Anna Pavord: Weekend work

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What to do

* Many seed merchants – Suttons, Dobies, Mr Fothergill's – now send out a second wave of catalogues listing young plants they can supply to gardeners keen to shortcircuit the process of growing from seed. The smallest and cheapest are mini-plants which you need to order early and grow on before planting out in May. Bigger plants are supplied later in the season, ready to plant out straightaway.

* From Mr Fothergill's you can get the low-growing begonia 'Organdy Mixed' with foliage in green and bronze as mini-plants (120 for £10.95), midi-plants (50 for £9.95) or maxi-plants (24 for £9.45). The last order date for minis and midis is 30 March and the plants are sent out between late March and early April. The last date for maxi-plants is 2 May and the plants are sent out between the middle and the end of May. Visit

* You can also buy vegetable plants this way, although it's expensive. I don't think I'd be tempted by five pot-ready plants of broad bean for £5.95. But if you are, Dobies have them, along with aubergines (five pot-ready plants for £7.95) and broccoli (20 plug plants for £4.95). Broccoli and all that cabbagey tribe take for ever to grow from seed so a short cut makes sense. For further details visit

What to see

Ethical gardening – can it be done? A symposium at the Museum of Garden History will not necessarily provide answers, but make us all more aware of the questions. Speakers will address issues such as garden design, planting and maintenance. Monday, 10am-4pm, £50. Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1. Info: 020-7401 8865;