As with clothes and hair cuts, plant fashion changes over time and sadly we've seen many lovely old varieties of plants disappear from nurseries and garden centres and often, from gardens too. Breeders are able to register and protect new varieties so they can earn more money from breeding new strains of old varieties and are therefore incentivised to promote these over the older varieties. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, it does mean that we are in danger of losing some real gems from our gardens.
As a nursery, we've taken the decision to try to rescue and protect as many old varieties as we can. These are often plants you'll find mentioned in literature dating back hundreds of years and we feel are worth looking after and preserving for future generations to enjoy.
As these plants are no longer generally available, we need your help. If you have an old variety of any identifiable plant in your garden we would love to be able to propagate from it. This would usually mean just taking a few cuttings or collecting seed from it. We would be happy to swap your contribution with a plant from our range.
One of our big passions is Old Fashioned Pinks (Dianthus), many of which have been lost or are in danger of dying out. We have been scouring the country to find these plants and have managed to collect about 140 old and more modern cultivars (not all are available to buy yet, but we have over 100 in regular production), but there are many more which may now only exist in private gardens. One particular old pink we are currently worried about is 'Old Spice', which was listed in a handful of nurseries until very recently but is now no longer available.
We are very grateful to have received plants including old cultivars of Dianthus, Campanulas and Chrysanthemums from generous customers.
Among (but not limited to), the plants we are looking for are violets (Violas), old fashioned Pinks (Dianthus) and perennial wallflowers (Erysimum).
Please contact us for more information.