I started growing orchids in 2013. I was running a wildflower nursery at the time (it is still going strong under new management www.plantwild.co.uk) and had a call from a customer who wanted to buy a bag of wildflower meadow seed. We got talking and he turned out to be Phil Seaton, author of several books on orchid propagation and a world authority on orchid seed storage. At that time he was working at Kew and also running a small orchid lab project in a school in Kidderminster, not far from me. I asked him to teach me to grow native orchids and since then we have been meeting occasionally and continuing to research growing methods for UK native species. British Orchids is the result of his generosity and willingness to give his time and share his knowledge.
Growing orchids from seed requires a mix of laboratory skills and horticultural skills. Many years ago I did a BSc in Biology so I was familiar with sterile technique and growing on agar plates. I also retrained in 2008 in organic horticulture at Pershore College, so I felt equipped for the challenge. The in vitro seed sowing was developed for orchid production because they are unusual plants and simply scattering the seed in a seed tray will not work. See our page In the lab for more on this.
At British Orchids we grow UK native orchids from seed. The seed is collected from our own stock plants or from the wild, with the permission of the landowner.
We can supply plants for your meadow or garden.
We offer advice on what to grow and how to grow, to get the best from your plants
We can grow plants from seed supplied by you.
We can rescue and relocate orchids which are in danger from development or other threats to their habitat.
All over the world humans are destroying rainforests, meadows, coastlines, heaths, bogs and other wild places. Orchids are hanging on in the little pockets that remain. That is why I am one of a small number of people saving seed, growing orchids and sending them out into the world, hoping to reverse the decline, learn more myself and educate some people along the way.