Sowing mania starts to strike, but there is no need to panic

Bean seeds ready to shoot | Allan Jenkins | Life and style
Magic beans: Allan always has a few seeds with him for a quick trip to the plot. Photograph: Allan Jenkins

I am carrying around seed like a squirrel with a pouch, never knowing when I might need it. Like the start of a love affair, it’s hard to think of anything else. I’m daydreaming about rows of baby plants being born.

The three Trail of Tears beans I always have in my pocket (try explaining that to, say, Peruvian customs when they pat you down) are now almost a mixed handful. You see, I might be able to steal away, in a lunchtime window, an early morning or evening. I hear the longing call of land.

There are always seeds in my workbag, waiting to be sown or swapped, though mostly to send to friends to help get them started. A few more gardens this year will be growing Basque tear peas or tagetes Ildkongen. The Keralan cosmos has also been spread around, though some is sitting dormant on the plot. I am swapping seed with Ben at Higgledy Garden ( in exchange for his climbing nasturtium. Others are there just in case I can make a quick trip to the allotment.

Multiple salad seeds, chicories and chards are sitting patiently in the communal shed, waiting to be sown. It won’t be long now. There are multiple envelopes with packets of seed spilling out on my corner of the kitchen table, trying to catch my eye.

In just the past week, I have also ordered more from the Seed Co-operative ( and Beans and Herbs (, and made an early morning raid on my local garden centre. It’s not my fault, I tell myself. I blame the light and heat, the longer hours in the evening. It’s hard to not get over-excited, almost as though I am worried I am about to miss the good garden train.

It is not true, of course. There is a whole summer of growing time ahead. Breathe. No hurry. No worry.

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