Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Wednesday, 3 May 2017
Share my garden
Last year we were without Night Scented Stock for the first time in years. You may remember that I killed them all off by falling for an offer of 15 kilos of Eastern European car-park sweepings purporting to be 'all-purpose potting compost' for £1. They must have spent more printing the sack than they did on the 'compost'.
This year I bought 10 kilos of what I am hoping is not toxic waste for £3, so I have hopes for blissful scent in the hoped-for warm Summer nights.
Because Night Scented Stock seeds are becoming increasingly rare in shops, I now buy them on eBay. I found a reputable grower based in Wilton which sold them, but checked down the list to see what else was on offer.
The Wilton supplier began with an offer of 1000 seeds for 99p, including postage. Just below that, the same supplier offered 2000 seeds - for 99p including postage.
Further down, the same supplier advertised 4000 seeds - for 99p including postage. I think you can see where we are heading with this post, so I will miss out the other offers from that supplier and cut to the final deal.
I ended up buying 30,000 seeds from the Wilton supplier - for 99p including postage.
You may think that I was being unattractively greedy by buying so many seeds when our little window-box will only take about 500 for a very crowded and stunted display, but I have been giving them away to people who have gardens. I love giving away Night Scented Stocks, especially to people who have never sniffed them on a balmy evening. I am almost evangelistic about it. I over-plant because it is not the 'display' I am after, it is the scent from the little flowers - in the dark.
I have been wondering how and why the supplier can afford to sell such differing quantities for the exact same price, and all I can come up with is that they treat the buyer in the same way that people trust the public to use an honesty box. That is to say that they cannot imagine someone buying 30,000 seeds for 99p and throwing away the other 29,500 which they have no room for. Then again, they could be as evangelistic as I am about Night Scented Stock.
The flower in the picture above is called, 'Miss Wilmott's Ghost'. It is named after an elderly lady who used to visit people's gardens and wander around the flower beds pretending to admire the plants. Sometime after she had gone, the owners of the gardens all noticed this peculiar flower sprouting up in her wake. She secretly spread the seeds of it all over the country in as many gardens as she could visit, and it still grows self-seeded to this day.
She was obviously one of the first evangelistic guerrilla-gardeners in her time.