There’s not a whole lot going on in the garden right now, but that’s no reason to put your feet up entirely: plot your plan of action for next year
I am a seed catalogue junkie. I used to go to bed with my favourites and highlight all my desires, even though I don’t have space for even half of them. These days, however, when you can order online, print versions seem a waste of paper. But I make an exception for Chiltern Seed Catalogue, which offers the world in seed form, from trees to tiny alpines and everything in between; and Kitazawa Seeds, the oldest such company in the US, which sells Asian vegetables and is heavenly in every way, from its yellow paper to its delightful drawings.
Highly desirable, hard-to-produce and rare seeds sell out early, so get your order in as soon as possible, ideally by the end of February; a night in with the catalogues is perfect for long winter evenings. The Real Seed catalogue is my go-to for vegetables, but, being a small independent, sells out of the best stuff early. Edwin Tuckers is one of the oldest independents in Britain and has seed for both kitchen and market gardens, including very old varieties. Pennard Plants has the wittiest seed packets and is a good source of heirloom finds. For chillies, try Simpson’s Seed And Plants and Sea Spring Seeds. Franchi: Seeds Of Italy has the most generous seed amounts, and a great selection of salad leaves and basils, among other Italian delights; I love the large, bright packets, too.