Friday, 1 February 2013


''A dormant seed is one that is unable to germinate in a specified period of time under a combination of environmental factors that are normally suitable for the germination of the non-dormant seed. Dormancy is a mechanism to prevent germination during unsuitable ecological conditions, but the probability of seedling survival is low.

One important function of most seeds is delayed germination, which allows time for dispersal and prevents germination of all the seeds at same time. The staggering of germination safeguards some seeds and seedlings from suffering damage or death from short periods of bad weather or from transient herbivores; it also allows some seeds to germinate when competition from other plants for light and water might be less intense. 

Another form of delayed seed germination is seed quiescence, which is different than true seed dormancy and occurs when a seed fails to germinate because the external environmental conditions are too dry or warm or cold for germination. 

Many species of plants have seeds that delay germination for many months or years, and some seeds can remain in the soil seed bank for more than 50 years before germination''
It has been an embarrassingly long time since I last visited this blog. And with such a fledgling blog, it is probable that any readers have long since wandered off to admire someone else's plot.
 If you're reading this, well hello! 
Pull up a plastic patio chair, and I'll crack open my flask of tea to share :) 

 Why the long, long absence?
 I've been dormant.
 The last year has been really challenging - practically and emotionally, but I'm here, I've survived. 
I'm ok and I'm ready to start a new season. 

 It was a hard year on the plot too - bad weather, poor crops, a paltry harvest; not much reward for the mud sweat and tears we allotmenteers endured. But having my Eden to escape to has nonetheless, been a godsend. 
 Peace. Fresh air. Hard physical work. Grounding. Mindfulness. And mind-fullness. While I'm on my plot, there is no room in my head for all of the external stresses and anxieties. 
There is just me. The elements. The earth. Some worms. And sometimes a robin....:)

I went down to the plot several weeks ago - the first time since Christmas. It was in pretty good shape considering; I had worked hard in Autumn to clear the decks, prune back, tie back, all ready to kick back over winter!

 In a spirit of optimism, I sowed some sweet peas seeds in the greenhouse. 
Then the ice and snow came...and I didn't get round to watering them. 
January passed with plummeting temperatures, frost-bound earth and blanketing snow. And latterly, a swift thaw which left the plot under water in places. 

But tomorrow, with a milder, calmer day forecast, I will venture down to see if by some miracle they have germinated. And heartened by the sudden arrival of snowdrops and crocus, I will sit in the greenhouse, pretend it is spring, sow some more seeds and look forward. 

 Brighter days are coming. . .
The first crocus