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The following highlighted names provide links to other sites that may be of interest to the gardener, exhibitor or specialist grower alike. Click on a link to open in a new window.

Whilst every attempt will be made to keep these links up to date, no guarantees can be given that they will remain so.

Please note that no specific endorsement of products or services offered by third parties is either made or inferred.

The terms F1 hybrid, Open-pollinated and Heirloom/Heritage are often found on seed packets. 

F1 hybrid cultivars are the result of crossing distinct and different parents chosen for certain characteristics or traits such as disease resistance or high productivity.  They have been inbred over at least 10 generations to stabilise the chosen characteristics and to ensure that they are passed on to succeeding generations.  F1 hybrid seeds tend to be more expensive because of the time and investment required by the breeder.  Every year F1 cultivar seeds must be produced again by crossing the parents;  they cannot be grown from saved seed harvested from the F1 plants themselves as they will not breed true to character.  

Open-pollinated cultivars are pollinated by natural means (eg wind, insects or birds) and they must be isolated from any related plants growing and flowering simultaneously nearby (eg by using physical barriers) in order to keep the cultivar ‘true’.  Seed saved from Open-pollinated plants will remain true to type indefinitely, provided this isolation cycle is maintained.

Heirloom or Heritage cultivars are open-pollinated, old selections that have been grown through the ages and are still available today.  Some experts argue that no cultivars dating after 1951 can rightfully be termed Heritage because that is the year that the first F1 hybrids were introduced.  Though popular with ‘traditionalist’ growers, the terms Heirloom and Heritage do not necessarily signify superiority over F1 cultivars.

Van Meuwen

Van Hage



Thompson & Morgan

Thomas Etty

The Real Seed Catalogue


Simpson’s Seeds

Simply Seed

Shelley Seeds 

Select Seeds

Seed Parade

Seeds Of Italy

Sea Spring Seeds

W Robinson & Son

Sarah Raven’s Cutting Garden

Premier Seeds Direct

Plantworld Seeds

Plants Of Distinction

Pennard Plants


Nicky’s Nursery

Native Seeds/SEARCH

Mr Fothergills

Moles Seeds

Medwyn’s Of Anglesey


Kings Seeds

Just Seed

Jungle Seeds

John Soulsby


Jelitto Perennial Seeds

JBA Seed Potatoes

Higgledy Garden


Exhibition Seeds

Everwilde Farms

D T Brown


Chiltern Seeds

J W Boyce

Beans And Herbs

B & T World Seeds

Asparagus In Kent

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