’t resist Lady E and her bud. She seems a way behind the other varieties, hardly having broken the soil. I do hope she makes it and blooms this year.

  29. Janet/Plantaliscious February 13, 2016 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    Hilarious! But how could you possibly resist the snowdrops…

    • Jessica February 13, 2016 at 9:24 pm - Reply


  30. Amy February 13, 2016 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    Think how cheerful it will be to see the snowdrops blooming while you sow the seed 😉 I’m all for a little instant gratification when it comes to plants!

    • Jessica February 14, 2016 at 7:50 am - Reply

      They are such a cheering sight. Having a collection of those little white nodding heads will be a great thing for the greenhouse through the gloom of February.

  31. Sigrun February 14, 2016 at 10:48 am - Reply

    If I live near Rosemoor, I would buy there – not order online. Rosemoor – what a dream.

    • Jessica February 14, 2016 at 6:57 pm - Reply

      I don’t do it too often, the prices are quite high. But it’s a good place to go for something a bit more unusual.

  32. Sam February 14, 2016 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    RHS nurseries are wondrous emporiums for gardeners – I think you were remarkably restrained!

    • Jessica February 14, 2016 at 7:00 pm - Reply

      I remember the Plant Centre at Wisley… oh my. I could have spent a day there. And a month’s salary to boot.

  33. Linda aka Crafty Gardener February 14, 2016 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    Who can resist beautiful snowdrops. They will be a wonderful addition to your gardens.

    • Jessica February 14, 2016 at 7:03 pm - Reply

      They will once I’ve managed to bulk them up a bit. The challenge will be to find a safe place for them.. where they won’t get nibbled!

  34. sustainablemum February 14, 2016 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    Looks very restrained to me……..seeds…..ahhhhh…….I haven’t even looked at them yet, surely it’s not time to be sowing!

    • Jessica February 14, 2016 at 7:05 pm - Reply

      ‘Fraid so. For some seeds anyway. Don’t tell Mike, I haven’t started on mine yet either. Maybe tomorrow..

  35. Anna February 14, 2016 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    Now that seems like the perfect exercise in logical thinking Jessica. I think that you probably saved money as I know that when I come face to face with a rack of seed packets I’m usually overwhelmed and leave without what I wanted in the first place. I like your new specials. Lady E can be a bit of a prima donna but she’s worth it when she has a good year 🙂

    • Jessica February 15, 2016 at 9:20 am - Reply

      I wondered about Lady E. Despite her price tag she doesn’t seem as well advanced as some. I hope it is just a case of saving the best till last.

  36. casa mariposa February 14, 2016 at 11:49 pm - Reply

    My hubs has no clue what I spend in the garden and we’re all the better for it! I think you were incredibly restrained. 🙂

    • Jessica February 15, 2016 at 9:22 am - Reply

      That is a good plan and one I wish I could get away with!

  37. Cathy February 15, 2016 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    I have been buying most of my seeds from eBay recently – very good for impulse buying when you see something on someone else’s blog that you take a fancy to. All done in an instant… 😉

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 4:21 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the tip.. I shall have a look.

  38. Peter/Outlaw February 16, 2016 at 6:29 am - Reply

    So much beauty and promise in such a tiny box. Mike is lucky you showed such restraint.

    • Jessica February 16, 2016 at 6:10 pm - Reply

      I think next time I’ll have to show him all the expensive stuff I didn’t buy.

  39. Sarah February 16, 2016 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    I think you were quite restrained with just that small box! As you say above you should have loaded up the basket and then showed how good you were to put most of it back! Sarah x

    • Jessica February 17, 2016 at 7:55 pm - Reply

      I do love a cunning plan.. I shall try it next time!

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