Wednesday 30 January 2013

How Does Your Garden Grow?


I feel very lucky to spend my life around cooks and gardeners. They’re givers. Eat! Grow! Look! Try! Spend a few minutes in their company and it’s almost impossible not to come away with a recipe, a tip, a cookie or a cutting.

I thought about this the other day when a fat brown envelope dropped onto the mat from Ben Ranyard. It was filled with packets of seeds and a note which began, ‘You won’t need all of these seeds – you will have some left to give away.’

Ben runs Higgledy Garden, a mail order seed and cut flower company in Cornwall. British flowers never had a better friend. He grows them without harmful chemicals and with an enormous amount of joy.

I got to know Ben, his flowers and his terrible jokes on Twitter where he tweets as @higgledygarden. He’s given me great advice as well as quite a few laughs over the past year so if you like flowers and you like laughing, you might think about following him. He also writes an inspiring blog, the kind which makes you want to rush out into the garden and grub about.

Spring and grubbing about feels like a long time off right now, but these packets of seeds help to remind me that it’s coming. Ben signed off his letter ‘Thin all seedlings to about a foot…and life will be sweet.’ I believe it.

What I’m Growing This Spring:

This is the selection Ben sent me, with instructions that the cornflowers, calendula, sunflowers and malope are edible, so with any luck my garden will taste as good as it looks.

Calendula ‘Art shades’
Black and blue cornflowers
Vanilla ice sunflowers
Malope trifidia ‘Vulcan’
Rudbeckia ‘Marmalade’


  1. The plant list reads like a poem. Mx

    1. He's great fun on twitter, we are popping down to visit him in march so will get to see the new plot.

    2. Doesn't it? But you know my love of lists of old. They are daily poems.

  2. Pianolearner, Lucky you! I hope you have a wonderful visit.

  3. Ben is a very generous man.. Twice he has sent me an extra packet of seeds I didnt order because he thought I might like them. :) and your right his jokes are terrible ..

    1. I think he's a flower evangelist, flowvangelist. With terrible jokes thrown in.


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