It the time of year when gardeners begin to eye up seed harvesting potential. Of course this involves our own gardens but also includes the plots of our friends and neighbours, and sometimes perfect strangers. Ever vigilant, ever watchful, we earmark the prey and use all our wiles to win the bounty. We slip into conversation how much we love the plant in question, we wonder aloud how easy it is to propagate and sometimes we ask directly for a contribution, perhaps promising some of our produce in return. This weekend I have returned from the Midlands with a small bag of french marigold seed, a compact and floriferous little gem that caught my eye and my imagination. Redistribution of the flower wealth is all well and good, the trouble lies after the chase, when we have gained the prize. This is our downfall, the weak link in the chain. It would seem a little presumptuous to travel with seed packets and a marker pen so we have to make do with what is on offer to store the seed. “Don’t worry” we say “I will remember what they are and deal with them as soon as I get home”. It may surprise you to discover that my life isn’t that organised, I have given up hope that it will ever be, so this rarely happens. Thrusting a chilly hand into a pocket I invariably come across some unidentified pod floating about. Looking for a hanky to mop my fevered brow, secreted black pearls will scatter on the hushed museum floor. When searching through my handbag for smelling salts I make the sticky discovery of a napkin squashed with over ripe berries. Rarely do I have a clue as to where, how, or why they are there. Sometimes I sow them anyway, sometimes it is a missed opportunity. This cartoon shiner of a hollyhock is on my acquisition list, I will definitely remember this one.