Gardeners to share rare heritage finds in seed swap exchange at Brodsworth Hall and Gardens

A fragile legacy can be found in the swapping of seeds, sowing a link from one gardener’s green world to another.

Georgina Yates garden supervisor at Brodsworth Hall and Gardens near Doncaster, with Madeira maroon bean seeds. Picture: Tony Johnson

Now, in celebration of National Gardening Week, growers at Brodsworth Hall and Gardens near Doncaster are to host an exchange.

Through today and tomorrow gardeners are encouraged to bring their own seeds to swap for rare varieties which have been donated by Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library.

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Among them are an array of heritage seeds like the Dwarf French Bean and the ‘Avon Early’ Beetroot.

Georgina Yates garden supervisor at Brodsworth Hall and Gardens near Doncaster, with Madeira maroon bean seeds. Picture: Tony Johnson

“It is wonderful to invite English Heritage visitors to swap seeds this spring,” said Christopher Weddell, senior gardens advisor for the trust.

“Plants, particularly those we eat, are a significant part of our heritage and whether they have been collected from around the world or bred by generations of gardeners each has left a long but fragile legacy.

“By sharing and swapping seeds today we hope to continue that legacy and the stories they have to tell.”

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Georgina Yates garden supervisor at Brodsworth Hall and Gardens near Doncaster, with Madeira maroon bean seeds. Picture: Tony Johnson

The gardens at Brodsworth, restored to their Victorian splendour, are home to a collection of grand gardens in miniature, with seasonal plantings and displays.

English Heritage, which took on the country estate in 1990, has teamed up with horticultural charity Garden Organic to help grow rare seed varieties in some of its historic gardens.

The charity, which over 40 years has ‘saved’ hundreds of rare vegetables from extinction, has donated a number of heirloom varieties to selected properties, with some gardeners signing up to become ‘guardians’, championing local varieties to return them to the library for future generations to enjoy.

Brodsworth, this weekend, is sharing some heritage seed. Visitors are encouraged to exchange their own seeds to safeguards the future of rare varieties.

Georgina Yates garden supervisor at Brodsworth Hall and Gardens near Doncaster, with Black Magic runner bean seeds. Image: Tony Johnson

Catrina Fenton, head of the Heritage Seed Library at Garden Organic, said; “It’s so exciting to continue our partnership with English Heritage.

“It’s fantastic to have the talented and experienced gardeners from their teams growing and saving heritage seed.

“The varieties in our collection tell important tales of our cultural heritage so it’s fitting to see them back growing alongside the heritage properties where we know they once would have played an important role to feed residents.”

The gardens at Brodsworth Hall are open daily, booking is required.

Visitors are encouraged to bring their own seeds to Brodsworth Hall and Gardens to exchange for rare varieties which have been donated by Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library for the seed swap event this Bank Holiday weekend. Picture Tony Johnson

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