Somebody appears to have stolen October and thrown me into the middle of November. I am not impressed. On the plus side there were visits from family – watching nephews battle with their father to hold back the tide was hilarious! There were some sunny days on which I managed to do a little gardening. On the minus side I am battling with a relapse and feeling rather fed up that I can’t get outside and do as much as I would like. Instead, I have been gardening in my head. In fact, even when I am outside, I spend an inordinate amount of time just sitting, apparently staring in to space. Actually I am creating and changing planting schemes. Be that as it may, all these things have combined to make me a very absent blogger, so this is me trying to get back into the swing.

A work in progress

To say that the back garden is a work in progress would be an understatement! I feel sorry for our next door neighbours, who look out over this mess from their conservatory. I am giving a very good impression of someone who has taken a perfectly decent garden (albeit with an ugly patio and a couple of strange “features”), and systematically embarked on a programme of destruction! The grass, which was in very good nick, is suffering from the piles of plant material that get left waiting for the shredder, and the energy to use it. In order to set out and fill the veg beds I have had to remove some of the strangely curving edges that define the borders, leaving an ugly area of bare earth combined with landscaping fabric and piles of golden gravel. It actually looks a bit better than this now, thanks to TNG. He has managed to saw up and/or shred most of the remains of the two conifers he and my brother-in-law took down back in October, revealing more of the grass, and I have managed to do a little actual planting.

a small start

In place of the funereal conifers I have planted a hawthorn (just visible as a stick in the back left corner), a mahonia (now clear of all shredded paper), and a portion of the black bamboo we moved and split in our old garden last year. The hawthorn will blend with those in the park behind, as well as providing a prickly screen and a good wildlife habitat to augment the huge tree stump and log pile behind. The bamboo and mahonia will give some evergreen cover, movement and winter interest. I had to plant the bamboo further in to the garden than I had planned, since the tree roots were in exactly the wrong place. I am hoping to rescue and re-purpose a pyracantha and put that in alongside the sambucus, and then plant the spindle in front. I have happy daydreams of seeing the orange seed pods of the spindle against the black lacy leaves of the sambucus.

strange edges

There are some very strange edges in this border. There are 2 foot spikes of wood hammered into the ground like DIY log roll forming the back edge of the bed. These curve to meet the straight edges of half round timbers nailed to more wooden spikes, which in turn meet another, presumably older, curved bed edged with stone. All of this has to be removed to allow the veg beds to be laid out and the final depth of the border to be defined somehow. Which brings me to the title of this post, working with what you’ve got.

Clearing the ivy that was choking this border revealed clumps of epimediums, some lovely bronze euphorbias, and these:

Useful stone

Given how expensive hard landscaping materials are, I was delighted with this find, which are the clean raw ingredients of that curved stone edging. I was rather worried about how easy it would be to dig out and clean them up, but actually a few taps with a cold chisel and a little effort with a crowbar and I am collecting a rather useful pile of edging material!

raw ingredients

Like everything else, it will take me a while to dig them all out, and even longer to clean them off so that they are usable, but time is one thing I have plenty of at the moment, so a few blocks a week is just fine.

rockery

Where I have removed unwanted shrubs I have several large holes that will need filling. Fortunately the slope around the side of the house turned out to be a rockery. Tearing out large quantities of ivy revealed some rather lovely large pieces of local stone that should work really well out in the front garden, and by flattening that border and using the earth to fill the many holes I also gain the space to plant raspberries. Definitely a win-win situation. (That is a rubbish photo, I know, but the slope is actually quite steep, so even if we decide to fill in the pond I should have enough soil to work with.)

Other than ivy, there aren’t many plants to rescue in this border, but I did discover plenty of ophiophogon and some stipa. I know the black “grass” is not to everybody’s taste, but I rather like it. I have used some around the base of my purple hazel, interplanted with anenomes and species tulips, and put some in the circle bed, now the nursery bed. I will also give some to a neighbor who is also a fan (not a taste his wife shares!), as a thank you for the welsh onion he gave me for the as-yet-mythical kitchen garden. Bill is a remarkable man, and I hope to be able to do a blog post on his kitchen garden next year.

I love re-using materials and plants already here, not just because it saves money, though that is a big advantage, but because it somehow feels right, continuity rather than complete revolution. I have to admit to be struggling with the gravel though. I am not a fan of golden gravel. All that lovely green stone just begs to be used with subtle grey-green gravel. I want to use gravel and rock in the front garden in place of that circle bed and the grass. But I already have a large amount of the golden gravel. So I am currently trying to persuade myself that actually it goes quite well with the green rock, that it echoes the browns that define the beach and the cliffs that form the backdrop to the front garden. What do you think?! With enough plants to soften the effect?

does this work

For a gardener, another part of working with you’ve got has to do with learning about the local climate. We’ve had plenty of wind and rain, interspersed with some breathtaking clear bright days where the sea has been so calm it reflects the clouds, but what has really surprised me is how mild it has been, and therefore how much is still flowering.

Fuchsias and hydrangeas are still throwing up buds and flowering away.

pale pink fuchsia
lacecap hydrangea
hydrangea buds
dark pink fuchsia

There is a lovely hebe.

hebe

Valerian.

Valerian

Feverfew

feverfew

Selfheal

selfheal

I’ll have to remember this as I plan for autumn and winter interest, I could find myself with combinations I didn’t expect because things flower for much longer than I am used to. Not that I am complaining, I hasten to add! And I do have some autumn colour, in the shape of the purple beech and cotoneaster.

autumn colour
cotoneaster

The lack of any frosts also means that my salad leaves are still growing strongly, and although the leaves are starting to become a little bitter, they still provide for sandwiches and wilt beautifully in spicy winter soups.

pretty edibles

I doubt there will be much more progress in the garden until the spring, at least that is visible to the naked eye, but I will carry on gardening in my head, drawing up lists of plants and seeds, re-arranging borders, and pondering golden gravel. And in the mean time, on any clear, bright day, I will be sat on the beach, snuggled in many layers of clothing, watching the waves and the birds. Just being thankful.

low tide

59 thoughts on “Using What You’ve Got

  1. I LOVE gardening in my head … it avoids all those blisters and aching muscles! Really enjoying watching your progress. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Patrica, it is much cheaper too! Plus it isn’t nearly as hard to change your mind and move things…

  2. Good to see your post Janet. It must be frustrating but you will get there eventually and time spent sitting to dream and plan is just as important as doing – even more sometimes. It’s also giving you the chance to observe the local climate which must be very different to where you lived before. There was a recent edition of Countryfile from Anglesey. Did you see it? I can understand your concerns about the gravel but plants will definitely soften and complement it. No frost yet – lucky you :)

    1. Hi Anna, I do love “gardening in my head”, and I agree, it is invaluable, but I did want to get more of the screening plants in ready for next year, I have become so used to privacy in my garden!! As to Countryfile, we had two sets of relatives emailing us about it so yes, I watched it with great pleasure. I have been trying to get in touch with the exotic plants nursery because I want to know if I can really grow kiwi outside here… Sorry you are not frost free, I am feeling slightly freaked to be honest, the greenhouse still hasn’t gone below 2C!

  3. Hi Janet,

    Glad to see a post from you :)
    I hope you get better soon and I can totally relate to you staring into space… I do the same. In fact, I do far too much of the sitting and staring and not enough actual work!

    Have you planted any bulbs? I assume you’ll try to get some in, but you may be surprised at what comes up in spring.

    Not at all jealous of you living near the sea….. honest……………………… :D

    1. Hi Liz, thank you, am working on it. And yes, sitting and staring is a vastly under rated activity in my opinion! I have planted a few bulbs where I know there isn’t anything ready and waiting to pop up, but most have been put in pots ready for emergency placement once I see what pops up. I do know from the estate agent’s details that I have a large collection of bluebells. Pity they are the Spannish variety – am waiting to see if they have already spread to the park, or if I can get rid of them and replace them with natives…

      And I am sorry about the beach porn, as someone who has had coastal living envy for years now you would think I would be a little more sensitive!!

    1. Funnily enough, I noticed this afternoon that the ones planted round the side of the house are almost totally leaf free, and have only a small handful of blooms. I think the wind must funnel through there, which is important to know.

  4. Working in your garden is like having a treasure hunt! How wonderful to have found some of those epimediums. Using the stones you find will have a natural feel to their addition to the garden. You are doing some major renovations and have made great headway. Congratulate yourself on the accomplishments so far. Look back over the past 6 months, you have done quite a lot. Soon your garden will reflect your tastes.

    1. Hi Janet, thank you, yes, I really should remember how much we have managed to get done in such a short time, actually only just 4 months, though it feels longer. I love all those large pieces of rock, and if I can use them as effectivly as you have in your own garden I will be a happy woman, though I am glad I don’t have your slopes to contend with!

  5. I’m not familiar with golden gravel so I don’t have an opinion on it. I tend to prefer grass paths. I love that you still have so much blooming! Big rocks like the ones you found would be pricey here, too. Sometimes when I get frustrated that a project isn’t going as quickly as I’d like, I end up reflecting that the slow pace gave me more time to refine my plans and really identify what I wanted and what the space could offer. It will all come together and will be gorgeous!

    1. Hi, I agree, there are huge advantages to taking time over planting schemes, I certainly couldn’t afford to change my mind as often as I do in my head if I put every idea into immediate action! I did just want to get the key screening plants in though. Ah well!

  6. I do lots of gardening in my head, but in my case I fear it’s due to laziness, rather than necessity. Digging in your garden is a bit like Time Team, isn’t it? You’ve made some nice finds, and I think your plans sound great. I am all for recycling what’s already there, but like you, I would rather see that lovely green stone with grey gravel, (echoing sea and sky) rather than the gold and brown gravel. Of course, if you plant thickly enough, you could cover up most of it anyway.

    1. Hi Lyn, I have found some wonderful plants in my excavations, they give me intriguing glimpses of the gardeners who lived here before me, but some of the landscaping is distinctly sketchy! I think I am going to pin my hopes on lots of planting and not much gravel showing…

  7. Sorry to hear about your relapse but all the plans that you have made are very exciting! I think we all need time to sit and stare, please don’t try to do too much all at once, I’m having to learn to do the gardening “a little and often” rather than all at once. It must be tempting when you have a garden to re-organise but your health is more important. Sit and wait and see if any snowdrops pop up in January!

    1. Hi Pauline, wise words, and to be honest, there is more than enough to ponder and re-design over the winter, and on into next year!! I am actually really happy to take things quite slowly, but I do get frustrated when even little and often isn’t possible, and projects remain uncompleted. I would love to see some snowdrops emerge next Spring, I can but hope! I do know there are Spanish bluebells to come, such a pity, they are so much stiffer than our own native bluebell. I remain hopeful that there will be treasures though!

  8. I hope you get back to full strength soon Janet. Thinking is THE most important part of redesigning a garden. I really stress that there IS time and don’t try to do it all at once. Ideas always evolve in ones own garden but committing to a definate plan (after a lot of time thinking) is going to work best for you in the long run. I have some areas I would love to dig up and start again (but perhaps that’s a post to write…..) As to the gravel, I like it and I’m sure you’ll find in blends well once there are plant assoiciated with it. Christina

    1. Hi Christina, I absolutely agree, thinking, and lots of it, is as essential to gardening as weeding or composting, and most of all when embarking on new plans. I find that there is a point when a planting scheme seems to just come together and you no longer find yourself revisiting it. I am nowhere near that point with the overall plan for the fornt garden, but I love knowing it is a long term project and I can take my time, getting to grips with the soil, climate, surrounding context.

      I think what I have been struggling with is half-completed projects like the veg beds, which when in place will really help me get to grips with the rest of the space out the back. I also really wanted to get some key screening plants in the ground before the soil cooled down too much, but hey, there us always next year.

  9. Staring into space or daydreaming has been proved to be extremely beneficial for our brains giving them an opportunity to switch off from the stimuli of modern life. Sorry to hearing about your relapse. It can be a difficult time of year. I’m currently sat in front of my SAD lamp in an attempt to ward off the winter blues.

    The problem with any sort of job like the one your doing with the garden is that the mess created means things always look worse before they can look brilliant. When we moved here we ripped up a load of decking and dug out a load of willow heading for our drains. Well it looked like a bomb had gone off in the garden. I nearly cried. It is surprising how quickly things improve though. You’ve got so much still in flower as well.

    Take care and I hope you feel better soon.

    1. Hi WW, hope your daylight lamp is helping hold back the blues, SAD can make this time of year such utter misery. I am lucky, my own depression is suddenly in flight thanks to a change in meds! As to staring off into space, I suspect you lose a lot of the benefit if internally your mind is whirling through potential planting combinations and what order jobs need to be done in, but I do find sitting on the beach wrapped in multiple layers watching the waves is an excellent way to regain a semblance of serenity.

      Thanks so much for sharing your bomb site memory, it makes me feel so much better! Its a little like decorating indoors I suppose, there is that awful moment when you have a bare room, with bare, slightly scuzzy walls, and you find yourself wondering whether it will ever become what you have in your mind’s eye…

  10. What a lovely meaty post for us to get our teeth into, Janet – I read it when it first came into my email box and then went back to it later to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. Anyone reading it will surely feel they have caught up with your garden despite the paucity of posts. Hopefully your thinking time has been part of a healing process and that you are once again making progress. Like you, I like to re-utilise materials where I can (although I did palm off quite a lot of blue slate chippings onto a friend during my current garden revamp) – have you thought of experimenting to see how much green slate chippings you would need to tip the balance if you mixed it with the golden gravel?

    1. Hi Cathy, glad you feel caught up – and I love “paucity of posts”, makes my absence from the blogosphere sound almost sexy! Re mixing gravels, I suspect I would need an enormous amount to make enough of a difference, but I am wondering about using some of the much smaller pile of greyish gravel to soften the effect somehow. Mostly, though, I think I will rely on planting lots of plants!! Gravel? What gravel…

  11. Things always look worse before they get better. Your neighbors will eventually appreciate your careful planning and hard work! I love the rocks you discovered. They will indeed make a great border. I am a fan of black oophiophogon. I have just a little of it, and I am patiently waiting for it to spread, as it is rather pricey here.

    1. Hi Deb, I am hoping that by the time the weather warms up and they are spending more time there things will look more garden-like again! Ophiophogon isn’t cheap here either, which surprises me as it is so easy to grow and spreads quite quickly you will be glad to know! I had been cursing myself for having given all mine from my old garden away when I cleared the ivy and found several large clumps just sat there waiting to be used and appreciated.

  12. Ah yes, “gardening in my head.” That is what I am doing these days, too, as all the plants in my late autumn garden are going to sleep. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been under the weather again. I hope your days by the sea enjoying the fresh air will be therapeutic. We will have to compare notes about Cotoneaster through the seasons–one of my all-time favorite plants!

    1. Cotoneasters are rather splendid, aren’t they! I was delighted to find so many here, though I have moved most of them to better positions.The sea is certainly restful, so provided I manage not to over do it too much I am hopeful that I will be much healthier by Spring.

  13. Gardening in your head is definitely a very valuable way to spend time. Better to have some thinking than to just plough in there – usually what I end up doing! I have to confess to being the owner of golden gravel. I think the green stones look ok with the gravel and the look will improve with some plants to break it up. Probably green/grey gravel will harmonise more but could it end up looking a bit cold? Just wondering, I have no idea about design really!

    Sorry to hear about your relapse and hope you feel better soon.

    1. Hi Claire, thanks for dropping by. I am coming round to the golden gravel, I think it will work really well out front because of the colours of the cliffs and beach beyond. And you are right, time spent gardening in the head means less time spent moving things around that don’t work. Plant in haste, repent at leisure!

  14. Great progress – and I’m envious of your salad leaves. Our last sowings are still coming slowly, and the previous ones long gone. It is satisfying to reuse materials and plants, we salvaged what we could here, and while the garden has changed substantially it feels good to retain a small sense of continuity where possible.
    You have some lovely late flowerings too, taking advantage of the milder climate.

    1. Thanks Sarah, it does feel as if I am beginning to put y stamp on the gardens here, and I am fortunate to have such good bones, and so many lovely plants, to start from. I think it is going to take me a while to work out what I can get away with here due to the maritime climate. It’s not Devon or Cornwall, and we get some wickedly cold northerly winds at times, but I think I am going to really love gardening here.

  15. Janet as others have said thinking time is important and can save lots of work later, I should think your neighbours are glad not to be looking out on just conifers and have the promise of something more interesting, when I moved here I was surprised by how much warmer winter is compared to the south east where I have lived mostly, you have some beautiful blooms and lovely foliage in your garden, nice rocks too, as to the golden gravel I would not have even thought about it if you hadn’t said and now I am thinking about it I realise it’s the same colour as the gravel in Beth Chatto’s gravel garden, I think a green/grey gravel would blend with the rocks and they would loose their impact, also once it has been planted it will be softened and blended, I know what you mean about wishing to have got more done before winter sets in I feel the same,
    sorry to read about your health, relax and take care there will be plenty of time ahead for the garden, Frances

    1. Hi Frances, well, if it is good enough for Beth Chatto, it is good enough for me! And although it probably sounds as if I am moaning, I am actually enjoying the whole process of starting again, if not from scratch, from someone else’s moderately blank canvas with many good structural ingredients. I am finding the adjustment to a different climate fascinating, on the one hand, only a single night’s frost so far and the greenhouse still hasn’t gone below 1C. On the other hand, vicious winds at times. Such an adventure.

  16. I really enjoy reading your posts and looking at the wonderful photos.
    There’s still so much colour, and you’re lucky to be reusing materials and plants as you are, and will be.
    I’m a touch envious of you sitting or walking on the beach on a clear, bright day watching the waves and birds.
    Take care and enjoy your gardening, even if it’s only the armchair kind. xx

    1. Hi Flighty, so glad you are en joying the tales of my new seaside adventures, and I used to be envious of people who lived by the sea too, sorry… At this time of year armchair gardening is just about perfect, though I do enjoy those cold, crisp days that you can get out and potter in.

  17. If it makes you feel any better there’s nothing wrong with my health but I find myself sitting in the garden for hours at a time staring into space too. I think there’s something restorative just about being outside and enjoying it for what it is. Despite not feeling well I see so much work completed in your photos. Like that you’re reusing some of the materials and gifting plants where you aren’t using them.

    1. Hi Marguerite, I am comforted to know that most gardeners spend lots of time gardening in their heads! I suppose that is what happens when you get passionate about something, a mathematician friend of mine spends hours working through complex math problems in his head… I love having so much stone to work with, all ready to hand, can’t wait to start playing with it. Well, OK, actually I can wait, I have all the time in the world.

  18. Sorry to hear of the relapse. I love that you are going slow and finding such wonderful stones and plants to use and reuse. I love the gravel too. What a beautiful place to sit and watch the world go by.

    1. Hi Donna, it is a place that encourages one to take time, it is quiet, and Island speed seems to be quite slow – though apparently I am going to find this frustrating when we start to get contractors in to work on the house!

  19. I enjoyed reading your visions alongside the spaces where they will come to life. Unfortunately I don’t have a rockery hidden under my ivy, but I do have cotoneaster apparently (I was wondering what it was called).

    1. Hi b-a-g, glad to have helped you identify a plant in your garden! I am very happy to have some jobs to do that can be tackled on dry bright winters days, and when it is wet – which seems to be often – I can garden in my head, warm and dry indoors. Not a bad life, really!

  20. It sounds wonderful–sitting outside, planning, enjoying the late blooms and the bracing sun. Thinking and planning–they’re just as rich and important a part of gardening as anything else you might do, indoors or out. I hope the neighbors understand all the things a person needs to to to re-imagine a garden. It’s going to be a lovely space.

    1. Hi James, the neighbours are still friendly, so I have hopes for their patience! And you are so right, time spent imagining, envisioning, is foundational. And great fun. Not to mention a perfect activity for a cold wet winter day.

    1. Hi Les, very true, and given my ever growing list of seeds I don’t think plants are going to be a problem…

  21. Ahh, the old sitting, dozing but pretending to be doing the intense thinking routine, eh? A favourite of mine too, Janet. Love all the ‘finds’ – epimediums especially. And all that stone! (I’m afraid I fall into the not-keen-on-ophiophogon-camp). Dave

    1. Hi David, shhh, you just wrecked my cover! I thought I remembered you as not being an ophiophogon fan. What with that and the mahonia, we could have some grand “discussions” once I get to planting!! I always meant to plant epimediums in my previous garden, and never got around to it. Shall look forward to seeing them flower.

  22. Janet, when one moves house, regardless of the d├ęcor we invariably feel the need to change it, isn’t it just the same with our gardens. Always pleased to see your return after a break. You certainly still have a lot blooming where you are, Valerian has a long flowering period but still blooming in November is amazing. What! some folks don’t like ophiophogon I don’t know what’s wrong with them, the price of these plants suggest they should be held in high regard. I like the gravel and have areas in the garden where I think it looks good, don’t think I would lift my lawn in favour of it though.

    1. Hi Alistair, I like your comparison with interior decorating, I think you are spot on. I am puzzled by how expensive ophiophogon is to buy, it seems to increase readily, and to grow reliably. Most strange. As to lifting the lawn, we just don’t have the energy to keep on top of mowing large areas of grass front and back, and lugging a mower around the front it always going to mean it gets left longer than it should. I’d rather it looked neat without grass than scruffy with – and besides, this way I can fit loads more plants in!

  23. You know what they say – you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. And because you have shown us all the ‘before’ pictures the ‘afters’ will be all the more pleasurable.

    1. Hi Elaine, I am rubbish at omelettes, but I make great scrambled eggs. Not sure what that says about my gardening… Though at least you can see where I’ve been!

  24. I’m sorry to read that you have had a relapse. Don’t worry about your neighbours – you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette and your garden will be gorgeous, but these things take time.

    Perhaps you might try marrying the two colours of stones through your planting scheme. That way, the gravel colour will make sense.

    1. Thanks for dropping by and commenting, particularly as you make such a good suggestion. I’d already spotted that the bronze carex I have inherited goes beautifully with the gravel, and thought by dotting more around I could tie the colour in. Adding plants around groups of rocks should sort the rest out, particularly as I have lots of different coloured boulders around the pond that I can reuse.

  25. All those stones are quite a find! I know it will be a lot of work to dig them all up and clean them, but they look like the perfect edging in your seaside garden. So nice to see so many blooms, too; it’s already turning into winter here, and all my blooms have gone to sleep for the winter. There’s nothing wrong with just sitting and dreaming–by spring you’ll have lots of inspiration to put into action!

    1. Hi Rose, I am hoping that by Spring I will have managed to cull my ever-growing list of plants I really must grow in my new front garden down to something of manageable size, that will look coherent rather than chaotic. On second thoughts, maybe winter isn’t long enough…

  26. Being new to the world of Garden Blogging – I must say that I fully enjoyed this blog – was nice reading about your thoughts and planning. I’m forever sitting looking out the window thinking a few months ahead but never get round to doing those things I ‘plan’.
    Your blog has made me realise I really must write things down as I ‘think’ them – then too act on them at an appropriate time.
    What a great find those stones are – they will be worth all the hard work I’m sure. I’d be like you and do a little at a time – it won’t feel such a chore that way!
    I’m off now to explore the rest of your site. Thank you :)

    1. Hi Angie, welcome to the wonderful world of garden blogging, thank you for dropping by and commenting. I hope you find blogging as great as I do, I have “met” so many great people, learnt so much, and, I think, become a better gardener through explaining my garden to others. I think a notebook for scribbling ideas is a grand tool for a gardener, but note I said ideas not plans! I change my mind so many times it makes me dizzy, but time spent exploring ideas on paper has led to plans that have been carried out too.

  27. Before too long your neighbours will bless you! That’s a lot of physical work to do here so the urge to push on must be strong whilst your fatigue is enforcing some digestion and familiarisation. Your climate is not dissimilar to central Lonon (we have less rainfall) with all that you have in bloom there except you have wonderful views and a slate that you are having to clean before you can put down your design. Wish I lived nearer I’d be round with willing muscles :)

    1. Hi Laura, after all these years envying you Londoners the mild climate it is amusing to find myself with something not dissimilar! It certainly opens up more opportunities. I think in some ways it is just as well that I can’t do much physical work at the moment, I might rush decisions and then rue them at leisure. Though I do wish you lived nearer, the company and the help would be lovely, and you – and your camera – would love the coastline.

  28. Having finally caught up with some reading, I’m liking your finds, gravel is useful (both under soil (pots and drainage) and to top dress those pots waiting to go in I’m sure you’ll find a use for it, despite the clour. Free rocks are always cool, as are plants, brilliant. Curious isn’t it, the effects of coast on plants, on the one and mild, on the other windy destruction. The crocosmia still blooms here, now December. Ophpogon, I love in flower, so exotic, I think it makes a fine pot plant or under snowy birch. The price, isn’t it a curious sort which 75% only germinates black (the other 25% green) hence the cost? Keep thinking!

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