|Will my seeds come true?
Most of the seeds offered by by Norfolk Cottage Garden Seeds & Plants should come true, but please be aware that unless otherwise stated, our seeds have been gathered from plants which are 'open pollinated'; in other words, pollination occurs in natural and unrestricted circumstances in a Norfolk cottage garden (and occasionally - with permission, of course - from other gardens), by birds, insects, animals and wind - certainly not laboratory conditions! So it is possible for hybridisation to occur, but this is by no means unusual - seeds available elsewhere are similarly subject to possible variation. For this reason, Norfolk Cottage Garden seeds are named according to the plant from which they have been harvested, and although most should come true, it is not possible to guarantee this. On the positive side, open pollination enhances biodiversity and can result in some pleasant surprises!
|Are all the seeds home-sourced?
Currently all the seeds in the catalogue come from plants that have been grown in the Norfolk Cottage Garden and in the gardens of friends and relatives, but we may at a later date add a selection from other sources, to increase your choice!
|How many seeds are in a packet?
Norfolk Cottage Garden seeds are not produced on a commercial scale, but are hand gathered, cleaned, sorted and packed. Whenever practical to do so, the number of seeds in a pack is specified, either as a definite number or as an approximation, but this is not always possible, particularly when seed is small or difficult to handle. In such cases, we aim to supply a quantity that we feel is fair and adequate for most gardens. Given the nature of this cottage industry, and the relatively small overall stock, this may sometimes be less than that offered by some other seed suppliers, but this will be reflected in the cost, which we endeavour to keep competitive. In any case, it is generally safer to buy fresh seed annually rather than storing for use in the future, so provision of larger quantities than are required can be a false economy. (Please note also that the seeds of a just a few varieties are so impractical to fully isolate that the contents of packets will include some chaff. In these cases the overall quantity has been increased to compensate.) Given the above, if you are disappointed with the quantity in packs which do not specify an amount, please let us know and, subject to availability, we will send you some more free of charge, or an alternative.
|How will my order be delivered?
Unless otherwise stated, delivery is FREE on all Norfolk Cottage Garden seed orders of £10 and over and on gift tokens; there is a standard £5.95 delivery charge for smaller orders or those including items other than seeds. In most cases orders will be sent by Royal Mail, First Class. Packages are usually sent within 2 days of ordering (often the same day), but in any case within 7 days (unless you are pre-ordering plants or seeds, in which case you will be given an estimated delivery time). If, for reasons beyond our control, delivery is delayed beyond our expectations you will be informed by email, so please do ensure that you type your details correctly. Please note that unless and until there is a change in policy, the delivery address for all orders should be in the European Union. Exceptions can sometimes be made, but if you live outside Europe, please check for any import restrictions or duties payable on seeds, plants or any other items you wish to purchase before placing your order. Occasionally in these circumstances we may have to make an additional charge for delivery, so it is best to contact us before placing your order.
Every effort has been made to collect at the optimal time and to dry, handle and store seed carefully in order that germination potential is not compromised. Norfolk Cottage Garden Seeds and Plants aims to provide useful sowing and growing tips to help ensure successful growth, but some species naturally have a very low germination rate or can be challenging to propagate (we try to mention if this is the case). So although all seed is provided in good faith, we cannot guarantee viability. If you feel that you have received sub-standard seed, please contact us and we will either replace your purchase, subject to availability, or offer a refund.
|How should I sow my seeds?
At Norfolk Cottage Garden Seeds & Plants we endeavour to supply accurate growing instructions for each variety, but in some cases your own circumstances might mean you need to take a different approach, so if in doubt, Google is your friend! There are many sites offering in-depth information on growing from seed and you will find some of these on our Links page. If you feel that any of our seed instructions are inaccurate, do let us know and we will review them.
|Are Norfolk Cottage Garden seeds organic??
No, and even if they were, I would be unable to say so! To achieve certified organic status takes years and is costly. But the use of chemicals is extremely restricted in the garden. I do apply a dressing of Growmore a couple of times a year but very rarely use any kind of weedkiller (hand weeding may be labour intensive, but it is extremely therapeutic!) There are three large compost bins at the end of the garden which provide me with rich, natural - and free! - fertiliser.
|How do I know if a plant is poisonous?
As the site develops, we will be including information about the toxicity of the plants on offer, when known, probably in the form of an icon to indicate those plants that should be considered poisonous, whether by ingestion, contact or other means. But unless you are absolutely certain, you should treat all plants, whether or not they are listed on this site, as potentially toxic.
|How should I store my seeds?
Some sources recommend storage in an airtight container in the fridge, but for most seeds an airtight container in a cool, dark place should be sufficient to keep seed fresh for a year or so. There are methods of freezing seed for maintaining viability for longer periods, but this involves a complex desiccation process which is not suitable for all seeds and and requires very low temperatures, so this not generally recommended as most seeds will be damaged if not handled correctly. You will find some interesting info on seed preservation on our Links page.