Seed swap to encourage heritage vegetable varieties

TV botanist and gardener James Wong and Gardener’s Question Time panellist Matthew Biggs will be sharing expert tips and advice at The Great Seed Swap at Wakehurst Place, near Haywards Heath, on September 17.

Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst - Image: RBG Kew
Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst - Image: RBG Kew

The event is being held at Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst, which has the largest wild seed collection in the world.

Gardeners will be able to swap seeds from plants they have grown at home, and seeds will also be available for a small donation.

Other speakers will include Bob Sherman and Neil Munro from Garden Organic Heritage Seed Library, talking about the importance of gardens for biodiversity, and heritage seed varieties.

Rare varieties of heritage vegetables, such as Duke of Albany peas and red tankard turnips, will be on show in the Wakehurst nursery, which is not normally open to the public.

These varieties are being conserved by national charity Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library.

There will also be talks and practical demonstrations on cleaning, drying and storing seeds from experts at Wakehurst.

Head of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank Dr Paul Smith said: "The Great Seed Swap is a new event for Wakehurst and we hope it will appeal to people already growing their own edible produce – and others interested in getting started.

"Our aim is to increase awareness of the incredible diversity of plant varieties that you can grow at home for food, and to encourage sharing of these varieties through the exchange of seeds. There will be a wealth of expert advice and information on hand to help you make the most of your own plot, whether you have a large garden, a small backyard or even just a windowbox."

The event is supported by Garden Organic Heritage Seed Library and Seedy Sunday (Brighton and Hove). More information is available at

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next



Showy spikes, lush leaves and sweet scent all help to sell these appealing plants, writes Miranda Kimberley.

Get set for the National Plant Show 2018 - show preview

Get set for the National Plant Show 2018 - show preview

Growers will be aiming to take orders and increase sales by showcasing latest varieties at the National Plant Show. Matthew Appleby looks ahead to the event.

Crop protection: Ornamentals armoury

Crop protection: Ornamentals armoury

What can ornamental plant growers do to meet increasing pressure from the industry and consumers to become more sustainable? Sally Drury investigates the available product options.

Opinion... How to increase UK plant supply

Opinion... How to increase UK plant supply

Why don't UK growers produce more of the plants that the UK market demands?

Opinion... Co-operation is industry's best card

Opinion... Co-operation is industry's best card

What a great trade this is when one of us needs help. "The Container Revolution" co-operative exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is a good example.

Opinion... Bridges needed across the sectors

Opinion... Bridges needed across the sectors

Horticulture Week's careers guide (HW, April 2018) is a revealing insight into what constitutes "a horticulturist". Horticulture is a coherent discipline.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 60 Ornamentals nurseries

See our exclusive ranking of ornamentals nurseries by annual turnover. 

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production

Read Tim Edwards

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles