It’s about that time of year when thoughts turn towards your garden and what you might be planning to plant in it. And with so many online seed websites on the internet, there really is no need to even leave the comfort of your sofa or living room until the very last-minute. Ideal for fairweather gardeners like me, who only venture out in the best of climes. So whether you are looking to dig up that vegetable patch, rearrange your allotment, or simply dust off your pots and hanging baskets, here are five of the best seed websites. Problem now is not to overdo it!
Thompson & Morgan
Thompson & Morgan are now one of the UK’s largest Mail Order Seed and Plant companies. In addition to their international website, their popular seed range is available through major garden centres across Europe. They have expanded their range now to include an award-winning seed range, young plants, bulbs, seed potatoes, onions and garlic sets, soft fruit and fruit trees as well as an extensive range of gardening supplies. Also on offer are a wonderful range of Christmas gifts sent with a personalised card to both the gardeners and non gardeners in your life! They have their very own plant breeding programme based in Suffolk in the UK, and can boast a number of award-winning discoveries – including the stunning Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’ and Budleja ‘Buzz’™. Thompson & Morgan is very pleased to offer a UK-based customer services division who can respond to your horticultural queries as well as resolving any queries you may have regarding your order or why not join the thriving Facebook and Twitter communities for additional advice on gardening and plants. Visit Thompson & Morgan for more information.
Unwins today has the largest share of the UK amateur seed market. The Company specialise in breeding work, especially in sweet peas, and it has the largest annual trial of sweet peas anywhere in the world. Sweet pea seed, like much other flower seed, is produced commercially around the world, including in the United States, Eastern Europe, Malta and Continental Europe, although very little is now grown in Great Britain. Every operation – from sowing, through “roguing” (the elimination of off-types), to harvesting and sorting – is performed by hand. Seed is hand-picked into an apron-pouch and emptied into clearly-labelled sacks supported by metal tripods. On arrival at Unwins’ premises in Britain, the seeds are then tested for vigour and their powers of germination in the company’s seed testing laboratory, prior to packeting. Before packeting, most seed is stored in a special chamber which has an environment of 20C and 20% relative humidity, making the atmosphere about as dry as the Sahara Desert at midday. The seed is then hermetically sealed into foil sachets in this same room, so each sachet has its own micro-climate round the seed, keeping it in perfect condition until the seal is broken by the gardener about to sow. Unwins offer a 100% money back guarantee on all their seeds from flowers, vegetables, fruits and children’s seeds. Visit Unwins for more information.
Seeds of Change
Founded in 1989 by passionate gardeners with a vision to make organically grown seeds available to gardeners and farmers, Seeds of Change have preserved countless heirloom seed varieties in danger of being lost to the “advances” of modern industrial agriculture. For over 20 years, they have remained true to their original vision by offering the largest selection of organic seeds in the industry, including heirloom, traditional, and rare seeds. Their seeds are produced through a network of certified organic family farms and professional growers. Their research and testing provide confidence in the quality of the seeds and ensure high germination rates that produce healthy, hardy plants. As gardeners themselves, their interest in new discoveries is unending. Some of their most rewarding work is developing Seeds of Change original varieties. They create new varieties through traditional plant breeding techniques that bring out unique or improved characteristics or combine desirable traits from existing varieties. The Rainbow Inca Corn, Butter and Eggs Marigold, and Purple Wave Mustard are all Seeds of Change originals that were created by crossing several varieties and then selecting for the desired traits. Seeds of Change contribute 1% of their net sales toward sustainable organic farming initiatives worldwide. Visit Seeds of Change for more information.
Suttons Seeds is an internationally renowned supplier of flower and vegetable seeds, young plants, bulbs, fruit bushes and other horticultural products to amateur gardeners. They have a reputation for quality and service that is second to none, and a remarkable history that goes back over two hundred years. Flower and vegetable seeds are produced for Suttons in many parts of the world. This is because of the need for long summers and guaranteed dry harvesting conditions, thus ensuring that the seeds are of the highest quality. The website offers advice on a range of trouble shooting topics via the Help Centre, a Top Ten frequently Asked Questions Section, and articles on many different gardening subjects. There is a 3 for 2 sale on all seeds which ends this Monday 5th March 2012. Visit Suttons for more information.
Established in 1933 as a family business which now involves two sons, J Parker are one of the leading plant and bulb companies in the UK. Sharing a genuine enthusiasm for gardening with all our customers, they are fully committed to providing the best available products at the best available prices. The grandfather of the business originated from Holland and came over in 1933 during the depression and started a mail order bulb business. He came from three generations of bulb growers and exporters. Since then J Parkers are one of the largest UK mail order horticultural company, which is solely owned and managed by the original family. Their success is based on supplying quality goods at down to earth prices and operating an effective IT and Despatch Organisation, which delivers an efficient service to their customers. The website is easy to navigate and has been designed to provide customers with a fantastic range of plants, bulbs and shrubs, with a simple and secure ordering system. With new offers every month online as well as a helpful and easy to use search facility, the experience is as simple and enjoyable as possible for customers and there are easy to follow “how to” video guides online, offering tips and advice on getting the best results from the plants. Visit J Parkers for more information.