Archive for the tag 'seeds'


Building Up My Seed Box Again

When I moved from the UK I had to give all my seeds away to neighbours and friends. The customs laws in the US prevented me from bringing them into the country. Understandable really and I didn’t mind at all. But, that meant that when I arrived my seedbox was empty. That was strange for me because it has never been empty since the day I bought it. Infact, most of the time it was bulging and groaning under the weight of new seeds that I simply COULD NOT avoid buying or saved seed that, ‘well I might sow one day!’.

So, since this is the new year and in preparation for that lovely time of year when we all ‘start sowing’ I bought some seed. Okay, I might have gone a bit over board but I won’t be needing any new seed for a while. Most of them I bought from Botanical Interests – simply because they have lovely illustrations on the front. And I also bought some Herb seeds from the Territorial Seed Company too.

A few of the packets are seed that I’ve never grown before; Watermelon, Edamame beans, Black Krim beefsteak Tomatoes and some Chilli Pepper.


Balcony Gardener Seeds

The Balcony Gardener send me these seeds last week. I just love the way they are packaged. The designs on the front of the seeds are lovely and they make me feel good about being a gardener in the 21st Century.

I think traditional seed packers could learn a thing or two from this type of design. My hunch is that the kind of people who used to buy seeds are being replaced by a different kind of buyer but the seed packet design really hasn’t changed much has it?

Does anyone else have examples of simple, lovely seed packet design?

The Balcony Gardener seeds are available here.


What I Learned About Seed

I’m just packing up the first of my books and I’m busy putting together my seed packets to put inside each box. This entails a lot of cutting, sticking, filling and pressing. It’s all a bit Blue Peter and I love it! The seeds I’m using are a Lettuce mix kindly packaged by Victoriana Nursery.

It seems like the most simple and obvious thing in the world; to put some free seeds in with a children’s book about growing vegetables. But actually it has been one of the more complicated areas of producing Jackson’s Garden. I thought you might like to know what I learned.

Firstly, you can’t just package up seed willy-nilly and sent it all over the world. This much I had already guessed but I didn’t know how tight the guidelines were. You cannot send seed outside the EU, fullstop. Inside, the EU you must be a registered seed packer with Defra in order to distribute seeds. Each packer ensures that his or her seeds comply with EEC rules on seed quality.

So…this all means that me, little ole me with my tiny plot, is not really Defra’s idea of a bona-fide seed packer. But so long as I know someone who is (enter Victoriana Nursery) then I can send the children some seed – hooray! So it all worked out in the end.

Since discovering all this I have been noticing other non-seed distributors and how they do it. Example, Cath Kidston’s new range of seeds is packed by Thompson and Morgan.

And this gorgeous little box of Culinary Quirks seed by Hen & Hammock, uses seed provided by heritage seed supplier Thomas Etty esq.

Interesting huh? How does this all work in America, or Canada or elsewhere. I’d be interested to know.