Dynamic duo, Bridget Elworthy and Henrietta Courtauld, who supply cut flowers from the walled gardens of Wardington Manor in Oxfordshire, share their online picks.
Our favourite website... The Real Seed Catalogue, who grow and sell vegetables and heritage seeds from their farm in Wales. As Ben and Kate say on their website, ‘This is a catalogue of real seeds for real gardeners wanting to grow proper vegetables.’ Many large companies now produce Hybrid F1 seeds; these are heavily inbred plants that are sterile, which means you are unable able to save seed from them. Unfortunately supermarkets are settling rigid limits on size and uniformity of vegetables and the only way of achieving this is through Hybrid F1 seeds. Small growers lose out, as do consumers, as most hybrid pollination is now done using chemical sprays. Rather than supporting the industrial chemical farmer we would encourage everyone to support these growers who have trialled countless vegetables on their farm. Their seeds are varied, grown for taste, and (we feel sure) are much higher in nutrients and you can collect and save them from year to year.
Our favourite app... Maria Thun Biodynamic Calendar - This app helps us know when to plant our seeds. Biodynamics is a holistic way of approaching growing where we draw on the energy and influences of the cosmos. It really does produce healthy, stronger plants.
Our blog of choice... Ben Pentreath’s - It is always amusing, always inspirational and Ben writes beautifully. We closely follow his travels and his architectural and design projects.
Our internet hero ... Erin at Floret Flower - This is a small, family-run cut flower business in the US. On a small area of two acres, Erin grows an awe-inspiring array of flowers. We particularly love her generosity. She is always sharing her knowledge on Instagram and her blog.
Our most recent buy online... seeds from Peter Bauwen - These are small-scale growers in Belgium; we love their beautiful vegetables and have recently bought seeds, our favourite climbing courgette (Tromba d’Albenga) from their site.
Book just downloaded/read… ‘Bonjour Tristesse’ by Francoise Sagan - Incredibly, the author wrote this in 1954, when she was only 18-years-old. It tells the story of a father and daughter spending the summer together in a villa on the French Riviera.
Favourite Instagrammer… We love Charlie McCormick's feed, who grows beautiful flowers and vegetables at his heavenly house in Dorset.
Social media allowed us to meet… Charlotte Olympia - The fabulous shoe designer. We are now designing her garden in the country.
Most worthwhile newsletter subscribed to… Nutri-Tech Solutions - This is an impressive resource for the latest articles on sustainable agriculture. The health of our soils is severely threatened and we need to reduce our reliance on chemicals and boost soil and human health.
Our stand out online memory... Discovering a short film about the production of the plant flax in England on the website of the furniture designer and maker, Soane Britain. Flax is still cultivated in England and Soane weave it into beautiful fabric in Sudbury, England. It has a beautiful blue flower growing in the fields – and you also eat it; it is so good for your digestion!
Our pet hate about life online... It's just that it takes us away from the garden.
Photographs courtesy of Clive Nichols Photography