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Flower Seed Buying And My Seed Database

Hello friends,

It's that time of the year again in New Zealand, when seed companies send you tempting emails showing you the new flower seeds they have available for sale. This year two of my favorite specialist flower seed companies sent me emails in late May, so I had no choice but to peruse their wares.

The first temptation was from Susie Ripley Gardening, where I purchased Cosmos and Larkspur varieties.

I have a soft spot for cosmos, and really fell in love with the cupcake and fizzy varieties. I can't wait to see them floating in the breeze this coming summer.

I also love how Larkspur brings some height to garden borders, so I got some purple and white varieties of that also.

Next up was Crawford Road Gardens, where I picked up a number of seeds including aster, celosia, stock, larkspur, foxglove, scabiosa, lavender, and strawflower. My plan is to increase my garden borders in the back yard, so I picked colours that matched the seeds I bought from Susie Ripley Gardening.

Once I had the seeds in my hot little hands, it was time to enter them into my seed database. I have a seed database set up on Libre Office, one sheet each for flower, herb, vegetable, and native seeds.

The columns are set up for seed type, supplier, sow by date, whether a seed needs to be stratified, if they've been sowed in the current year, and then which months of the year they can be sowed in.

In the rows, I have sections for each flower type e.g. Allium, Cosmos, and underneath the varieties are in alphabetical order. If the variety is greyed out, it means that I don't have that seed in stock right now. If the row is highlighted in the 2024 column, it means the seed has been sown. Cells marked in green show which months the seed can be sown in.

I really love this set up as it means that I can quickly see which seeds I need to sow, if they are still within their use by date, and if I need to reorder any seeds. I recently updated the seed database for spring 2024, so I can now see which varieties I may need to buy when the Kings Seed catalogue comes out this month. I may decide not to repurchase some seed varieties, but at least I will know which ones I've had in the past.

I have separate sheets set up for all my seed types, and it really makes seed sowing that much easier. It means that I can come up with a plan each month for seed sowing, and it also means I can purchase seed sowing mix ahead of when I need it.

It's so exciting to know that spring will soon be here, I'm already loving the return of daylight earlier and later each day. I can't wait until August when it's time to sow tomatoes and chillies.

Have a wonderful day

Julie-Ann

Want to discuss my post? Feel free to chat with me on Instagram or Mastodon or Bluesky.

May Handmaiden Spinning Fibre Club

Hello friends,

Today I'd like to share with you my May Handmaiden Spinning Fibre Club subscription, and how it looks now all spun up.

May's Handmaiden Fibre club, in autumnal shades of white, brown, orange and red, arrived all prettily wrapped up in tissue paper, and contained 100 grams of 80% machine-washable wool/20% nylon, a small plastic sock stitch marker, and a pattern for making Tinker Bell slippers. I decided to spin it up fine so I could make socks, so I broke the fibre braid in half to make a 2-ply, and then pulled out my trusty rimu drop spindle and got to work.

I love spinning with my drop spindle, because it's the easiest way to spin up super fine yarn for making socks, and it also increases the spinning time, which I find very relaxing. It took me a couple of weeks to spin up the two fine singles, and I loved the slow changing autumnal colours on my drop spindle as I spun.

I transferred the singles of yarn off the drop spindle and onto two spinning wheel bobbins for plying. Once that was done it didn't take very long at all to ply up the resulting 2 ply yarn on my Majacraft Suzie Pro spinning wheel. I prefer plying on my spinning wheel, as my drop spindle can't handle large amounts of plied yarn.

The plied yarn was in general fingering weight, and the autumnal colours were very pretty. After the plied yarn rested for a couple of days, I set the yarn by washing it in luke-warm soapy water.

The yarn is now all dry, and waiting to be knitted up. The final yarn is 2 ply, and is 265.5 m long.

Once a couple of other knitting projects are completed, I will be knitting up this hand spun yarn into socks.

Have a wonderful day

Julie-Ann

Want to discuss my post? Feel free to chat with me on Instagram or Mastodon or Bluesky.

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