The Wonderful World Of Plant World

– Posted in: Miscellaneous

[Note: Sorry about lack of activity here over the last few days, folks. The technical difficulty appears to be resolved and we should be posting regularly again.]

Plant World Seeds 2008 CatalogJust about the time I start getting a little tired of gardening each autumn, the Plant World Seeds catalog arrives to re-energize me. It’s always the first catalog to arrive, even before Thompson & Morgan, which seems to get earlier and earlier every year. Plant World’s catalog isn’t nearly as extensive as T&M, but oh, what treasures it includes! Some of this year’s new gems include a variegated angelica (Angelica ‘Corinne Tremaine’), a variegated borage (no cultivar name yet), and a deep purple-leaved campion (Silene ‘Purple Prince’). And yes, they do sell lovely flowers as well: about 20 different kinds of columbines (Aquilegia), almost a dozen bellflowers (Campanula), 16 dieramas (which I don’t think we can grow here in PA, but I’m tempted to try), over 30 hardy geraniums, and countless other drool-inducing offerings.

Variegated sunflower originally from Plant WorldOne of my foliage favorites from a few years ago was a variegated sunflower they introduced to the trade: Helianthus annuus ‘Sunspots’ (not to be confused with ‘Sunspot’, a non-variegated dwarf sunflower). The photo at right perhaps isn’t the best example of it, because the strain normally has bright yellow flowers; I think mine crossed with some others growing nearby, and some of the self-sown seedlings had orangey blooms. The leaf variegation doesn’t always appear on every seedling, but you can easily tell soon after sprouting which ones are going to be yellow-splashed and discard the rest.

Anyway, if you enjoy growing unusual annuals, perennials, bulbs, grasses, and climbers from seed, I highly recommend checking out Plant World Seed’s web site, which includes even more listings than their print catalog. One more thing I have to share from their catalog, though, is an excerpt they printed from a customer’s letter:

“Is the leaf I am enclosing from Datisca cannabina or Althaea cannabina? The plant is now 4 feet high and came up in my garden in a clump of talinum I grew from your seeds.” –Miss ….. Hibaldstow.

Their response: “We identified the leaf in question as Cannabis sativa, true cannabis, possibly grown from dropped bird seed. We recommended that she should dispose of the plant as soon as possible.”

My question is: What are they feeding birds in the U.K. anyway? Hmmmm. Regardless, I’m guessing Plant World is going to be selling out of their talinum seed pretty quickly this year.

Nancy J. Ondra
Nan gardens on 4 acres in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. In the firm belief that every garden ought to have a pretentious-sounding (or at least pretentious-looking) name, she refers to her home grounds as "Hayefield." There, she experiments with a wide variety of plants and planting styles, from cottage gardens and color-based borders to managed meadows, naturalistic plantings, and veggies--all under the watchful eyes of her two pet alpacas, Daniel and Duncan.
Nancy J. Ondra

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Kim October 31, 2007, 12:46 am

They created a variegated angelica? Isn’t that kind of like the proverbial gilding of a lily?!!!

Dorothy October 31, 2007, 1:14 am

What stunning pictures. I love the fall colors. Wow, is all I can say about the
mound-o-mums. Nature is breathtaking. The catolog’s outsides look so tempting, I can imagine what the inside looks like.

Nancy J. Ondra October 31, 2007, 6:21 am

Well, Kim, they didn’t create it so much as introduce it. I’ll agree that sometimes, adding variegation to an already handsome plant is overkill. But while I like angelica in general, I’ll be happier to have its large foliage clumps doing something more useful than just being green. I realize it’s not to everyone’s taste, though!

Thanks for the comments, Dorothy. Yes, the print catalog is great, but I think their web site is worth checking out too.

Layanee October 31, 2007, 12:21 pm

Thanks for that link to the Plant World Seeds web site. Another seed company is always welcome!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter October 31, 2007, 3:03 pm

As this company is in the UK, do we US gardeners need to get a phytosanitary certificate to purchase Plant World’s seeds? I wanted to order from them last Fall, but I was afraid that I couldn’t without the certificate, which I tried to find out if I needed. Talk about red tape!

Nancy J. Ondra October 31, 2007, 3:22 pm

Gee, I never thought of that with seeds. I’ve never had a problem with shipments from U.K. seed companies; I just order on-line and the seeds arrive in the mail, no problem. Um…maybe I should do a little more research.
-Nan

Mr. McGregor's Daughter November 1, 2007, 2:20 pm

Thanks, Nancy. If it worked for you, then I’ll give it a try. There are some columbine seeds that they offer that I’ve been wanting.

Betsey Hansell February 7, 2008, 11:21 am

I have been ordering from Plant World for years. Their seeds are of top quality and germinate VERY well.

Betsey, hi! Great to see you here. It seems we have lots of Plant World fans.
-Nan

Ray Brown March 8, 2008, 7:32 am

Hiya Nancy, Betsey and everyone.
I felt like I was intruding, and extremely humbled, when I chanced to find this lovely site and the incredibly kind and generous things you say about us. When I started Plant World 22 years ago on a weedy 4 acre field I never dreamed it would come to this. Although my management and organising skills are legendary (like non existent!) I am mad about plants of all sorts since I was knee high. Spent the last 20 years breeding aquilegias and hardy geraniums amongst others. Talking of angelicas, you should see the black leafed one, ‘Ebony’, we have developed, absolutely STUNNING in the summer. Takes many months to germinate the seed though.
Hi Mr. McGregor’s Daughter. We have very few problems sending seeds to the USA. It all just goes by air mail. I think the security problems of 9/11 have died down now. less than one order in a hundred goes ‘missing’ but we always replace lost seed orders no questions asked.

Thank you all again

Ray Brown (Crazy Plantsman)

Welcome, Ray! All the praise is well deserved. You need to know how much we appreciate all the work you do to make these fantastic seeds available! It’s been great doing business with you.
-Nan