What seeds will you be sowing in 2013?

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So, most of you by now should have received your Seeds 2013 and Spring 2013 catalogues through the post over the past week... there've been some lovely comments on Twitter and Facebook, and we're so glad you love it!

Obviously the seed range is fairly extensive this year, and so we thought we'd narrow it down and let you know what our favourites are here in the office... Sian loves our sweet peas - 'I love a mish-mash of colour, rather than just one' - so she's chosen all of our most popular sweet pea mixes - Opal, Harlequin, Amethyst and Venetian. She's already started them, and they're about 10cm tall. She's pinched them out too. Last year she did an amazing job and had plenty of vases full in the house... Alison wants to try out Astrantia major, 'because it's pretty'... (don't you think so too?)

Astrantia major growing with nigella

...and she also wants to try our purple Globe Artichoke 'Violet de Provence' - for it's evergreen, architectural nature, and also because it's perennial. Kathryn will be growing our Pictorial Meadows Pastel Annual Mix again, after the success she had last year...

Kathryn's Pictorial Meadows Pastel Annual Mix

...'it was unbelievably easy, as long as you prepare the ground really well. There were a lot of preparations in our garden last year. It was so amazing, it was the talk of the village. This year will be even bigger and better!' Kathryn has two young children who loved helping her plant the mix out, and seeing it grow and change colours throughout the season. She's also not a regular gardener, and quite hesitant to spend time growing things that require too much care and attention, so this was a beautiful and easy garden solution for her!

Steph H will be growing Nicotiana mutabilis, as it was such a success last year. It germinated really well, and flowered all the way from July to December with a gorgeous mix of colours. She even gave some homegrown seedlings as gifts to friends and family who also loved having them in their patch. When asked for growing tips she says, 'No. They're just really easy peasy. I planted them out and off they went!'

Jackie will be growing all sorts (she's a very keen gardener), including her favourite Hungarian Hot Wax Chilli. She loves how long the plants keeps going for - she keeps them in her greenhouse, with the pots standing in water 24/7. She'll also be planting the incredibly pretty Alpine Strawberry 'Mignonette' in the edge of her raised beds...

Alpine Strawberry Mignonette

... 'of course you need rather a lot of them to get any fruit, but they look gorgeous at the front of flower beds'. She'll also be trying Emilia javanica seeds, which her friends have recommended, as well as the pretty Cosmos 'Versailles Tetra'.

Gemma loves potatoes, and has had mixed experiences of growing them the last couple of years - 2011 proved to be a perfect potato year (as we're sure many of you found too!), and last year was too wet and too miserable in the UK to have much success. This year she'll be planting 'International Kidney' and 'Charlotte' seed potatoes in potato planters.

Potato Planters at Sarah Raven

Both Lou and Sally will be growing our meadow mixes - Lou loves the Jewel Cut Flower Meadow Mix and Sally loves the Amethyst and Sapphire Cut Flower Mix. Who can blame them? They're stunning and so easy to grow - perfect for anyone with a full time job!

Abigail will be growing a selection of vegetables in containers - last year was her first year, and she had such success that she's trying again, and learning by trial and error the best methods. She'll be growing Broad Bean 'Stereo' (for which she'll also use some Seasol organic fertiliser), Carrots 'Nantes 5' and Runner Bean 'Polestar'. When asked for tips she says, 'well I have no beds, so I grow totally in huge containers - for the beans I create bamboo wigwams, and I always add netting over the top of my containers because I have two cats who would otherwise squash everything!'

Why we use netting on our containers

I would love to try growing salad and herbs in containers again - I did it last year, and haven't picked it back it back up again since I got married and moved into my new home. I will probably be growing the Summer Salad Leaf Mix, but I love Pak Choi, so I'd be tempted to use the Oriental Stir Fry Salad Seed Mix also!

I'm also keen to get going on planting some wildflowers in the garden, and giving them away to other people as gifts, especially Wild Marjoram - my family love multipurpose gifts, and this totally counts - and Oxeye Daisy for it's prettiness. Throughout last summer I spotted wildflowers all over the place, and was totally inspired...

Guernsey Wildflowers

No matter what happens in our gardens, we love trying new things, and we can't wait to see what this year's garden will bring us...

What will you be sowing in 2013?

Thanks for reading!