This year, I said. This year will be the year I adopt a policy of both frugality and prudence in the seed department. No seed profligacy. Epic fail! Unlike last year, I am now a member of the RHS so can take advantage of their members-only seed scheme. I remain a member of the Hardy Plants Society so awaited eagerly the opening of their seed scheme towards the end of last month.

RHS Scheme

To be perfectly honest, I was a little underwhelmed by the choice, perhaps a couple of hundred varieties. One might think that those enormous gardens might yield more, and more interesting, varieties. Still, there was enough to pique my interest. I decided on the following:

  • Amsonia hubrichtii (Arkansas blue star)
  • Actaea pachypoda (white baneberry)
  • Actaea simplex atropurpurea (purple baneberry)
  • Kirengeshoma palmata (yellow wax-bells)
  • Alstroemeria aurea (Peruvian lily)
  • Erigeron karvinskianus (Mexican fleabane)
  • Cosmos bipinnatus


  • Libertia chilensis (New Zealand satin flower)
  • Antirrhinum majus (snapdragon)
  • Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (porcelain berry)
  • Digitalis collection (foxgloves)

I have an amsonia hubrichtii plant, bought recently, so I ought to get my own seeds next year, but I was always impatient. This plant looked the business at Wisley earlier this year, it turns a fantastic colour in the autumn, really quite fetching.


Perhaps the seeds came from these very plants!

There aren’t enough foxgloves in my life so I completed my allocation of 15 seed varieties with a mixed batch of various foxgloves.


HPS Scheme

This is my third crack at the HPS Seed Distribution Scheme. The seeds are donated by members from around the world and compiled by seed elves into a huge selection, usually around 2000 to choose from. Most are hardy plants, but there are always annuals, shrubs and even some vegetables too. The normal allocation is 20 packets per order (one order per person), 30 if one is also a seed donor. Naturally I am, so my personal order was for 30 packets. I may not get all of my choices, but I was quick off the mark – members orders are fulfilled first, and in order of receipt. I am thus hopeful.

  • Acanthus spinosus L.
  • Acer davidii
  • Aconitum lycoctonum subsp. lycoctonum
  • Actaea mixed species
  • Alcea rosea dark purple flowers
  • Angelica archangelica
  • Aquilegia vulgaris var. stellata ‘Ruby Port’
  • Astrantia ‘Dark Shiny Eyes’
  • Astrantia ‘Hadspen Blood’
  • Canna (poss. ‘Striata’ or ‘Durban’)
  • Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Candy Stripe’
  • Crocosmia pottsii ‘Culzean Pink’
  • Eryngium bourgatii Graham Stuart Thomas’s selection
  • Eupatorium purpureum
  • Gaillardia ‘Burgundy Red’
  • Geranium ‘Elke’
  • Geranium phaeum
  • Geranium pratense (Victor Reiter Group) ‘Purple-haze’
  • Geranium sanguineum
  • Geranium × magnificum
  • Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’
  • Heuchera ‘Metallica’
  • Lupinus ‘The Governor’
  • Lysimachia atropurpurea ‘Beaujolais’
  • Miscanthus sinensis ‘Kleine Fontäne’
  • Paeonia mlokosewitschii
  • Pennisetum × advena ‘Rubrum’
  • Ricinus communis ‘Impala’
  • Tricyrtis hirta
  • Zinnia ‘Red Spider’

I seem to have gone large on the geraniums. I did grow some from seed this year but can’t find the pots! I have bought quite a few hardy geraniums this year, I am fast developing a thing for them. I am intrigued by the peony ‘molly the witch’. This is a right bugger to grow, apparently, and could be 5 years before it gets to a worthwhile size.


In a sign of growth and development, I was able to resist the temptation to pile on a further order of 20 packets as Mrs P is technically also a member. In a sign of continuing affliction, I was not able to resist the temptation to order a lucky dip selection of 20 random packets, nor a packet of mixed seeds, the sweepings from the bottom of the seed drawers. It’s a game of two halves. My next job is to research sowing requirements – some will need a period of cold, some will require warmth, some will require other treatments to germinate.

I’ll be back in the new year with tales of seed sowing.