We soon realized that there is an enormous and exciting range of plants that are cheap, quick and often amazingly easy to grow in this way – not only annual flowers but also perennials, ornamental grasses and herbs – and we set ourselves the challenge of growing as many as we could. The first year was a washout. It was the wettest spring for decades and most of our seedlings were destroyed. But I was not ready to give up so, the following year, I created a new cutting patch, which I filled almost entirely with plants I had raised from seed. Rather than buying expensive perennials or trays of bedding plants, I had spent just a few pounds on packets of seed that would produce hundreds of plants. I was hooked.