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I always look forward to Jim and Jenny Archibald's seed lists, as much for Jim's news items as for anything else. Fortunately he has never learnt to mince his words. The most recent list contains 26 pages of plant species from North America. Also this item: "While we have no intention of suggesting you can save the world in your backyard, a great number of rare plants species are being preserved and propagated internationally by a few thousand specialist gardeners, many of them in North America.

"Maintaining these in cultivation is not at all the same as allowing them to survive naturally along with their entire habitat but often these species have already lost much of their habitat or they were extremely local plants in the first place.

In recent years horticulture has sometimes been denigrated. A legislative growth-industry fuelled by bureaucrats and self-serving `charities' attempts to obstruct the free movement of cultivated material internationally between gardeners.

We seek the widest possible dissemination of such material and reassure gardeners that their knowledge, traditional skills and understanding of plant life will be of greater importance in the future than cosmetic legislation."

To receive a copy of Archibald's seed list, send a stamped, addressed envelope to: Bryn Collen, Ffostrasol, Llandysul, Dyfed SA44 5SB.