We’re thrilled to have partnered with Seed Ball for this years English Country Garden Festival - and the first 20 visitors through our gates on both Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd June will be gifted one of their new products - the seedball match box set, containing a bee friendly mix of wild flower seeds.
As passionate wildflower growers, wild life lovers, and bee keepers at Coombe Trenchard, we were excited to connect with Seed Ball via the power of social media - and we have since fallen in love with their ethos and their product range.
Scroll down to discover more about this talented little London based company - that we’ve come to believe in, would like to support, and we look forward to seeing them continue to grow.
I caught up with Emily Lambert, Co-Founder of Seed Ball earlier this week…
Tell us about Seed Balls – what is it that you do and whereabouts are you based?
We’re based in North London near Finsbury Park, and we manufacture wildflower seed balls – balls of clay, peat-free compost, chilli powder and native wildflower seeds – the idea being to protect the seeds as much as possible pre germination from birds and insects and during early growth from slugs and snails.
When was the business founded and by whom?
Myself and Ana Attlee founded the business in 2011 – we were conservation scientists at Aberdeen University (I was finishing my PhD and Ana was already working as a Post Doc following her PhD).
What inspired you to set up the business, and what did you do prior to that?
We wanted to do more to have a direct impact on conservation, and were very aware of the declining populations of British pollinator species. We wanted to find a way to inspire and help people to make better use of their gardens and outdoor spaces to grow bee and butterfly friendly flowers. We knew that the combined area of all of our gardens is bigger than the combined area of the UK nature reserves – so the potential to help was massive!
Tell us about your current product range?
We currently have approximately 13 different wildflower seed mixes and single species varieties (plus a couple of salad and herb options too) packaged in British made tins (made with the help of a solar farm on the factory roof!). And we also this year have launched a cute little matchbox for wedding and party favours, or sweet little giveaways that can be branded for any occasion.
What is your personal favourite Seed Ball mix?
My total favourite is the Bat Mix – created in collaboration with scientist at the Natural History Museum it has evening scented plants to attract insects for bats to eat, helping to support our garden bats!
Where can your products be found – can you share some of your stockists and mail order opportunities?
We sell mostly through our own website www.seedball.co.uk, but our products can also be found at Kew Gardens, Duchy Of Cornwall Nursery, Waitrose online garden shop, and about 300 other gift shops and garden centres across the country.
What would you say is completely unique to Seed balls, compared with other similar products out there?
I think mainly that our company mission is to help increase bee and butterfly numbers, that we’re founded by conservation scientists (also we’re a non-profit company) and that any school or community group anywhere in the country can have free oddballs (funny shaped balls not round enough to sell but that work just as well). We also want to help raise awareness and inspire people to do more for wildlife on their doorstep. So our company goal is not profit, it’s conservation impact.
What’s next for Seed Balls – what are your hopes for the business in the next year?
We’re hoping to build more collaborations with other conservation organisations – we already work with Plantlife, but we’re keen to work more closely with more such as the RSPB, Friends of the Earth, Butterfly Conservation and the Wildlife Trusts. We’ve also started to collaborate with a team of researchers at Imperial College London with a hope to start examining the relationships between our different wildflower mixes and pollinator visitation rates.
In terms of products we’re also hoping to launch some new packaging options for the seed balls and a make your own seed ball kit! We also trailed a vlog series last summer which had an amazing response which we very much want to start again.
What do you love most about your job? Working with the most brilliant team of people and having the most fabulous supporters – Seedball really is a family! And a family where everyone is equally motivated to help british wildlife.
Our thanks to Emma, Ana and all of the team at Seed Ball for working with us and providing a selection of their bee mix seed balls for us to showcase and share at this years festival.
We are sure the early bird visitors to the festival each day will love their free Seed Ball gift boxes included within our beautifully branded cotton tote bags. They certainly make sweet gifts and giveaways - just perfect for wedding and event favours.
We will also have Seed Ball packets containing 30 of the Bee Mix balls available for our festival visitors to explore and buy, as part of Gary our Bee Keepers stand this weekend.
Gary will also be talking about looking after bees, his bee keeping courses, as well as selling bees wax polish, candles and our very own Coombe Trenchard honey too!
So here’s to a great festival 2019.
I hope to see many new and familiar faces joining us for our 8th year of the show. With fine weather forecast we look forward to opening our gates in celebration of our beautiful English Summer.