Cheer up dark nights with seed catalogues

Flicking through seed catalogues during the coldest months of the year can be a greenhouse lover’s greatest pleasure, according to one horticulture writer.

Writing for the Daily Telegraph, Francine Raymond revealed ordering seeds over new year can cheer the dark mid-winter days.

Over the next few weeks, Ms Raymond said she will pour over the brochures, fantasising about her vegetable plot this year, even though she does not order anything until spring.

"Reading seed catalogues cosseted by the fire or wrapped in a duvet is the horticultural equivalent to reading recipe books," she remarked.

Her favourite is Franchi’s Seeds of Italy, which she argued has bridged the gap from the garden to the plate perfectly.

Succulent tomatoes, Venetian asparagus, red garlic and purple artichokes are all hidden within its pages, she continued.

The Daily Mail recently listed Robin Lane Fox’s Thoughtful Gardening and the Royal Horticultural Society’s Allotment Handbook as two of the best books for planning an outside space this yea