Seed Collection an Avid Gardener’s Second Career.

There is something quite magically about collecting your own seeds! My first memory of seed collecting takes me back to my apprenticeship years under the direction of then Head Gardener; Jimmy Hancock aka my mentor and life guide an inspiration to many. May long rest his soul.Under his direction we would gather the seeds in anticipation of the unfurling of dried seeds casing and dispersal of seeds.

Made aware of the different seed formation, the wind dispersing delicate fun of feather like curls. The slightest breeze see some seeds exploded, pop and crack others prefer the soft Summers evening wind to gentle carry them away.Seed dispersal is essential for the welfare of many of our native, cherished plants of wild origins. These plants are often thriving in our man made environment and giving the urban dweller a taste of natural chaos and disorder amongst the paved cracks, dark alleys and vacant lots!

Echinacea perennial garden seeds 

Stunning examples of Pawlonia tomentosa as I ever did see back in old Blighty, grow like weeds in any unkept grown their parents raining down generations of seeds during fall to sample a taste of frozen Pennsylvania through winter. Those seeds that find sanctuary amongst the dust filled earth, break dormancy in Spring a new journey awaits.I have always been interested in collecting and cleaning seeds often sharing with friends, neighbors and family, from my latest seed harvest a bountiful offering of garden fun filled flowers. Having always enjoyed gifting plants, seeds and trees to families for the knowledge that for years to come a passion an interest a seed sown for future personal growth. Gardening experience in part affords the opportunity to connect with nature, your environment, community and outdoor living space in a way that only gardening can attain.

Pollinated by Butterflies, Bees and Nocturnal Moths 

Seeds are an expression of a season of success the final stage of a season growth that heralds the fall and the change of a season to befall a new year. Once you begin collecting a few seeds for yourself, cleaning, labeling and storing for future use there’s a feeling of renewal an end.Life starts a new as promise of warmer weather appeals, the direct sown seeds of far sprung parentage respond to the water uptake increasing, the softening of earth and seed coat. The swelling of tissue, the emergence of life. Earth breaking and full of promise I still to this day get excited as seeds sown begin to germinate and remind us that indeed nature and life is re-born, a cycle of life that begin in a garden.This day in July, happens to of been my Birthday 48 years young or so everyone tells me, I’m not much one for a fuss and yet my friends thrilled by the opportunity to embarrass me, next burst into song. Today I collected Rose Milkweed, Pink Hibiscus and White Tobacco seeds, laid them out to dry and for the insects to escape. I look forward to packaging and labelling these for future seed sales.

Perennial Sweet Peas a vigorous long flowering climber

I write to share a passion for a career of over 30 years in gardening, everyday I am thankful for the opportunity to garden in some of the most prestigious public and private gardens in the World. My ramblings are personal often something I have learnt of been told, a kind of garden diary from a Head gardeners point of view.I hope you enjoy this journey as I navigate the city and rural Pennsylvania as this Gardening Welshman plans to take the US by storm! That said here’s where I am going to need you help, if you have enjoyed my story and believe others may find it of interest then please share with a few friends. Thankful for each new day, grateful for natures gifts and for those forever friends.

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About Head Gardener 291 Articles
Award winning, 40 something year old professional plantsman and horticulturalist with National Trust, private parks and estate management background. My vast plant knowledge and hands on techinical experience, afforded me the opportunity to work in various horticultural landscapes, in the UK, USA & Eastern Europe. Having worked in both garden retail & the design service industry gave me the practical diversity and managerial skill set, required for running a large prestigious gardens and stately homes. I strongly believe knowledge is to be shared and have worked closely with people and staff of all ages and abilities keen to develop their passion for gardening, including groups of children, special needs and adults. I have hosted guided walks, talks and tours for those keen to learn about cultivated and wild plants, garden development, history and design. As an member of the NNCPG and National Trust, I am actively involved in the preservation of several important plant collections both in public and private gardens throughout the UK. “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, in a garden it’s paradise” Follow @IGrowHort on GardenTags. Stephen is passionate about gardening as Head Gardener with a team of ten staff he manages a prestigious Cheshire country estate of 55 acres, inc wild flower meadows, woodland, organic kitchen and formal gardens. Follow Stephen today”


  1. The hottest chill pepper is from Wales, Denbyshire and aptly named Dragon’s Breath! But there are all sorts of chilli’s that love nothing better than full sun sheltered location, free draining soil and a regular liquid feeding. I grew them in terra-cotta pots on heated glasshouse mats and monitored watering with weekly liquid feed using an organic seaweed tonic. Enjoy Corfu I miss it dearly working on the North side of the island on a cliffside villa’s garden will always be a highlight in my colorful career in gardening.
    Thanks for your comments 🙂

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