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Many children are keen to try their hand at gardening or are just inquisitive “to see what comes up”. Others may want to grow something giant that reminds them of children’s stories. I was roped in to take out tomato side shoots and to disbud Chrysanthemum flowers at the age of 4, and I really enjoyed it all, until our geese neatly cut off all my flowering Anemones! We have put together on this page some fun items to tempt any budding horticulturists. The picture above shows what fun can be had painting dried large Gourds!

Arachis hypogaea
Monkey Nut

15 seeds £1.92   JS1489 

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Monkey nuts are neat plants resembling clovers. They can grow to 10 feet high but much smaller in pots with pretty yellow male flowers. The novelty is the female flower that sends out an aerial “peg” that extends all the way down to the soil, buries into the soil and produces up to four peanut seed pods 2” to 6” deep at the tip of each “peg”. Fascinating if you have not grown them before.

Carrot Purple Haze F1
Purple Carrot
n]£

Aprx 300 seeds Pr Pkt  £1.66   JS2201 

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An award winning purple carrot. The 10” to 12” smooth purple carrots taper to a point and reveal a bright orange centre when cut. Colourful and sweetly flavoured raw, their colour though will become diffused when cooked. Apparently this carrot was named after the Jimmy Hendrix song!

Desmodium gyrans
Telegraph Plant 
n

10 seeds £2.21  JS1989

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Another really unusual plant that actually moves its leaves about under certain conditions. Small lateral leaflets rotate on their axes and jerk up and down within a period of about 3 to 5 minutes early in the morning as the sun warms the plant to around 22°C. Patience may be needed to observe this phenomena but the plant is easy to raise from seed and soon makes a small shrub in a warm greenhouse. As far as we know the only four plants that show any leaf sensitivity movements are, Desmodium gyrans, Mimosa pudica the sensitive plant, Venus Fly Trap, and Averrhoa carambola the star fruit tree.

Gourds Autumn Wings
Ornamental warted Gourds nS£
10 seeds £2.21   JS2992

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This ornamental gourd mix is a delightful assortment of deeply winged, warted pears and other shapes. The colours are vibrant, extraordinarily eye-catching and ideal for tabletop decorating.

Gourd Dinosaur
Large Strange Gourd nS£
10 seeds £2.21   JS1987

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A very unusual club gourd with raised "veins" A new item for us and a real novelty that I will certainly be growing next year in our seed trials.

Gourds Large
Mixed Shape Large Gourds
  nS£
10 Seeds  £1.78   JS358

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I have had great fun growing these again a few years ago in one of my greenhouses. Don't be fooled by the pictures these are monsters some up to 3ft long! Fully ripe and allowed to dry out in a warm room over winter they turn "wooden" making excellent Maraca ornaments.

Helianthus Bott's Strain
Giant Sunflower  n£
10 Seeds  £2.99   JS1461

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A huge slender sunflower with smaller, sometimes multiple flower heads, capable of achieving 16ft or more, mine only reach about 12ft so lets see what you can do! A great novelty for the kids.

Helianthus Kong
Super Giant Sunflower  n£
20 Seeds  £3.18   JS2469

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A true monster reaching heights of over 14ft with a branching habit giving a longer flowering period. The bright yellow flower heads are up to 20cm across. One of the most unique giant varieties on the market and the first heavily branched, multi-headed plant.

Helianthus Craven Strain
Super Giant Sunflower  n£
10 Seeds  £3.49   JS1957

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A huge, heavy 4" diameter stemmed sunflower with large flower heads 18” across and big leaves, capable of achieving 20ft or more with a rich soil and an early sowing. The original seed source came from a 25ft record height sunflower. They need an earlt start and a long growing season to develop their full potential and some support will be needed in early autumn as windy conditions set in.

Helianthus Russian Mammoth
Giant Sunflower  n£
10 Seeds  £1.49   JS1840

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This one is not from Russia but one that the Russians preferred for eating purposes. It bears huge single 22” flower head on strong plants to 10ft. It will probably need staking to support the heavy heads.

Mimosa pudica
Sensitive Plant  n
(Pr Pkt) £1.85   JS362

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If you have small grandchildren or children you must try growing this unusual plant. Only reaching 12" or so high it has delicate ferny foliage and pretty small pink flowers.

However the leaves fold up at the slightest touch recovering in 10 or 15 minutes back to their original form hence the name!

Ornamental Corn Fiesta
Ornamental Corn  n£
10 Seeds  £1.89   JS1541

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A hybrid mix of the best ornamental corn for dried decoration. This unique Indian corn includes various tones of blue, red, yellow and white. Earlier than other Flint corn and averages 7 to 10 inch ears with 50 to 70% having attractive ornamental purple husks.

Pumpkin Dill's Atlantic Giant
The Worlds Largest Pumpkin!  n£
5 Seeds  £1.89   JS1540

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Have a go and see how big you can grow a pumpkin. This variety regularly produces 400 lb. pumpkins with a record weight of over 1000 lbs.! I have even heard that in hot weather the vine can grow 3ft over night! You will need a big warm plot for one of these and some rich manure dug in. Note this variety is much larger than "Hundredweight" that has had a lot of publicity lately.

Pumpkin F1 Jack of all Trades
Halloween Pumpkin  n£
10 Seeds  £1.89   JS2005

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Perfect for Halloween with the right size, skin colour and quality, but also good for eating. You can expect pumpkins to weigh about 5kg to 7kg. Why not let the kids have a go at growing them for Halloween?

Pumpkin Freaky Tom
Halloween Pumpkin  n£
5 Seeds  £2.62   JS2676

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This is an unusual heavily warted pumpkin bred especially for Halloween. The fruit is about 12" high and 10" across weighing 5 to 6 kilos. Perfect for carving and it also stores well. The kids will just love this one!

Scorpiurus muricatus
Prickly Caterpillar nS£
10 seeds  £1.75   JS2991

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Scorpiurus muricatus is an annual native of southern Europe preferring full sun. The hairy pods are narrow and twisted like a caterpillar rolled upon itself. Low-growing plants make a nice ground cover and are sure to be a talking point in your garden. The "caterpillars" can be added to salads to surprise unexpected diners, but not really meant to be eaten, because they are so hairy. Kids will love this!

Sweet Corn Mexican White
Giant Sweet Corn n£
15 seeds £3.19   JS1542

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A huge edible American Sweet Corn variety to 16ft tall with massive 2ft cobs. Grows really fast which the kids will love and easy to germinate. Start off in pots in the warm then plant out after any frost danger has passed. Although very strong plants they may need staking in a windy position.

Triffid Pack
Novelty Pack of Fast Growing Monster Plants  n£
£5.95   JS3051

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For anyone with a sense of fun, or like me have never really grown up, we have put together a novelty pack of "Triffid" seeds, all of these monster plants either grow tall and/or have huge leaves. I have included a mixed packet of each of the following seeds
 

  • Amaranth Lotus Purple (8ft)

  • Amaranth Giant Orange (8ft)

  • Chenopodium giganteum (8ft)

  • Ricinus Zanzibarensis Huge leaves (15ft)

  • Ensete Giant - Ventricosum on steroids (12ft 2nd year)

  • Helianthus Kong sunflower (12ft)

  • Solanum quiotense - Huge Triffid leaves (6ft)
     

 

Symbol Code

Germination --- Easy n, Moderate n and Challenging n

Backlog for Fresh Seed --- u     New Seeds not in Catalogue ---«

Hardiness --- ] (To -5°C) ]] (To -10°C) ]]] (To -15°C) 

Growing Symbols ---  £ Sunny position £ Shady position S  Lots of Water