Our specialty is growing plants from seed and supplying them as plugs and liners to customers all over the UK and Ireland. We cultivate a wide range of plants including herbaceous perennials, bulbs, native wildflowers, grasses, sedges and woody species.
We collect approximately 50% of our own seed. This freshly collected seed generally germinates quickly and with much more uniformity. Our seed harvesting begins in June when we save our own Helleborus. We spend August, September and October collecting, cleaning, sieving and sorting seed.
We have our own stock beds but we also collect in several gardens in the local area and we are lucky to have built up some good contacts further afield who collect certain species for us. Our home collected seed would generally not be available to buy e.g. Anemone pavonina, Zantedeschia and Watsonia. Additionally, we source seeds from seed-houses in many countries of species that we are unable to collect.
Seed cleaning can be quite a tedious process but we are continually working on it, building up our knowledge and learning how best to deal with different species. We use an array of devices to clean seed- a good set of sieves is essential.
Seed sowing is mostly done by hand into ‘flat’s’ but we also machine-sow any species where germination is uniform and quick.
Many of the species we grow need some stratification- this means that they need some pre-treating in order to stimulate germination.
We use many methods but cold stratification is the most common method i.e. the seed is subjected to a period of cold.
Much of our work is very ‘hands-on’ and labour-intensive from seed-collecting through to seed-sowing and transplanting. We transplant all the seeds that are sown in 'Flat's' by hand. Most are transplanted directly into preformed plugs.
Nightpark is a very busy place from February through to the end of October!
Sieving ornamental grass seed
Our KW Seed Sowing machine
Stipa gigantea germinating in Spring
Hardy Cyclamen seed capsules