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Monday, 1 October 2012

To Whom It May Concern

This is a very tongue-in-cheek (and cheeky!) letter to a botanist friend based in the UK.  Don't know if he'll still speak to me after he's read this!

In a few days he will receive a package containing a cotton boll and a card with the address of this blog written on it.  So, here goes :-

Dear John,

Do you remember, two years ago, issuing me with a challenge?  You probably didn't realise at the time that you had, so maybe I'll fill you in with a few more details.

A few years back, whilst you were visiting France, I very proudly showed you a plant pot which contained some small seedlings I'd managed to grow - cotton plants.  Do you remember laughing and saying (maybe not your exact words, but close enough) "You'll never grow that here!"?

Well, I'm one of those irritating people who, when faced with someone saying you can't do that, just has to try and prove them wrong.  It's taken me two years, mainly because last year and the year before the seeds just weren't planted early enough.  So this year I started them off in March, in the greenhouse admittedly, but so were all my seeds, so nothing different there.

1st day flower

I think you might agree that they've grown pretty well since then, and although they probably wouldn't win any prizes in a horticultural show, I think you'll find that this is cotton . . . grown in France . . . grown by me . . . that irritating person who just can't bear to be told "you can't do that"!

This is the point where, If I were being extremely childish, I'd poke out my tongue and chant "na na na na na!".  But, of course, I'm far too adult for that.

Anyway, see you soon (if you're still speaking to me).  Love to Sue,

best regards,


P.S. (serious hat on now!) Thank you for issuing this challenge - hopefully on this occasion you'll be quite pleased at being proven wrong.  I'm now looking forward to next year when I can plant more!

P.P.S.  PLEASE don't tell me I'll never grow pineapples or bananas here!

P.P.P.S.  You can get your own back in the comments section below!


  1. WOW! I'm so impressed that you managed to grow cotton! The bolls of cotton on your plant are fantastic. My plants came to nothing and I haven't got round to trying again. Mind you, I might struggle in the Cumbrian climate, since you needed to start them off in the greenhouse and you get considerably more sun and warmth than me. Still, if I can borrow a corner of my friend's greenhouse next summer, I might give it another go! I hope your friend was suitably impressed! :)

  2. Hi Kate, sorry I totally missed your comment. You may be able to start your seeds on a sunny windowsill - they germinate at about 22 deg C, but I agree, in the Cumbrian climate you'd probably need to grow them on in a greenhouse. My friend was incredibly impressed and rather chuffed ( think) that I'd taken on his challenge. He's just sent me my latest challenge for this year, I'll blog about it soon!