Sheffield PlantSwap: Putting People And Plants Together

Garden Plants - Suggested donation £3

My sweetheart has a thing about plant swaps. There are few things more likely to get him all misty eyed, other than a sweet puppy (his term for any dog of any age not in full-on attack mode) or a cowboy film where the guy gets the gal.

The first time I went to a plant swap, I was randomly allocated the plant I had taken. That swap had been a lengthy affair and while there were plenty of great plants on offer, the likelihood of anyone getting the one they secretly hoped for seemed slim.

The Sheffield PlantSwap last Sunday was quite a different beast. Best friends Fay Kenworthy and Sarah Rousseau established it to help local people grow more plants without breaking the bank. They explained they didn’t know that much about plants when they started off and would have been intimidated by a garden club, but could see there was a need to get plants and people together. Continue reading “Sheffield PlantSwap: Putting People And Plants Together”

Where to buy vegetable seeds

Winter greens

I’m sharing list of British suppliers of vegetable seeds, sprouting seeds, green manure seeds and herb seeds. Most suppliers listed have very wide ranges of other seeds and plants too, including wildflower seeds and meadow mixes, plug plants and seedlings, seed potatoes, onion sets and fruit plants.

Some will export if you spot a treasure you can’t easily get at home. Please check the websites for details.

Chiltern Seeds
One of my favourite seed suppliers, who publish a hand-illustrated catalogue of vegetables, herbs and edible flower seeds each December, the VegBook, to complement their main seed catalogue.

Dobies of Devon
Good value range of seeds, including mini-vegetables. Useful What to Plant by Month feature online.

Accessorised vegetable garden

DT Brown
Vegetable seeds, green manures, garlic cloves and onion sets, plugs plants, etc

Edwin Tucker
Have supplied seeds since 1831. Also garlic cloves and seed potatoes, including organic options.

Franchi Seeds
Another old company, dating back to 1783. The range includes Eden Project seeds, alpine veg, edible flowers and mushroom seeds. Despite the website name, they are based in Harrow and can no longer supply the EU.

Heritage Seed Library
Heritage seeds for organic gardeners. Members can choose six varieties of seeds each year and help conserve heritage varieties by volunteering to become a Seed Guardian.

Prize winning basket of vegetables

Jekka’s Seeds
Organic herbs plus attractively packaged seed collections that make great gifts.

Kings has been around since 1888. You’ll find Suffolk Herbs offering organic seeds on the same site.

Nicky’s Nursery
Specialist suppliers of chilli seeds, plus 200 varieties of tomatoes, offering seeds in plain packs to keep marketing costs down. Another site with a planting and harvesting calendar.

Potager at Trentham Gardens

Plant World Seeds
3000 varieties of seeds including heritage vegetables and more than 100 varieties of tomatoes. Their website says they can ship inexpensively worldwide, excluding the EU.

Real Seeds
Open-pollinated heirloom and heritage vegetable seeds selected to perform well and taste good for home gardeners. A great choice if you want to save seed to re-sow. Offers unusual tubers.

Sarah Raven
Vegetables, salads and herb seeds plus edible flowers, seedlings and plant collections, onions and garlic. I love the lifestyle and garden photography on the website, which always inspires me.

Simpsons Seeds
Vegetable seeds and plants, specializing in chillies and tomatoes. Also offers pick and mix plug plants, including 19 types of chilli peppers.

Onion harvest

The Organic Gardening Catalogue
Vintage vegetable seeds, sprouts, green manures, seed potatoes, onion sets and more.

Thompson & Morgan
Needs no introduction from me! Their wide range, which includes micro greens, is backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

W Robinson
Heritage and mammoth seeds plus onion sets, seed potatoes, asparagus crowns etc. Based in my home county, Lancashire. All the seeds and plants are grown using traditional methods, without using chemical pesticides.

If you have a favourite veggie seed supplier I should add to the list, please let me know.

This post originally dates from my early days of blogging. It was interesting while updating it to see what has changed. A couple of smaller companies previously listed have not survived, despite the boost lockdown gave to home gardening companies. It must be frustrating to many of these companies that post-Brexit, they can no longer supply the EU. 


Want quick results in your garden? Or are you a patient gardener?

Gertrude Jekyll Garden, Lindisfarne
A hundred year old garden, designed by Gertrude Jekyll at Lindisfarne and restored by the National Trust

Most industry research tells us that today’s gardeners expect instant results, particularly if they’re new to gardening. Not a problem: if you have the money to throw at a garden, you can almost certainly achieve quick results, if that’s all you aspire to. Just plant or pay someone to plant big, expensive plants – lots of them – when they are all in bud and just about to bloom.

Whether the garden will stay the same for long without intervention is another question! Continue reading “Want quick results in your garden? Or are you a patient gardener?”