Plant Sizes

about our plants, seedlings, bulbs and seeds

For clarification on what to expect in your delivery of live plants, please see the relevant section below:

bulbs, tubers corms and pips

Bulbs, tubers, corms and pips are dormant plants that are all planted in a similar way – they will arrive ready to be potted up or planted directly into the ground.

We only sell top size, best quality bulbs, tubers and corms from our long-standing, trusted suppliers. They will last longer and produce more flowers than the smaller sizes that are often more cheaply available.

Our bulbs may be described by size, expressed as the circumference at its widest point. For example, a 10/12 bulb is between 10 and 12 centimetres round at its widest point; a 12/+ bulb is 12cm or larger.


Bulbs are usually egg-shaped, with a pointy end that goes up. The roots emerge from the basal plate (rough part) at the rounder end, so plant them pointy end up. 


Corms look similar to bulbs, but flatter.


Tubers look like a bunch of salamis gathered together on a stem. You may find some parts get detached but don’t worry, the main stalk and the tubers directly below are the important parts.


Rhizomes are underground stems that grow horizontally.

annuals, perennials and biennials

Annuals are plants that go through their entire lifecycle in one growing season: growing from seed, flowering, setting seed and dying.

Biennials are plants whose lifecycle spans two years, so they flower and produce seeds in their second year.

Perennials are plants that can live for more than two years.

Please see below for a key to our symbols.

For more detailed descriptions on these and other symbols we use on our website, please see our article on Understanding types of plants.

bulbs in the green

Certain bulbs – bluebells, aconites and snowdrops – do better planted in active growth, with their leaves on, rather than in a dormant state. They’ll settle in quite quickly, as it’s like lifting a clump from your own garden.

The bulbs are lifted in late winter/early spring, while the bulb is in flower or after flowering when they are beginning to die back.

You’ll need to plant your bulbs as soon as possible to the same depth as they were before – you can see this from where the leaves turn white.

plant dormancy

In the autumn or early spring, some of our plants will be despatched whilst entering or in a dormant state and there may be little or no sign of growth above the soil level. The plants are healthy and at their prime for planting. Once in the ground they will establish a strong root system before new growth appears in spring. Having a stronger root system should mean you will need to water less, come the summer months.

plant, seedlings and rooted cuttings

Our plants, seedlings and rooted cuttings come in a range of sizes – see which ones are available for your chosen plants on each product page. For an idea of what to expect when your plants arrive, please see the examples below:


Our exclusive seedlings are grown specially for us by our nursery in Lincolnshire. They are grown in large plug trays, with a solid plug usually 3.5cm or more across at the top. We carefully take them out of the plug trays and individually pack them by hand before sending them to you, ready for potting on.

jumbo seedlings

Well established seedlings, grown from seed with a larger root system, giving you a head start when planting them later in the season.

young plants

Well rooted larger plants, grown from cuttings or tissue culture. These are ready to be planted out, see planting instructions for seasonal recommendations.

sweet peas

Our Sweet pea seedlings are also grown in large plug trays, but they are extra-deep, allowing them to develop a long root. We hand-wrap our sweet peas before sending them to you.

9cm pots

Our garden-ready perennial plants are mature plants with well-established root systems, ready to be planted straight out into the garden. A measurement in centimetres describes the upper diameter or width of the pot.

1L, 2L and 3L pots

Perennial plants may also be described by the volume of soil the pot holds. 1L pots are roughly equivalent to 13cm pots; 2L pots equivalent to 17cm pots; 3L pots equivalent to 19cm pots. These plants have been carefully grown at our nursery.

seed and seed coverage

You will receive full sowing and growing instructions with your seeds.

All our seed has been through rigorous germination tests. Seed is packed in hermetically sealed inner sachets, then placed in an outer packet. Larger beans and peas are loose in their outer packets. None of our seed has been genetically modified or chemically treated. If you are not happy with the germination or you have any other quality concerns, please contact us and we will refund or replace your packet.

Some seed we sell is organic. This will be clearly labelled on the product page with our organic logo. For a full list of organic seeds, please click here.

Wherever possible, we provide counted seed quantities to give you the best idea of what you are buying. For these, please see the planting information on each individual product page for information on spacing and spread. Some of our seed mixes, designed to be scattered straight into your garden, are sold by weight, and we often mention how much ground it will cover in square metres. This diagram shows how we calculate this area:

kitchen garden plants

Fruit and veg plants come in a variety of different formats. For more information on plants and seedlings, please see above. For formats specific to our kitchen garden plants, please see below.

seed potatoes

We sell three potato cropping types (please see individual product pages for specific growing information):

Early varieties are best for small, new potatoes and are ideal for growing in bags or containers. First earlies are usually planted February-April for harvest 10 weeks later. Second earlies are usually planted March-May for harvest 10 weeks later.

Maincrop varieties produce larger potatoes for baking and roasting, and are best planted in the ground or spacious container. They are usually planted May-June for harvesting 10-16 weeks later.

Potatoes are sold bagged by weight (usually 1kg or 1.5kg), so the count may vary slightly. 


Most of our garlic is sold as bulbs, except our elephant garlic, which is sold as a given number of individual cloves. Each clove of garlic will grow into a mature bulb.

onion and shallot sets

The term ‘sets’ is used to distinguish these from mature bulbs; these items are young bulbs, from which mature bulbs are grown. Onion and shallot sets are sold bagged by weight (usually 250g), so the count may vary slightly.

asparagus and rhubarb crowns

Crowns are the dormant roots of mature plants, ready to be planted out.

We sell our asparagus in sets of 10, and our rhubarb in sets of three.

strawberry bare roots and raspberry canes

These will arrive as a dried bundle, and should be soaked overnight before planting out.

Help Contact Us