Johnsons Seeds may be sold all round the world, but seldom can the company’s retail stockists have travelled as far to see them as Tim and Jan Miller did when they placed their seed order at a recent horticultural trade show. The couple established Stanley Nursery & Garden Centre on the Falkland Islands in the 1980s, and visit the UK regularly to buy stock. The journey takes 18 hours by RAF passenger jet.
Jan runs the garden centre, serving the islands’ population of 3000, while Tim manages Stanley Growers, its sister-market garden business. He was born and bred in the Falkland Islands, and is the descendant of a member of the Household Cavalry, who was among those bidden by Queen Victoria to “go forth and colonise my Empire”.
Tim says there are plenty of keen gardeners in the Falklands Islands, despite the often harsh climate. While conditions are close to those of our Western Isles, strong winds and scorching sun combine in spring to make hedging or fencing essential for gardeners. Summer temperatures seldom reach 25ºC, and winters can leave the peat-on–clay soil sodden, with temperatures only occasionally falling below 0ºC.
Vegetable seed is considerably more popular than flower seeds on the Falkland Islands, and carrots more popular than any other vegetable; Autumn King, Nantes 5 and Chantenay Red Cored have been the three best-selling vegetable seeds for the past four years, with cabbage Primo, turnip Snowball and swede Best of All filling fourth, fifth and sixth places respectively.
Johnsons range of seeds is available in the UK from garden centres, supermarkets and leading DIY stores throughout the UK and at www.johnsons-seeds.com