Suttons reveals James Wong range released at garden centres next week

Suttons Seeds has revealed details of its James Wong Homegrown Revolution seed range, which goes on sale at up to 500 garden centres next week.

James Wong: Image HW
James Wong: Image HW

Unusual seed varieties such as inca berries, quinoa, electric daisies, popcorn fiesta, musk melon, cucamelon and tomatillo are part of the 30-strong range, which all retail at £1.85 a packet.

Wong says gardeners are stuck growing "spuds, swedes and sprouts" and should look for more high-value crops that will "impress dinner party guests". The Countryfile presenter, who has planned a show garden for Chelsea 2013, has tested 200 edible plants at his Croydon home after digging up his front lawn to make a trial ground. He contacted Suttons to propose the seed range.

Wong said 7,000 edible species could be grown in Britain but only 10-15 usually are. He said all plants he selected were as easy to grow as tomatoes, look attractive in the garden and taste good.

"The whole concept of grow your own has somehow got itself stuck in a weird timewarp," he said at a launch event at Hadlow College in Kent.

Suttons marketing director David Arnold said Suttons' seed sales were 10 per cent down in 2012, matching the overall market for the £90m sector, but the Devon-based company has lost no retailer, including at B&Q for 2012 and has gained one southern garden centre chain. He said no retailers had rejected the Wong range. Wong said he was pitching a TV deal for the idea to Channel Four but there would be no series in 2013. Wong's publishers Orion said he was on a two-book deal for the Homegrown idea. Wong and Arnold said failing to win a TV deal would not damage sales.

See more in HW 14 September.

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