One of the perks of being a member of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), apart from a monthly copy of The Garden magazine and free entry to their four gardens (and a selection of others as well), is being able to receive an annual allotment of up to twenty different packets of seeds from plants grown by the society. This season marks the first time I have taken advantage of this particular offer.
In exchange for the modest admin fee of £12, I should get a selection of seeds sometime in the next few months (and by April at the latest). My first choice batch includes Rosa rugosa (Japanese rose, which should be good for producing hips), the spikey blue Eryngium planum (a type of sea holly) and the wonderfully named (IMHO) Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii (as well as Helianthus annuus, the common but no less wonderful for that giant sunflower). There is a wide enough selection that even my second choices will still net me other species that are similar.
Assuming a fairly good rate of germination, that will be far more plants than I can squeeze in even apart from the fact that I still want to leave plenty of room for more directly edible choices. Still, it will set me up to be able to keep friends and family well-stocked. I am looking forward to the start of the growing season (and trying to make the most of the intervening time to get various inside DIY chores out of the way).