The inspiration behind the seed collections
The idea for the seed collections came from summer visits to famous gardens in the south of England. I love visiting gardens - often you can learn something so specific and useful from a garden that is made in a difficult area - and I wanted a way to share planting ideas you can recreate at home.
The drought resistant seed collection
Beth Chatto's garden at Elmstead Market, Essex really shows us how it is done in terms of drought resistant planting. She developed the garden on the site of an old car park at the entrance to the garden, in the early 1990s. She was faced with very poor, stony soil and precious little rainfall, living in the driest part of the UK. The garden has never been irrigated, so the plants which survive there have really proved their worth in terms of drought resistance. The 12 plants I have selected are not only drought resistant, but beautiful too.
If you have a garden full of builder's rubble, sandy or stony soil, or you find you are having to water your plants all the time to keep them looking lush and you want to stop wasting water, then this seed collection is for you.
The coastal seed collection
This seed collection was inspired by my visit to Derek Jarman's garden at Prospect Cottage, Dungeness, Kent. The garden, on this beautifully barren shingle headland, seemingly on the edge of the world, is a masterclass in coastal planting. To survive here, the plants overcome roaring, salt-laden winds, relentless leaf-scorching sun, hungry rabbits and a total lack of soil. Dungeness is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, so plant choice there is also restricted by law.
This gorgeous selection of plants will grow in any sunny position with well drained soil - you do not need to live by the coast in order to grow and enjoy them.
The cutting garden seed collection
Vita Sackville-West's white, green and grey planting in her world famous White Garden, inspired me to create a monochromatic cutting garden. I have carefully chosen the seeds so you can have a supply of beautiful fresh cut flowers from June until October.
Find a sunny position for this collection - they will need sun for at least half of the day, more if you have the right spot available. Most of the plants are hardy annuals or half hardy annuals - there is one perennial grass included in the collection. Annuals complete their life cycle in one season - they are sown, grow, flower, set seed and die in one year. Annuals can be abundant self seeders, so if you save the seed for next year you'll be able to keep the cycle going.
Grow with me!
The seeds are packaged in a lovely gift box - small enough to be posted through your letterbox. The box also contains a really useful growing calendar and guidance. I'll be blogging and talking about the seed collections as I grow them - and probably kill a few - from February onwards. Join me on Facebook or Twitter if you have any questions, or if you'd like to grow along with me.