Seeing as I forgot to tell you about the Big Garden Birdwatch that happened last weekend, I am getting in early-ish with the Monmouth Seed Swap.

Taking place on Saturday,February 17 between 10am-1pm at Bridges Centre, Monmouth, you will be able to swap saved seed, bought seed, plants, bulbs, edibles and ornamental – and I’m sure anything else (ish) gardening related.

There will be a number of experts on-hand to answer questions and sprinkle a little motivation–should it be needed. Adam Alexander, the Seed Detective, is a fascinating chap to talk to – as fascinating as his book was to read. It is so informative and a lovely ‘chatty’ read. I really enjoyed it. As a natural storyteller, his website is well worth a visit too – for advice as well as anecdotes.

No Dig expert, Cherry Taylor – who is also holding a number of workshops throughout 2024 – will also be at the Seed Swap. I am a converted ‘no-digger’ and highly recommend exploring the method, if you haven’t already. More details at

And bean seed expert, Sue Young will be generous with advice too – and who doesn’t want to grow beans – even Jack did! Sue experiments and searches out new bean varieties, manages a successful wildflower meadow, and has written a book, ‘Growing Beans: A diet for healthy people and planet.’ It’s another really interesting book, which brings together Susan’s 10 years of experimentation with multiple varieties of beans. She clearly explains how to sow, grow, harvest, dry, store and cook them, and shares her six ‘must grow’ varieties.

Entry to the Seed swap is free although all donations are welcome. Don’t worry if you haven’t got anything seedy or ‘planty’ to swap –

your company will do nicely.

Phone 07803 853681 for more details.

As well as bringing relief that January is now in the rear-view mirror, Thursday 1st February also celebrates Imbolc, which marks halfway between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox, and embraces the increasing daylight and the gradual return of warmth outdoors.

It is considered to be good time to start seed sowing, both literally and metaphorically whether out in your garden or in pots indoors (adhering to conditions needed for the seeds) – or even ‘sowing seeds’ for a new project or adventure. It is thought that sowing seeds on Imbolc aligns with the earth’s reawakening and the potential for new beginnings.

As the saying goes, ‘Don’t judge your life by what you harvest, but by the seeds you sow.'