The Cottage Smallholder

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Seeds and seed packets


Photo: Witty seed packet

Photo: Witty seed packet

Following the excitement of last weeks visitor and staying up for two whole days without a rest, I feel completely shattered today and spent most of the day in bed. The laptop was working overtime as I was researching buying vegetable seeds on the internet and comparing prices.

This was prompted by finding a pack of Heritage and Heirloom seeds that I bought from the  Pennard Plants stand at Hampton Court Flower Show this summer. It was the illustration on the pack that attracted me. Surely it’s Great Aunt Daisy Beatyl wearing a long green jumper? I still miss her and her tea dancing.

Having forgotten all about these seeds I had bought more (Aquadulce Claudia) from Marshalls and planted them a few weeks ago. My peas, carrots and broad beans have just germinated.  It’s really strange finally being allowed to choose my own seeds as John would appear with his own seeds or baby plantlets and was never very forthcoming about the varieties.

I buy most of my seeds on line comparing different suppliers for recommended varieties. Today I discovered that Dobies have been given an award by Which? For supplying the best seeds with the highest germination rates. So I’m going to order my next batch of seeds from them.

We often send these little packs of Burgon and Ball seed packets as prizes on the blog. But as the day went on I kept on thinking about the amusing daschund pack and wondered if we could make our own?

I discovered that Tipnut has a collection of sites with free templates for making your own seed packets. Can’t wait to start designing our own!

  Leave a reply


  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Skylark

    Thanks for this. Must try this bean – I never tire of them and could eat them everyday. The white beetroot sounds good too.

    Hi KarenO

    Thanks for rubber stamping this company. I’m ashamed to admit I’d never heard of them.

  2. I got most of my seeds from the real seed company this year too and they all germinated. I really like their appeoach and ethics.

  3. I couldn’t agree with Gavin more – The Real Seed Company ( are an excellent company – their product descriptions are honest,their prices are fair, their pack sizes are unbeatable and their ethics are great as well (not to mention prompt delivery & good advice).

    They sell a climbing french bean; “Cherokee Trail of Tears” – they describe it as “simply the best bean ever”, always up for a challenge I tried this bean & they were right. I doubt I will ever grow a conventional runner bean again. Their White Beetroot is also devine – no more red stains, just great taste!

  4. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Kate

    I’m a seed hoarder too! But now I’m much more organised with my super seed organiser tin. In the olden days they were kept in carrier bags and often got lost so loads of duplicates.

    Hi Joanna

    I’ve tried buying cheap seeds in the past with disappointing results. So now tend to go for seeds that have RHS awards if possible. The seed company that Gavin mentions below is interesting as the site explains how to save seed. They also have some interesting old varieties – well worth a look.

    Hi SarahG

    Yes, I was delighted to find those seed packets on tipnut.

    The catalogue is online – have just been for a quick peek.

    Hi Gavin

    Thank you so much for pointing me in the direction of this seed company. Spent a happy hour browsing yesterday morning. Definitely going to buy some of their peas and beans.

  5. While on my quest to find the end of the web I discovered The Real Seed Company ( I don’t know how the prices compare, but they have some interesting varieties of vegetable. They also encourage you and tell you how to harvest your own seeds, so these could be the last seeds you ever need to purchase.

  6. Love those seed packets! Much better than the brown envelopes I usually leave lying around the kitchen and shed. Great when friends ask you for seeds of things. Thankyou thankyou for the link.

    I love the Bamaux catalogue ( It usually arrives after Christmas and leads to hours of happy flicking and notetaking – in fact the catalogue usually spends quite a bit of its life in the downstairs loo!. I never knew there were so many varieties of carrot (or anything vegetable for that matter) until a friend tipped me off about it.

  7. We are hoping our dried sweetcorn will germinate for next year as the prices of sweetcorn seeds here in Latvia is astronomical. One thing I am going to have a go with this next year is to buy some seeds from a local lady – if she sells them this next year that is. See what local varieties do.

    One thing which has surprised me with the seeds here is that the germination rate appears quite low but on reflection I think they just do not all germinate at once like I would expect from a packet bought in the UK

  8. kate (uk)

    I have some interesting seeds purchased at the RHS Autumn Show the other week- squashes of unusual type, looking forward to planting them in the Spring already. Also got three types of garlic- but they can be planted now. Whilst re-decorating and sorting the conservatory this week I came across all my tins of seeds. Really don’t need to buy any for the next ten years.

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