One of the joys of the "holiday season" is the first post after Christmas. This is when the Chiltern Seeds catalogue plops through the letterbox. Now, if you're a gardener, you'll be used to glossy catalogues with impossibly bright photographs of perfect flowers and vegetables. The Chiltern Seeds catalogue is 220 pages of plain text offering about 4000 different seeds. And what seeds!
Have you thought of growing a Silver Fir from seed? They have a mere half-dozen to choose from. For the ambitious, there is Abies Grandis that is not only very big, it has orange scented foliage. Then there is the hardy Fuchsia excorticaca which has blue pollen. They even offer seed for Cacti, Eucalyptus, Bananas and Tree Spinach. It's quite bizarre.
The brief descriptions are well written which makes it ideal for the armchair gardener as well. Here's just a sample:
Spinach, Tree 'Magentaspreen'
This is a vigorous plant, giving a colourful display, with smooth stems striped red and green, producing large leaves of a brilliant magenta colour, covered when young with a red crystalline powder, and bearing long spikes of tiny reddish flowers. The leaves, tastiest when young, are eaten raw or cooked as spinach. 6-8 ft.
They've got a website and for just £2.00 they'll send you a copy of the paper catalogue and a random packet of seeds post free. If you're a geeky gardener, it's the best value in town.