Yesterday me and my old mate Hero went to the Seed and Potato Day organised by Incredible Edible Ilfracombe. The promise of seed and potatoes is quite enough to get me out of my pyjamas on a Saturday morning. In fact I would have been happy with one or the other, but then I am easily pleased.
Before I left the house I sorted through my seed box for worthy candidates for the big swap. Luckily I had my best sharing head on, although I did have to prise a few choice ones out of my own fingers. Contributions safely stashed away, I repeated the mantra “I do not need any more seed or plants” a few times and set off, happy in the knowledge that this was imprinted into my subconscious.
My first glimpse as I walked into the hall was trug upon trug of seed potatoes, looking resplendent in their rainbow containers. The descriptions were tantalising, surely I could fit a few somewhere? In the nick of time I remembered “I do not need any more seed or plants”. So I resisted. Yes, I am strong.
Next I wandered past an ocean of boxes overflowing with every seed you ever wanted, being sold by the heritage flower and vegetable specialist Pennard Plants. It was enough to send someone with less self self-control off the rails. “I do not need any more seed or plants” I muttered, perhaps a little grumpily.
At the far end of the hall I thrilled to see that the lovely Kay and Al from Atlantic Botanic had a stall packed full of their amazing plants. Cruelty itself, such temptation. “I do not need any more seed or plants” I said. “Shut up!” I replied. So I succumbed (quelle surprise), buying both Lobelia excelsa and Lobelia polyphylla. For a friend you understand. We then undertook some surreptitious pre-swaping. I expect it is all on CCTV so I had better confess. I liberated Echium wildprettii and Armeria pseudoarmeria whilst they gave Dierama ‘Guinevere’ and Lathyrus aureus a home. Hero, from the other side of the room, gestured that she was going upstairs. Upstairs? What more?!
So I scooped up the rest of my packets and ventured to the first floor to find even more stalls including the swapping area. “I do not need any more seed or plants” I reminded myself as I quickly handed my donation over, managing to resist even a rummage to see what others had brought (quelle grande surprise). It was safest to avoid eye contact with any of those devilish packets, I didn’t want another slip up.
Then I spotted a woman busily setting up one of the stalls and thought she looked very familiar. In my shy retiring way, I accosted her, luckily she was who I though it was. It was the wonderful Jenny who runs the incredible Permaculture Garden at Tapley Park. She is a generous and passionate soul. We had a big chat and I left clutching packets of Giant Dill, purple plantain and amaranthus. Too busy catching up to remember the mantra. Never mind.
This event wasn’t just about plants and seed. The Lantern hall was brimming with information about many local schemes including Ilfracombe in Bloom, the Cairn Nature Reserve, Beach Clean and of course IEE’s very own Laston Green Community Garden. There was seed sowing and crafts for the young, music for all, and of course tea and cake.
Well done everyone who was involved, you really showcased IEI, and I’m already looking forward to next year. And I have decided upon a new mantra, “a few more seeds and plants won’t hurt anyone”.
I was gossiping so much I forgot to take photos so thank you for the loan of these lovely ones, which were taken by Tim Lamerton.