Back in March, I was lucky to receive some packets of seeds from the Mudlets as part of my Mothers Day present. One of these packets was the Unwins Cottage Garden Border Perennials Mix which have been hugely successful in terms of the number of seedlings produced from sowing just half of the packet. Unfortunately, flowers aren’t really my thing and beyond the likes of the Lupin and delphinium, I have absolutely no clue as to what is what which means that in respect of planting the young plants into my borders, I have no idea as to height and spread of individual specimens. In addition to the actual planning of my borders, I also want to sell some of the surplus on at the school Summer Fair and would like to label each pot up so that any buyers know what they are getting. Unlabelled plants at plant sales, are a real pet hate of mine.
Then I had what I thought was a brainwave – why not contact Unwins and ask if they would be able to identify the plants from pictures, if I sent them through. I didn’t think this was an unreasonable request given that they had supplied the seeds. So I sent off an email (without the pictures at this point) asking for help in identification, believing that as a trusted and well known brand, good Customer Service would be quite important to them and a few days later I received the following reply (copy and paste from original content):
“Thank you for your email regarding the cottage collection.
Unfortunately we can not specify what is in the collection, they are designed to be sown as a natural area as is. Because it is a mix we can not guarantee what mix is in your packet. I’m afraid.
Sorry we cant help on this occasion for you.”
This is totally unsatisfactory, in my opinion because unlike the wildflower and bees and butterfly type mixes you can get where you just scatter the seeds and let them grow as they land, this particular mix of seed is sown in seed trays to start with and then potted on etc. So the phrase ‘designed to be sown as a natural area as is‘ is completely inaccurate. The very nature of the seed mix is that the gardener must place each seedling where he or she wants it (so not very ‘natural’) but if you don’t know how tall or wide they get then how can you do this successfully. Suffice to say that I was not very impressed with this reply and feel Unwins could be a little more forthcoming with their help and advice.
So having drawn a blank, I have planted the seedlings as best I can and can only hope that I haven’t inadvertently placed a smaller variety in the shadow of a much taller, bushier neighbour. I even popped some into the ground at the side of the greenhouses, in the spaces between the trees which gets a good amount of dappled sun most days. There are still 3 dozen or so that can go to the Summer Fair but I am still non the wiser as to what they are and I am once again putting the pictures of them at the end of this post, in the hope that between you, you can point me in the right direction.