Human Flower Project
Royalish Flower Seed
Seed from some of the plants grown at Buckingham Palace are now on sale, but will their royal connections get them across international borders?
The gardens at Buckingham Palace
You may not be royalty, but you too can grow poppies (even we have managed that). Nobody curtsey for you recently? Stand tall, and grow the same upright ginger as blooms at Buckingham Palace.
The BBC reports that 11 plant varieties from among the more than 350 flowers that grow there can be yours.
During the Hampton Court Flower Show, running until Sunday, the seed will be for sale at the Plant Heritage Seed Shop, for a minimum £1 donation to “the charity.” (which we take to mean Plant Heritage, not the British monarchy, which seems to be solvent).
Poppies (Papaver spicatum), upright ginger ( Saruma henryi), and tilifolium (Desmodium elegans) will be among the 11 seed varieties.
England is renowned for its gardening prowess, a combination of acquisitiveness (a.k.a. colonialism), labour, and fairly ideal growing conditions. According to the BBC article, “The UK’s temperate climate allows gardeners this variety, ranging from shrubs and heather to exotic, sub-tropical varieties of plants and flowers.
And this ability to grow almost anything makes horticulture very much a part of British identity, said German-born Wolfgang Stuppy, seed morphologist at Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank project, which aims to collect and conserve 25% of the world’s seeds by 2020.”
Swiss flower seed brought to us by a friend
As for the seed selections now for sale, “I’m sure they’ll be popular in the Jubilee year because a lot of people come from overseas,” said Janet Wright of Plant Heritage. “They obviously can’t take plants home but they’re allowed to take seeds.”
Actually, customs regulations are a whole lot trickier than that. In some cases it IS permissible to bring plants over international borders, and in others seeds are forbidden. Here are just references to the mind-snarling regulations in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia.
In every case where we confessed to customs officials that we were carrying flower seed packets, they’ve been confiscated. We welcome hearing from readers (including anonymous ones) about their experiences traveling with flower seed or having to leave it at the border.