Better Wildflower Seeds
We're starting a programme of random germination testing of the seeds in our wildflower mixes. So far as I can make out we'll be the only reseller in the UK doing this. We're also offering a testing service for our commercial customers buying bespoke mixes. Native Seed Technology in Scotland are doing the scientific stuff for us at their lab in Scotia Seeds. It's odd no-one else does it - the service is reasonably priced and freely available. We’re keen to show our seed is top quality as well as coming from the UK; when people buy wildflower seed they should know it’s viable as well as British. Wouldn't it be great if there was a kitemark assuring them it was? Seed needs to be fresh and properly harvested and stored. It should be easy to grow wildflowers, but poor quality of seed from dodgy suppliers seems to be a recurring problem people have when they try. We want to do everything we can to improve their chances of success and to promote our suppliers. It might also help consumers to understand that provenance is an issue, which most people don't get. Last year I was startled to find the RHS cheerfully selling wildflower seeds from France at Wisley, for example - and not just because they weren't supporting British growers. You might want a lovely "pictorial meadow" effect in your garden, including all sorts of colourful non-natives. You might not though - in which case you don't want anything odd cropping up in the mix, particularly if it's a bully. There are also subtle genetic variations in our own flora which are worth trying to hold on to; a Bulgarian cornflower will be different to one from Berkshire. If you think you are buying British wildflowers to grow you should be buying British wildflowers which will grow.