This year's seed list is now available on the website (below), so if you can't find your hard copy and need to check what seeds you have, you will be able to do so. Seed packets have numbers, not names, on them.
Click HERE for the 2012/2013 Seed List
Click HERE for an excellent article on seed cleaning from the Alpine Gardening Society
Click HERE for the September 2011 magazine article about collecting seed, written by Magaret Mason
One of the many advantages of being a member of The Cottage Garden Society is that, in the depth of winter, you have the delightful task of choosing 12 packs of seeds that you would like to receive from a list of over 1500. Send off the order, with a small sum to cover postage, and come February, they will be with you! Just as much fun, is collecting the seed earlier in the year and sending it in to be distributed to other members.
This is how it all works: members collect seed as it ripens, clean it and pack it well (so that it doesn't end up on the floor of the Post Office sorting room) and send it off to Magaret Mason, a member of the Executive Committee. She spends hours checking that it is what it says it is, making sure the Latin name is correct and putting all the seed from one particular species or variety in a large brown envelope. For instance, 50 people might send in foxglove seed and it all goes in the same big envelope. At the end of this whole process, Margaret has compiled a numbered list of 1500 or more species and varieties of flowers, herbs and vegetables. This list goes to Julia Boulton for her to prepare and send to the printers.
The boxes and boxes of the brown envelopes get transported to the Cheshire group, who spend many hours putting all the seeds into tiny, numbered seed packets (see photo at top right). Meanwhile, you have received your December magazine and are busy choosing the seeds you'd like. Once the Cheshire group members have finished their task, the seeds get taken from them to the Severnside group. Rob Baston, one of our vice-presidents, will have received all your orders and these are given to members of the Severnside group (see photo bottom right) and they have the job of selecting the seed packets you want (or others if your first choice has run out) and sending the completed orders out to you.
Last day of fun is sowing the seeds and waiting to see what comes up. We hear it's sometimes a surprise!