NOTE  UNHAPPY NEWS  My Aquilegia Collections are dead from the new KILLER disease of aquilegias: DOWNY MILDEW, please read

THERE ARE NO MORE SEEDS LEFT TO SELL. TOUCHWOOD IS NO LONGER TRADING. I AM LEAVING THE SEEDLIST PAGE ACTIVE so past customers can refer to it to see what their plants look like.



Seed of unusual, rare & cottage garden plants.


6 or more: £2/packet 

20 or more: £1.50/packet 


I have a keen interest in unusual garden plants  (okay, okay, I’m obsessed with them!!).  I especially enjoy growing from seed as I am awed by the miraculous process of germination.  I love aquilegias (granny bonnets/ columbines), and I have the National Plant Collection® of the Aquilegia vulgaris cultivars and hybrids, here in Swansea. Perhaps you’ll be tempted by some of the seed, not just for singles, but also doubles, bicolours and scented forms.  

 TESTIMONIALS: "Your list of seeds is very impressive"  " Congratulations again on a wonderful seedlist" I M Miller, Galashiels "Order received safe and sound. I appreciated your generous choice of plant seeds  and the Aquilegia Connoisseur's Choice seeds included in my bumper bundle of Terrific Twenty* for £8, but I've noticed that Chiltern are selling them at £3.40/packet!" D Caldwell, Kent  2007.  "A pleasure to deal with, I feel like visiting your garden - and I would love to see pictures of it.  I hope to deal with you again very soon, kids, work, studying and of course - time permitting!  Once again, thanks, and I wish you continued success!" "Parfait ,Bon Produit Conforme Bien Emballé Envoi Rapide RECOM. à l'INTERNATIONAL"




Looking for something different? Do give something new a try, and you'll find lots of ideas here!  

  • The bees have had their fun, and as all my plants are open pollinated, aquilegias and many other cultivars cannot to guaranteed to come true to type, I select seed from the correct seed parent, but do not know what pollen fertilised it. 
  • Often, I may only have a few packets of seed of a certain type. I don’t say which are in short supply because, magically, everyone suddenly ‘must have’ that plant!  So please give plenty of alternatives, or ring/e-mail for availability.
  • HOW MANY SEEDS IN A PACKET? Usually 'enough'! Unless stated otherwise, there is at least 25 seeds and sometimes even double that amount.

   PHOTOGRAPHS are great, but COLOURS aren't always perfect: eg understand that ordinary photos tend to make blues look more purple and digital photos make the blues look clearer! So please use the photos with this in mind and take the written description as more realistic.  However, MOST of the photos are taken of the actual plant from which the seed was harvested....that's good, isn't it?   


KEY: 'NEW for 20xx'' means new this year, either for the first time or after a time of unavailability on the seedlist, ~ means seed (or some of the seed) has been sourced elsewhere (I can't guarantee germination rates etc!).                     Carrie Thomas-




Below are seeds  of ornamentals EXCEPT Aquilegia

Alphabetical Latin-name order.


To order:  email me a list of seeds that you'd like, I'll check availability and confirm total costs with you. 

 ACONITUM  napellus  hp

 Monkshood.  This species has beautiful new spring growth very early in the year, looking remarkably lovely near crocuses and other spring bulbs.  Soon the tall purple spires, choc-a-bloc full of strange ‘monkshood’ flowers create excitement.  I grow this as I can’t keep slugs away from delphiniums!  Poisonous.  Desirable.  Early flowers.





Granny's Bonnets


Follow this link for a whole page! hp

AMARANTHUS caudatus Amaranthus caudatus (h)ha Love lies bleeding. Great in the garden, fantastic in flower arrangements, and dries there naturally to keep its colour for years as a dried flower. Oh, and you can harvest and eat the seeds!

Last year's seeds so double-sized packets.
Amaranthus at Touchwood, love lies bleeding

hortensis rubra  Last year's seeds, so double-sized packets


Purple Orache: a hardy annual that self-seeds each year.  Ornamental foliage plant to 1m or more with luscious deep purple-black leaves.  Luscious?  Yes, edible as a leaf to mix into salads, where the almost black leaves contrast fantastically with green salad leaves. The colour is rather darker than the camera shows.The seed-heads are fantastic in flower arrangements.



 ha Growing to about 1 metre, this is the extraordinary giant quaking grass. Absolutely enormous quaking lockets, loads to each stem.  A hardy (naturalising) annual, great for fresh and dried flower arrangements.    article link  
CAMPANULA trachelium hp Blue-purple flowers. The nettle-leaved bellflower, 2-3', resplendent in early summer..  A good ‘doer’, which gently self-seeds. And is slug-proof.






 hp Double form of the native greater celandine (absolutely no relation to, and nothing like the lesser celandine).

Perky yellow flowers decorate a mound of great foliage over a long flowering season. Generously self-sows (if you let it!).


torulosa  Last year's seeds so double-sized packets

 ha  Another climbing yellow Dicentra....except that we now have to call all these plants Dactylicapnos. Grown more for the strange terracotta seed pods, which break open to reveal strings of black-and-white seeds. Captivating! Although an annual, it will remain in your garden yearly through its self-seeding capabilities.  Pods stain hands yellow, so unwise garden guests will get more than they bargain for if they desire seed!


  New for 2015

Last year's seeds so double-sized packets


hp Rusty Foxglove. Love the colours and netted markings.


New for 2015

Last year's seeds so double-sized packets


hb Chocolate Foxglove. Naturalises where happy: Welsh winters tend to be rather to wet and mild for them, they thrive especially well in the SE of England, and I'd appreciate information as to how they do elsewhere.
 DIGITALIS  purpurea


 hb  Foxglove.
~DIGITALIS   purpurea ex white form hb

Select seedlings with no purple in the leaf stem.

DIPSACUS  fullonum  hp


 The teasel.  A biennial whose first year rosette suddenly ‘takes off’ in the second year to create a candelabra of masses of purple flower heads.  Use fresh or dried in flower arrangements, or leave on the plant for dramatic winter interest, birds will be grateful for the feed of seeds. Self sows year-to-year.  Unusual for the way it traps insects in leafy, watery graves to ensure nitrogen for growth. The photo shows how the leaf bases are joined around the central stem to form a watery moat. Dipsacus fullonum in beautiful bud
 Mainly red shades this year
Last year's seeds so double-sized packets
(h)hcl Chilean Glory Vine.
Survives winters in a mild spot.
Chilean Glory Vine Eccremocarpus scaber
ERYNGIUM   agavifolium

NEW FOR 2015

Last year's seeds so double-sized packets

 hp  Agave-leaved sea-holly. Yes, in early spring the leaves look very like an agave...complete with wonderful curve to the leaf. Later comes the green flowers. 
ERYNGIUM   alpinum

NEW FOR 2015

Last year's seeds so double-sized packets

 hp Alpine sea holly. In a metallic see-it-to-believe-it blue. Strange...those prickly bracts around the flowers aren't spiny at all...but soft.
 ERYNGIUM   eburneum 
 hp  A perennial sea holly, with an exceedingly good winter rosette. The leaves are long with softish spines, looking quite exotic in the winter garden, and stunning in a pot.  In summer, architectural 5’-6’ high flower stems sport masses of green flower-heads. Oh, and it’s slug-proof.  
EUPATORIUM cannabinum  hp Hemp agrimony. British native, good for butterflies. 5' Eupatorium cannabinum hemp agrimony wild flower
 Galtonia  candicans  hblb  ‘Summer Hyacinth’ Flowering in spires at over a metre high, this summer flowering hardy bulb, with individual flowers reminiscent of a large snowdrop rather than a hyacinth! Will flower in 3 years from seed.
New for 2015 


Last year's seeds so double-sized packets


GERANIUM palmatum (20 seeds)Geranium palmatum foliage winter leaf (h)p Very unusual and quite rare in gardens is this magnificent Geranium.  It's not totally hardy, so plant it in the most sheltered space, possibly under the edge of a shrub that protects from winter cold.

Lovely leaves, looking particularly good in the spring before much else has awoken, and swathes of pink flowers standing strongly above the foliage.
2013-14 seeds so 4x-sized packets
Geranium palmatum at Touchwood
  GERANIUM  pratense striatum (10 seeds)
  2013-14 seeds so large-sized packets

Known as ‘Splish-Splash’. Streaked blue-&white flowers, very different

 + GERANIUM  psilostemon
(10 seeds)

NEW FOR 2014

hp Magenta flowers with black centres and veins. Need I say more?
2013-14 seeds so 4x-sized packets
  GERANIUM  pyrenaicum  ex
f. albiflorum
hp  Cranesbill. Masses of white flowers, and as good as its standard pink brother in all other ways.  A must-have!  
  GERANIUM  pyrenaicum  ex
pink with white eye
2013-14 seeds so 4x-sized packets
  GERANIUM  pyrenaicum ex
eyed blue & white
hp Pyrenean Cranesbill.Masses of small and cheerful white-eyed purpley-blue flowers, very desirable! As with all of these, they will flower in the 1st year of sowing.  
GERANIUM pyrenaicum
ex giant form (20)
New for 2015

hp This is the name that I was given when I bought my original plant as, I've not seen it anywhere else to check if this is the correct name.
GERANIUM rubescensGeranium rubescens leaf in January (10 seeds)
hb Like a giant Herb Robert! The specific name 'rubescens' is because the deeply cut leaves redden in winter.
 Last year's seeds so double-sized packets
Geranium rubescens
HELICHRYSUM bracteatum
King Size Mix    3'helichrysum bracteatum
hha We're now supposed to call this everlasting strawflower Xerochrysum bracteatum.  Sow under glass about a month or so before the last frost when you can grow them outside.  Vibrant range of coppers, reds, pinks and yellows. Dry by hanging upside-down, picking in bud rather than open flower stage.  Last year's seeds so double-sized packets Helichrysum xerochrysum

matronalis alba   

 hb  Sweet Rocket. Cottage garden biennial: sweet rocket, with clove scented, edible flowers at 1m or more, will self seed gently if allowed. 

Seed from white forms.Last year's seeds so double-sized packets

  HYPERICUM  rock garden
New for 2015
  hp An unidentified, but very lovely, St John’s Wort for the rock garden with neat foliage arranged very Hebe-like.  And, guess what, yellow St John’s Wort flowers!  …but eucalyptus-scented seed-pods!  
Last year's seeds so double-sized packets
(25 seeds)
 hhacl Morning Glory in a mix of colours
New for 2015
LAVATERA arborea variegata
hb/p The variegated leaved tree mallow, with pink flowers.  The beautifully variegation develops during the first autumn, the leaves are large and very tactile, being softer than velvet.  Will you be able to keep the leaves on the plant all winter or will the flower-arranger in the family strip it? Deep pink mallow flowers on bushy, shrubby 5-6' plants.

Highly recommended.

LAVATERA trimestris ex

'Silver Cup'

Last year's seeds so double-sized packets

ha One of the most popular hardy annuals...and deservedly so.
Sow direct in April, or earlier indoors

2” (or more!) wonderfully smothered with open pink trumpets for many weeks!

Lavatera Silver Cup
LAVATERA trimestris ex

'Mont Blanc'

Last year's seeds so double-sized packets

ha ...and the white version
no white pic so another opportunity for a pink one!
Lavatera Silver Cup
Lunaria annua
 2013-4 seeds so 4x-sized packets.

Honesty. Purple flowers in early spring.  And, of course, ornamental seedpods which can be peeled  for the silver pennies for dried arrangements.

Lunaria annua
cerise flowered
Last year's seeds so double-sized packets

Honesty. Photo shows the cerise colour either side of the usual purple form for comparison.

Lunaria annua
Last year's seeds so double-sized packets

Honesty. Seed from my white flowered plants.

LYCHNIS coronaria
ex alba

 Lovely furry, soft foliage. With white flowers, very cool.

NEW for 2016

LYCHNIS coronaria occulata group

'Angel's Blush'


Pink-centred white flowers. Absolutely lovely.

NEW for 2016

meconopsis  cambrica hp The native wildflower: Welsh Poppy. A hardy perennial with yellow flowers on waving wand stems.  If you want to buy the Welsh Poppy, where better than from Wales!  

meconopsis  ex cambrica aurantica hp The pretty orangey-red form of the Welsh Poppy. May be doubles as well.  
meconopsis  ex cambrica aurantica hp From a double form of the orangey-red Welsh Poppy.  
meconopsis  cambrica 

ex palest orangy-yellow

hp New for 2016  
meconopsis  cambrica 

Oranges & Lemons Mix

hp Mix of the yellow and orange single forms.  
melissa  officinalis 
New for 2015
Last year's seeds so double-sized packets

hp Lemon Balm. Easy herb, forms an ever-increasing clump.
Wondedrflu tea: use 3-4 sprigs in boiling water, drink hot or chilled.

effusum  'Aureum'

hp  Bowles' Golden Grass.  Brightest yellow springtime foliage, airy flower-heads.

+ mirabilis jalapa,  ex  white  (8 seeds) Last year's seeds so double-sized packetsMirabilis jalapa (h)hp Marvel of Peru , or the Four o’Clock Plant’.  A nearly hardy perennial which flowers first year from seed.  Its hardiness is similar to dahlias…..and the root thongs may be similarly stored over winter. My plants merrily takes over my cold greenhouse, so are perennial with just a bit of protection.  Flowers at over a metre high, in red, yellow or white. The trumpet flowers open in the evening and overnight with a most lovely penetrating fragrance, try one in your conservatory. Mirabilis jalapa
MYRRIS odorata  hp Sweet Cicely 
Anise flavoured leaves and, even better, tasty green seed-pods!
Large, dark seeds which take a time to germinate. New for 2016
nicotiana sylvestris  hha ENORMOUS trumpets that have a most beautiful grow some in your conservatory where it will scent the room, especially during the evening. 

These flowers are grouped together in HUGE 6'tall

Last year's seeds so double-sized packets

Nicotiana sylvestris




 hb Evening primrose.  Large, bright yellow scented flowers.


NEW FOR 2015

Last year's seeds so double-sized packets

 hb Scots' Thistle.  Fantastically woolly-soft silver leaves (with prickles) that form a rosette in the first year. The next year the flowering stem quickly grows....well above head height ... and showers of purple, architectural flowers bloom over a long period. Sorry, I've no digital pics of the plant and flowers.


NEW FOR 2015

Last year's seeds so double-sized packets

 hp MARJORAM.  Wonderful richly scented foliage on this indispensible herb. Beloved by bees..
PAPAVER  commutatum
Ladybird Poppy
papaver ladybird

Ladybird Poppy

 Always attracts attention, and is one of the few poppies that does not resent being transplanted so you can sow in pots and prick out.

Last year's seeds so double-sized packets


Papaver commutatum Ladybird
PAPAVER somniferum  ex
red  fimbriated
 (fringed)  form
2013-14 seeds so 4x sized packets.

Opium poppy.

polemonium coeruleum hp  Jacob’s ladder. Attractive, ladder-like leaves and heads of blue flowers during the summer months. About 18"-2'

The flower really is lovely...yellow-centred blue blooms.

Last year's seeds so double-sized packets.

polemonium  ex  boreale 'Heavenly Habit'boreale 'Heavenly Habit' hp New for me this year 2014, and I'm so pleased I bought it.  Rather more violet than the usual blue coeruleum.

Last year's seeds so double-sized packets.
 POTENTILLA nepalensis 

hp What a delight, the dark pink is vibrant yet subtle, I love its beauty. do grow it..
Last year's seeds so double-sized packets.
Potentilla nepalensis 
 POTENTILLA recta hp Many potentillas creep but this is erect ('recta') to about 12-18", and so the flowers can better be appreciated. Has a quiet charm and is a perfect foil for other flowers over most of the summer months.
 POTENTILLA thurberi
'Monarch's Velvet' 

2013-14 seeds so 4x-sized packets.
hp Rich crimson, and well marked, the velvet in the name is the texture if the flower which adds to the depth of colour.  POTENTILLA thurberi Monarch's Velvet 
PRIMULA elatior oxlip hybrids hp

Our rare native flower, the oxlip, has hybridised in my garden to give robust, floriferous plants that generously also self-seed even in my crowded borders. These flower just after primrose starts and before cowslip begins. Last year's seeds so double-sized packets.

 PRIMULA beesiana
New for 2015
Last year's seeds so double-sized packets.
hp A candelabra primula, rich purple with a yellow eye, flowering in spring and appreciating soil that doesn't dry out. Partial to a sheltered even partially shaded position.
Good bog garden plant.
 PRIMULA florindae
New for 2015
hp A Giant Cowslip, Giant Himalayan Cowslip, flowering in early summer, and appreciating soil that doesn't dry out. Good bog garden plant.

Photo to the left is in the new 2014 German Friendship Garden, teamed with ladybird poppies. (The German flag colours are used here: gold, red and black.)
Last year's seeds so double-sized packets.
PRIMULA vialii hp The most surprising primula of them all.

Lilac-pink flowers open upwards from red buds. I've had them flower 1st year from seed!

sAPONARIA officinalis
new for 2016
hp Soapwort, Bouncing-Bet, wild flower (carnation family), used for cleaning, hence common name. Looks great underplanting trees where there's some light. Not fussy and spreads enthusiastically (!)
Though I hear we should call it Hesperantha
coccinea now.
Schizostylis or Hesperantha coccinea
hp The astounding and slug-proof Kaffir Lily, with crimson flowers in October when most plants are going to sleep for winter. Trouble-free, beautiful, and evergreen. Schizostylis or Hesperantha coccinea at Touchwood 
 schizostylis coccinea pink form hp  Kaffir Lily with pink flowers, again, slug-proof. LATE MATURING seeds, about Dec/Jan! 

'Ray's Golden Campion'

hp I love this. Strong golden foliage and pink flowers over an amazingly long period. I cut mine back in June towards end of flowering and was rewarded by some more flowers in Aug-October.

syn Matricaria

Aromatic foliage. Masses of yellow-centred daisy flowers in summer and autumn...and this year even now on December 12th 2012! 

TELLIMA grandiflora  Last year's seeds so double-sized packets. hp

Fringecups.  Evergreen shade-lover that also does well in the sun!  Tall waving wands of tiny fringed flowers with a delicate scent that I liken to azaleas.


chaixii  yellow

 hp A perennial, steadily increasing clump, a verbascum with many spires of flowers with yellow petals, and purple centres. Each exquisite flower has a central tuft of furry (yes, furry) purple stamens. Why? I guess we'll never know, but the bees should appreciate the way they have a remarkable landing-platform during their sorties for nectar and pollen.
 verbascum chaixii  creamy
 hp Just slightly creamier than the white one featured below....will this new colour come true from seed? Let's try it out! Sorry photo died with my external hard-disc
 verbascum chaixii  album  hp In this version, the spires of flowers have white petals to offset the purple centres. Brilliant!  Last year's seeds so double-sized packets..... unless i find the missing recent harvest ones!!!
VERBENA bonariensis (h)h a/b/p Sometimes perennial, or self-sowing each year, is this wonderful plant for attracting butterflies. 3-5' but 'airy' so you can place it towards the front of the border if you wish. Last year's seeds so double-sized packets.
VERONICA spicata OR SIMILAR!! hp  I am unsure of correct name

Is this Veronica spicata? I don't know. The photo is what you get, seeds have been collected from it.
 Last year's seeds so double-sized packets.
VINCETOXICUM nigrum (x 15)

Black swallow-wort    Last year's seeds so double-sized packets.

hcl Rare opportunity: exotic climber with good foliage, and oversized and very decorative pods compared to the small black flowers.







I've read that the flowers are unusual ...their pollen is contained in pollinaria  (like orchids' and araujia)...must get out my hand-lens and look sometime...

VIOLA cornuta 

Name means horned: see the horned spur?

2013-14 seeds so 4x-sized packets.


The delicately beautiful horned violet.  This splendid and robust perennial, flowers near ground level in the open, or will scramble to 30-40cms high in the perennial border. A purple-blue colour.


LAST YEAR'S SEEDS   My 'old' seed is often fresher than the normal lots from many seed companies!    Let me choose from all my left over last year's seeds, and go for: LUCKY FIVE £3.50 A lucky dip of 5 packs of last year’s seeds TERRIFIC TWENTY £10 or FANTASTIC FORTY £15  Strictly my choice, but I won’t include anything that you order at the same time, & you can choose  categories you want/don’t want from: annuals, biennials, perennials, trees and shrubs, alpines, bulbs, vegetables, climbers, herbs,  Aquilegias, Geraniums. Yes, choosing all aquilegias is fine!

'Hi Carrie, What a pleasure to come across a homegrown website, a garden in itself. ' Malcolm Allum, (Manchester)





Touchwood seeds: fully automated seed packeting system






Good quality white labels …….30 for £1     ................65 for £2

‘Invisible’ green labels……….20 for £1       .................45 for £2

        ‘Highly visible’ yellow ....……. 20 for £1       ..................45 for £2      

  or mix yellow and green…….20 for £1       ..................45 for £2

  or mix 5 colours…………......….20 for £1       .................. 45 for £2

Label postage: they are relatively heavy, so, for UK, 50p per 50 (or part thereof)

But labels sent free with plants-by-post orders.





I fully expect you to enjoy a good germination from my seeds.  If that is not the case, please let me know, for either information and advice, replacement seed or a credit note.  But when you do get good results…please tell your friends and let them benefit from good seed of cottage garden, rare and unusual plants at a brilliant price!!






Most of Touchwood's seed is grown, harvested & packeted here in Wales


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