While surfing the web, I discovered Swallowtail Gardens. They sell quite a variety of seed, and very good prices on bulk seed. Has anyone ordered from them before, and what were your results.
Yes, I've ordered from Swallowtail and can highly recommend them. I had some trouble with their digitalis ferruginea seeds which didn't germinate. I emailed them and they repsonded immediately, sent me new seeds and credited my card. Turns out in the end it was all my fault (blush) so I'm leaping at the chance to defend them.
I just placed a small order with them a few weeks ago. The seeds arrived very promptly, so their customer service seems good. Sorry I can't add more than that so far. But since I had never heard of them, I did check them out on the GardenWatchdog site first, and they had good recommendations, so I decided to give them a try.
(DiggerDee, not diggerdz5)
Swallowtail Gardens seeds are open pollinated. The disadvantage for me as a market farmer is that open pollinated plants put more energy into producing seed and thus sometimes mediocre flowers. In open pollinated varieties, pollination triggers accelerated flower senescence. We need longer vase life in the flowers we sell at market. The only exception we would make to the open-pollinated cultivars would be sweet peas, safflower and cornflowers.
That's a very interesting point, Trish. As a brand-new market gardener, I thank you for pointing that out. How does one go about finding out whether or not a certain company's seeds are open pollinated? And why would exceptions be made to be above-mentioned plants?
Thanks for the comments, everyone. Trish, would the "open pollinated" affect a flowering vine? Those are the seeds I will primarily be buying from them. Rhodochiton seeds are quite expensive and hard to find -- Swallowtail has the best price. After growing it last year, I've decided it would be a great plant to sell alongside the dahlia plants. Not something I've found in any of the few nurseries here -- and that's what I'm looking for.
Hybrid seed would be listed as F1 in your seed catalog. I gave just a couple of examples of open pollinated seed. The reason for growing sweet peas is, of course, the fragrance. When seeds are hybridized, the scent is often lost. With sweet peas, you would always want to grow the older heirloom varieties -- very fragrant. I don't think there is a hybrid available for bachelor buttons. We always want these in our early season bouquets because they are just happy little flowers. BTW Fedco Seed carries Black Gem. It's a ruffled, deep, dark maroon, hard to find cultivar.
Teresa, the sound you hear is Trish scratching Hyacinth Bean vine off the seed list, and replacing it with Purple Bell Vine, Rhodochiton. It is unique; and, not something I've noticed in bouquets at market. I don't know about the vase life; but, I'm willing to trial it. Wondering if it has a fragrance. Thanks for the information.
Thank you, Trish, for that follow-up info!