Yesterday I went to the local seed swap armed with those little containers for toiletries that you are given in hotels. I'd filled them with seeds gathered from the garden last year and I swapped them for the seed packets above, (apart from the 'Blue Ballet' squash and 'Cobra' climbing bean, which I bought.)
The swap has been running for several years now and is a popular event. I also potted up a few aquilegia plants to swap, seen in the left hand corner of the photo. They self-seed very freely about my garden, slugs and snails never eat them so they are on my 'good-doers' list.
Apparently it's the International Year of Pulses - who knew!
This selling stall was very well stocked with organic seeds and the owner gave me good advice. "NEVER,' she said, 'grow more than one variety of squash at any one time.' Is this where I've been going wrong? She recommended the variety, 'Blue Ballet', a small-sized squash, as being a good cropper in our unreliable climate. 'Don't waste your time growing butternut,' she advised, 'they need far more heat than we can give them and they are cheap enough to buy in the shops.' I've had good results from her seeds before so I'm doing as I'm told. (Doesn't always happen, says Himself.)
I was also on the lookout for a different potato variety. There was a good choice to be had.
All clearly labeled.
This was my choice. Very small tubers, we'll see how they do.
It's great to get advice from experts and mix with fellow enthusiasts, not to mention the opportunity to find heritage seed and also to save some money!