Which company to order seeds and plants from...

TootlesTootles Posts: 1,469


Im sure, likely many, my eyes are bigger than my belly and I'm salivating over various plant catalogues, cheque book at hand, ready to over order! 

I have just ordered from Sarah Raven and would like to compare the quality with one of the larger mainstream companies.  Does anyone have any experience of Unwins? I've searched old threads and I'm put right off Thompson and Morgan from what folks have largely experienced. What about Mr Fothergills? I'm definitely avoiding Gardening Direct - disaster last year.

Any recommendations gratefully received. 




  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,153

    Are you buying veg or flower seeds?

    I tend to get flower seeds free with magazines, Mr Fothergill seeds are fine, their veg seeds are slightly cheaper than T & M, can't comment on delivery if purchased on line. 

    Moreveg and heritage seeds are good. I've also used jungle seeds for more unusal varieties. If you want to grow huge onions, mammoth onions is the place to buy from, the nursery is naf, no frills but it has been around for over 150yrs old. I heard them talk at Tatton Flower Show and their show bench was excellent. They sell a lot of veg seeds for show. 

    I cheated and purchased some chilli plants from them last year and wasn't disappointed. Their plants produced chilli's way ahead of my sown from seed plants.


  • To be honest I've ordered a few plants through T&M and never had any problems so far image  I have also used Sarah Raven, Jersey Plants and the website seedsbypost for seeds. 

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 19,333

    I like Chiltern seeds and Plant World - not huge companies but good qality seeds and informative catalogues.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • I bought asparagus from TM no problems with service, grew nicely until the recent frost killed them! I buy all my seeds from GC - TM Sutton Frencchi when they're in sale if they don't germinate its probably due to me. Have just ordered plants from J Parkers for the first time hopefully they won't disappoint.

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 15,235

    I use Premier seeds, from ebay, never been disappointed, usually 99p per packet.

    Hayloft are good for magazine bargains, I bought the penstemln collection last winter, they have been fantastic, I think they were 15 plants for 15.00. Now have loads of cuttings ready.

    Also same for Hellebores and alstomera, all very good.

    I have bought tiny plugs from J. Parker, but they were delivered from Jersey plants so they must be one and the same.

     I have also bought several plants from Parkers always on their sale, also get all my bulbs from them.

    Unwins and Marshalls are identical, I always buy my runner beans from Marshall, later they will do a free postage offer.

    Dont forget you can get 10% off everything including postage from Parkers.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Have used lots of different ones and and as said above, most of them are ok for seed. Which? Gardening found some differences, but for the average amateur there are just too many variables to say if it is you, them, or the compost! 

    I use Chiltern most for its very wide range, but it 's maybe not for everyone. It takes a week to read the catalogue, with descriptions, no pictures there or on the seed packets, though there are some on the website. Plenty of useful information though.

    I use T&M for some things  not available elsewhere, and last year tried Seeds of Distinction and Mr Ben Seeds, both online. Both.these had unusual things. Mr Ben has a relatively small range but competitive prices while SoD has a mouthwatering catalogue, but is still not expensive.

    Some companies give more seeds per packet, others give fewer but charge less, so it really depends whether you need that many, or whether they will be any good  next year if you don't.

    I have also used Nicky's seeds online. The seeds and prices were fine, but personally I find the website excessively cumbersome. My broadband is very slow and it takes forever to look things up. Other people may find it easier.

  • ColinAColinA Posts: 232

    I have used Kings Seeds for several years and have have always had excellent service and quality

  • I'm another Chiltern fan - mainly because they cover so many more varieties and unusual plants.  They also do a "bargain basement" which gives you a mixed bag of things you might never have thought of trying.

    T & M, Unwins, Kings, Fothergills - seem as good as each other but more restricted choice of less common varieties.

  • RJRJ Posts: 1

    I did a comparison of plants between Parkers and Vernons last year. Parker's plants were bigger on arrival and grew on better. Vernons did flower at roughly the same time as Parkers  though.

    Seeds seem to be all the same, so I just buy those from my local garden centre - as I drive past anyway.

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