My RHS Members’ Seed Scheme 2018

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RHS Members’ Seed Scheme

One of the benefits of being a member of the RHS is the opportunity to join in with the RHS Members’ Seed Scheme. I’ve done this a few times over the years and it’s a good way of getting some interesting seeds you wouldn’t find so cheaply from the usual seed catalogues.

 

Find out more about the scheme on their website

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My 15 packets of seed

How the scheme works

Staff at RHS Wisley collect seed throughout the year and pack them up. So you know that they have been accurately collected from the correct plant and that the plants will have been good examples of their type.

You place your order online from November to March (this year the dates were 1st November 2017 to 31st March). They hope to have completed all orders by the end of April.

You can choose up to 15 items as a ‘first choice’ with five additional selections as backups should your first choices be unavailable. There were over 200 seeds included in this year’s seedlist.

There’s a charge of £8.50 for the seeds and delivery. As you receive 15 packets this only costs you around 57p per packet.

How did I do this year?

This is the list of seeds I requested this year;

Herbaceous perennials

  • Cephalaria gigantea
  • Eryngium amethystinum
  • Francoa sonchifolia
  • Geranium psilostemon
  • Helleborus argutifolius
  • Patrinia scabiosifolia
  • Phytolacca americana
  • Sanguisorba canadensis
  • Thalictrum flavum
  • Verbascum chaixii
  • Veronicastrum virginicum

Trees shrubs

  • Callistemon citrinus
  • Cornus kousa
  • Carpenteria Californica
  • Paeonia delavayi

And these were exactly the ones I received!

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A duplicate order

It would be sensible to coordinate my orders between the RHS and the Hardy Plant Society as I managed to double order Cephalaria, gigantea, Carpenteria californica and Paeonia delavayi. I must really want to have these in the garden. I also realised that I ordered these a few years back and didn’t do very well in getting them to survive so hopefully, I’ll do better this year.

Would I do it again?

Definitely! Although I may run out of both greenhouse space and garden space.

My Hardy Plant Society Seed Distribution 2018

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Hardy Plant Society Seed Distribution

 

One of the benefits of being a member of the Hardy Plant Society is the opportunity to join in with the Hardy Plant Society Seed Distribution Scheme. What I wasn’t aware of until recently is that this wonderful perk is also available to non-members like myself.

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Hardy Plant Society seeds arrive

Who are they?

The Hardy Plant Society are exactly what they sound like. They’re a group of volunteers who are particularly well organised and have been going for over half a century. They are dedicated to promoting the benefits of using hardy plants in the garden and celebrating the wide variety this offers. They organise local and national meetings for members wanting to learn more.

Find out more on their website.

How the scheme works

Members of the society collect and donate seed during the year and once they’ve been received the society sends out a seed list in November and publishes this list on their website. This year there were over 2000 different seeds listed which is truly amazing.

You submit 20 preferred seeds with 10 substitutes should your initial options run out. All you pay is £5 postage.

You can then request Random Sets which are packets of 25 named seeds gathered from the seeds that are left once all the other orders have been filled. That’s just an additional £2.50!

So for £7.50, I have received 45 packets of seed to play with this year. That’s just 17p a packet.

Members of the society get their orders filled first so they’re more likely to get what they’ve requested. Also, if they donate 5 packets of seed to the scheme they can choose an additional 10 packets to order.

How did I do this year?

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First Pick selection
Abies koreana  Received
Bupleurum longifolium ex ‘Bronze Beauty’
Canna indica
Carpenteria californica Received
Cyclamen africanum
Dahlia merckii Received
Eryngium bourgatii Received
Eryngium bourgatii ex ‘Picos Amethyst’
Eryngium venustum Received
Libertia peregrinans Received
Paeonia cambessedesii Received
Paeonia delavayi Received
Ricinus communis
Rosa glauca ambig Received
Thalictrum aquilegiifolium ex ‘Album’ Received
Thalictrum delavayi Received
Trillium chloropetalum Received
Trillium kurabayashii
Trillium rugelii
Teucrium scorodonia
Teucrium fruticans  
Thalictrum ichangense  
Thalictrum reniforme  
Thalictrum rochebruneanum Received 
Podophyllum aurantiocaule  
Podophyllim peltatum var annulare  
Paeonia wittmanniana  
Paeonia veitchii Received 
Lilium martagon Received 
Dierama tyrium  
Cornus mas Received 
Cephalaria gigantea Received 

 

So, out of my 20 first choice options I received 11. I had 5 out of my 10 substitutes and also received 3 extras to make up the 20. These were Angelica sylvestris ex ‘Vicar’s Mead’, Digitalis purpurea f. albiflora and, Delphinium ex Belladonna Group.

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Random Set

The seeds I received from the Random Set are listed below.

Iris ensata ex ‘Fortune’
Papaver rhoeas
Trollius chinensis ex ‘Golden Queen’
Scabiosa columbaria subsp. ochroleuca ex ‘Moon Dance’
Silene dioica
Romulea bulbocodium
Stipa tenuissima
Thalictrum minus ex ‘Aldiantifolium’
Salvia sclarea var. turkestanica hort.
Sisyrinchium californicum ex Brachypus Group
Primula sikkimensis
Pilosella aurantiaca
Narcissus mixed 2016 introductions
Malva moschata f. alba
Lavatera trimestris ex ‘Ruby Regis’
Ligularia ex ‘Britt Marie Crawford’
Lychnis chalcedonica
Helleborus foetidus
Fritillaria imperialis ex ‘Lutea’
Incarvillea delavayi pink flowers
Geranium psilostemon
Geranium ex Silver Cloak Group
Eryngium eburneum
Betula papyrifera
Arisaema consanguineum

 

The benefit of a Random Set is you get another 25 packets. There may have been lots of the 2000-strong list that didn’t make it into your top 35 selections but you’d be happy to get nonetheless. The downside will always be that there may be some plants that don’t match the conditions you have in your garden. For example, I’ll be looking to give away the Ligularia and Primula seeds to someone with a damper plot. I also have a lot of Stipa tenuissima and Helleborus foetidus in the garden so I’ll pass these on too.

Would I do it again?

Definitely! Although I may run out of both greenhouse space and garden space.

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First seeds go out for some cold stratification