Greetings to the fresh gardening season. It’s the perfect moment to clean up, organize the seeds, and enjoy the company of the foxes.

Above everything, this is a month to settle down, reflect, and plan for the future.
January 2024. A fresh month, marking the start of a new gardening year. Allotments and vegetable plots will mostly be empty, with only the determined growers tending to hardier crops, keeping the company of sly foxes.
However, it could also be a time for tidying up. Perhaps lightly hoeing a few wild weeds and sharpening and cleaning neglected tools.
This is the month when I will organize our saved seeds. Envelopes filled to the brim scattered on shelves, most of them collected by Howard and myself, while some were gifted by family and friends.
We have nasturtium seeds gathered by Kala from her garden, a symbolic flower sown every year. These will be added to the constants in any area we sow, including calendula. We also have tagetes seedheads that need gentle sorting through.
A new addition is cosmos sulphureus, a companion that happily takes care of itself. We also gathered dried poppy heads found by the roadside, although we’re unsure of the color of the flowers that will bloom from them. Additionally, we have nigella seeds shared by a friend.
All of these will be added to the seeds we hoarded from our favorite smaller and specialist suppliers. I can’t resist a late-season offer and justify it by reminding myself that they need support too. Investing in their future is important.
This year, I decided to skip planting garlic, shallots, and onions. But now I’m starting to consider seed potatoes. It’s been a while, so I might start looking for Seedy Sundays.
I planted yellow daffodils at the end of November, which is a first for our plot. The idea of bright, late-winter flowers was too tempting to resist (I planted them while Howard was away). Dudley grew daffodils, and they always remind me of my mum in her garden in Devon. It’s obvious to say that we grow our own memories, but it took me a while to realize that.
Now, what are your plans for the year?
Allan Jenkins’s Plot 29 (4th Estate, £9.99) is now available. Order it for £8.49 from guardianbookshop.com

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