THE MODERN MINT BLOG
For those of you asking where we buy our seed, we have put together a list of seed houses for you – so you too can sow a meadow.
At Modern Mint we are finding more and more that instead of supplying our clients with mature plants they want us to put in something smaller, or even grow from seed. Perhaps it is a design trend? Or maybe a cost saver – after all, when you grow from seed you are not paying the nurserywoman for years of her time…
It does have its pitfalls though – seeds must be irrigated so they germinate, seedbeds must be sterile or the plants you want may be crowded out by those you don’t, and cats and foxes tend to scratch around in the soil you have just sown.
But if you can bypass these potential hazards growing plants from seed will give you a buzz – almost daily you will watch your plant get bigger and marvel at how it got to that size (and strength – sowing plants in situ certainly seems to make plants tougher than ones that are taken from a pot and added into the border!)
For a fun way of getting children to garden, or just a low-maintenance option for you, try this product from our shop known as Seedballs…
They are a mix of seeds and compost (with a little bit of chilli powder to stop the birds pecking the seeds) and can just be cast onto bare soil and left alone. The ball gives the seeds inside a safe place to germinate, meaning you can do away with all the seed trays and pots for pricking out normally associated with growing from seed. The idea for Seedballs was made popular by Japanese farmer Masanobu Fukuoka in The One-Straw Revolution (New York Review Books Classics).
You can find a recipe for your own seedballs in Josie Jeffery’s short little book Seedbombs…
Our Favourite Places To Get Seeds
Sarah Raven (for growing cut flowers especially!)
Real Seeds (for all things vegetable…)
The Big Four UK Seed Houses
Thompson & Morgan
Essex Based Seed Companies
English Sweet Peas
Popular Places To Get Seeds
Special Plant Nursery
Heritage Seed Library
Other Seed Houses and Suppliers (including those in the USA)
Eagle Sweet Peas
Territorial Seed Company
Seeds of Italy
For lovely things to store all the seeds in you are about to buy, try Garden Trading – have a good look around their website too as they often have a sale on.
We hope you are inspired to try growing seed from one of these fantastic suppliers, it really is worth doing! And for more help and advice on how to grow from seed, we have put together a list of useful books below, all available from Amazon…
Well worth a read in the BBC today – a note on how wasting water in the UK “as socially unacceptable as blowing smoke in the face of a baby.” Read the report here. I have written a talk about how we use water in the garden. It was written when I moved from Hampshire to Essex and found out for myself just how dry this area of the UK is. It completely changed the way I garden. The lack of such a precious resource as water made me question what we can do to save it, store it and …
Ethical Foie Gras? Is That A Real Thing? Foie gras – can it be ‘grown’ ethically? The video showing how this farmer works suggests it can… We first read about this in a book called The Third Plate by Dan Barber. I loved it and I love how Eduardo the farmer, who farms on the Dehesa in Spain, has a ‘take half leave half rule’. When talking about how the geese eat his olives… “They’re always quite fair. If you make sure the geese are relaxed and happy, you’ll be rewarded with the gift of fatty livers. That is God’s …
Hardy orchids – here is a subject I would love to know more about – so lo and behold, James Wong has written about it in the Guardian! Read the article about hardy orchids here. I love having orchids in the house, just your usual run of the mill buy them in any shop orchids, but it is a pleasure to read about the plants that will grow outside and cope with this weather. (This insane weather! From the hottest days of February on record to Storm Freya, all within a week. Weather is always such a factor in gardening, but …