I've gone for mostly F1 varieties. They are a bit more expensive, but I have to say the germination and survival rates do seem to justify it.
1) Winter Pansy 'Pinnacle The Blues F1'
This doesn't need sowing till June and will flower next winter, but I thought I might as well get it with the others: they are a range of blues with white and yellow accents and whiskers, which is a sort I specially like and can be hard to find on its own, not part of a mixed pack.
I could try sowing some of them this spring and see if I can raise half of them as summer pansies...? Hmmmm. Might be good for baskets...
2) Impatiens Super Elfin Velvet Red F1
This was a silly one really - I left my lovely dark red Bizzy Lizzy (raised from a stolen cutting from a garage forecourt) outside too long and it got frosted. This is the closest I've been able to find in variety description. Red Impatiens look a bit silly with the pale blue colour of our house, but on the other hand they do grow in the shade where nothing else flowers, and the flower and flower for ages.
3) Petunia Double Purple Pirouette F1
For hanging baskets - the double purple flower has a white flash in the middle, so should go well with the blue house and look good in the dark too. I need to get on and get my propagator set up and these planted so they will be ready to go come april-may.
4) Squash (Winter) Spaghetti Square Pyjamas F1
Well, how could I *not* grow something with a name like that! I've always wanted to try spaghetti squash and never got round to it, and also the description sounds delicious "the flesh forms 'vegetable noodles' and its high sugar content ensures they are sweet and tasty".
However, it needs 3 feet of bed per plant, so there's no way I shall have room for all 15 seeds. I might plant 6, and aim to get 3 good plants. Or maybe that's still too many, given that I have another squash and pumpkins to make room for... 2 plants?
5) Squash Pilgrim Butternut F1
Same problem as Mr Square Pyjamas: limited bed space. Am trying to decide if the area North of the raspberry bushes is too shady for squashes. Also whether to give up on the Asparagus bed ever producing decent amounts of asparagus and try the squashes there instead.
6) Pumpkin Racer F1
Can't not grow a pumpkin! this is a new variety I've not grown before - fruits are about 7 Kg each, apparently. Again, space problem: pumpkins will take over the world if I let them: 2 plants ONLY - packet has 10 seeds, so should be some for next year. Need to put compost on pumpkin bed.
7) Pepper Sweet Orange Baby
This is a mini high-yield variety. One year I did really well growing peppers: I've now just about got over the pepper-enervation that produced and ready to try again. Hoping this will do well in the greenhouse. I'm also keeping my elderly Physalis peruviana in there, if it makes it through another winter.
8) Dwarf Bean Maxi
I have a horrible suspicion this one was a mistake. I had intended to buy Runner Bean 'Painted Lady', which is an old variety and the only one that I've ever had really good success with. I can't remember now if Mr Fothergill's didn't have it, or if there was some other form of reasoning that left me with 'Maxi'. I've never had much luck with dwarf beans though, and I fear that their size means they won't do so well at climbing up to get to the light, which is vital in my garden.
I meant to buy some leeks as well, but then I decided I didn't have room. May reinstate the leek idea and buy seedlings if there's space once I've done more work on the beds.