THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Aug10

Where To Buy Seed

Flower Seeds

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…

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…

Here then are our seed suppliers. If you know of anyone we have missed out please do Tweet us or use the form on the contact page and we will add them to the list!

Our Favourite Places To Get Seeds

Jelitto

Sarah Raven (for growing cut flowers especially!)

Real Seeds (for all things vegetable…)

The Big Four UK Seed Houses

Thompson & Morgan

Suttons

Mr Fothergills

Unwins

Essex Based Seed Companies

English Sweet Peas

Moles Seeds

Kings Seeds

Popular Places To Get Seeds

Crocus

Special Plant Nursery

Jekka Mcvicar

Thomas Etty

Organic Seed

Harrod Horticultural

Tamar Organics

Heritage Seed Library

Other Seed Houses and Suppliers (including those in the USA)

Eagle Sweet Peas

Territorial Seed Company

Johnny seeds

Cruydt-Hoeck

Marshalls

Johnsons

Duchy

DT Browns

Franchi

Chiltern

Association Kokopelli

Dobies

Nickys Nursery

Suffolk Herbs

Seeds of Italy

Simpsons Seeds

Edwin Tucker

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…


Apr28

Phillyrea From 1682

Worlidge Phillyrea

Phillyrea is one of my favourite plants for topiary. I have been using it for quite a few years as a specimen shrub, mostly due to the fact it clips well and has a tough habit – all good characteristics for a topiary plant. It also has a  reputation for being an excellent nectar source for bees… Read more about Phillyrea here. Mentioning this to Malcolm Thicke, a market garden historian and writer, he sent me a some photos of topiary and phillyrea mentioned by John Worlidge in Systema Horticulturae from 1682…. incredible! He also mentioned to me that in …

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Apr27

Kites And Strings Podcast – Topiary In The Garden

kites and strings podcast

Kites and Strings is a podcast about creativity, hosted by US-based Stephen Ploum and Catherine Chinnock. Back in March they asked me to come onto their podcast and talk about topiary, my past writing plays, the stand-up I did and how creativity can fit into your life. The Kites and Strings podcast was great fun and Stephen and Catherine are fantastic hosts. Listening back today I am surprised by some of the ideas I talked about (somehow I even started to describe a future where I run a ‘School of Creativity’ by the sea…. where did that come from?!) but it …

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Apr27

Robinia – Pruning A Beautiful Tree For Small Gardens

topiary Robinia

Robinia is often forgotten – by me, actually! – when thinking of plants for topiary. But when I work on it I do love it, brittle and soft as the wood is if you climb into it. But that danger of snapping a branch with a heavy step and falling out of the tree aside, I love it for the dappled light it allows into the garden space. Robinia Near The Sea Below is a Robinia I have gently clipped over the last few years, down near Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. The tree was large when I arrived, although it is …

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