Buying unusual seeds

So not managed to find anybody who knows where to get loam based seed compost (see other thread) or even if it is available in France. And making my own isn’t really a starter as OH said don’t even think for one second of using kitchen microwave to sterilise soil!

So next question is does anybody know of a UK seed supplier still sending seeds into France. I am told packaged dry seed is still allowed providing certain regs are followed…what is not allowed are live plants and soil.

My reason for question is that the range of seeds available in France both in store and online…(surfed seven and ordered from two) is quite narrow…lots of standard veg, carrots, cabbage, squash, broccoli, b/sprouts, onion, leeks etc etc. but nothing uncommon or unusual. One uk supplier i used to order from has 28 chilli seeds and over 35 tomatoes varieties.

But try and find more unusual ones, Okra, Tomatilo, spagetti gourd, kaletts, black cumin etc and you draw a blank whereas most of the UK seed companies offer them and have a much more eclectic range.
But the well-known ones now say its not worth sending into Europe so I wondered if any are known to be still despatching here. ?

Not sure if this guy still send to the EU, but he has contacts in the EU, so if nothing else he might point you in the right direction.

A quick trip to your local Grand Surface will provide a microwave for about 50€ which you can then define as your ‘micro de terre’ :+1:

1 Like

Have you looked at Ferme de St Marthe and their 21 chilis?

If they don’t do it for you then rather than looking for a seed supplier that has the same sort of range that is regularly found in the UK, search for specific things.

Like kalettes…

(We’ve just eaten the last of ours tonight…3 plants have kept us going since December!)

I’ve ended up buying from Bulgaria and Holland…

Yes I have and also have looked on Magellan. Willemse, Kokopelli, boutique-vegetale.,, plus a couple of others i can’t now find,! All very boring and very second division in terms of unusual seeds. has quite a big range.

So I’m gong to have to either smuggle, or grow varieties I can buy in a s/market or try and find a better supplier in Eu if all the Brits suppliers have abandoned us here. Seems the French love their flowers but not adventurous in their kitchen garden…unlike the Brits …and surprising the Germans.

That surprises me, John, as Kokopelli have supplied me with some very unusual seeds (haven’t dared order the cannabis though :smiley: )
Dobies and other similar big suppliers do ship to the EU- all owned by Suttons now I think and generally don’t offer many of the things I like apart from some flower seeds I can’t get here.
I had email correspondence with the MD of one ofthe smaller companies I have always used and he said that they can’t ship here because they would have to get a licence for each individual variety from DEFRA or whoever they are these days. When drawing up the listof approved varieties to ship, only the big suppliers were consulted. Surprised?
I got a couple of packets of one of my favourites sent to me in a greetings card by a friend. Wouldn’t work for bulk orders though :smiley:

They have okra…
These have tomatillo and lots of interesting looking things… Vaste choix de graines rares et insolites -

I’d come across Willemse before but enGrainToi is a new one on me so even if it doesn’t work for John, I’m grateful you found it @fleur :smiley:

Thanks for this link, it’s a new site to me and on a brief first look does seem to have a wider selection than most.

Just looked on both these sites and they do not currently ship to the EU…and NI…Brexit the gift that keeps on giving!


Sorry to disagree, John but Dobies definitely do ship seeds to the EU, at least according to their website they do…

Non Standard Deliveries

Northern Ireland, Channel islands, Isle of Man & Isles of Scilly & areas of Scotland with postcodes starting AB30 plus, HS, IV1 to IV40 plus, KA27, KA28, KW1 to KW16, PA20 to PA38, PA41 to PA80, PH10-PH40, PH42 to PH50 and ZE: For orders weighing less than 2KG standard carriage charge applies. Where the weight of the large order is 2k to 10kg the carriage charge is £9.99. Where the weight of the order is over 10kg the carriage charge is £14.99.

Republic of Ireland: For orders weighing less than 2kg standard carriage charge applies. Where the weight of the order is 2kg and above the carriage charge is £14.99.

Other EU countries: We can only deliver packet flower and vegetable seed to other EU countries. The carriage is £4.99 per order.

I hope you find some interesting stuff. Post some photos when they’ve grown…

Just thought i would check before proceeding and as i thought …the web site is incorrect " we can’t now send to EU as a result of Brexit, nor do any of our competitors…I will tell our Web team to correct the information, thankyou for telling us." !!
BREXIT the present that keeps on giving :unamused:

Thanks for telling us that, John. Well… thanks in a way…:roll_eyes:
How very disappointing! My favourite unusual seeds suppliers were Franchi and Chiltern Seeds, neither of whom can ship overseas but I was assured last time I contacted the bigger ones that there was an agreement and all would be well. Ah well - it means we have to explore unusual routes elsewhere! I just wish search engines worked better rather than forever displaying the same big companies and their products. I have just made a discovery of a company selling things I’ve been looking for for ages but it never came up on a search engine. Not seeds though - if I find anything else I’ll let you know but the ones I bought from Kokopelli are going great guns so far…

Good to know, however at €3,40 / pack compared to 99p from the UK supplier I used to use (seedsdirect or something) it is not the same when you are broke! :sleepy:

It most certainly is not the same, @toryroo . However, I have stocked up on seeds from Lidl, which were available at prices similar to the UK (stocks running low now though up here…) No good for John though as they are more usual varieties. I do like things like mesembryanthemums (sp?) though even thouogh they are common!

Livingstone daisy is easier :yum::grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

1 Like

True but I learned the “proper” name from my mother when I was a child - she was a stickler… :smiley:

Always Dorotheanthus bellidiformis for me.

On checking, you are right of course! :roll_eyes: I wonder if my mother knew that - or perhaps its name changed? Mesembryanthemum doesn’t seem a likely “common” name to me but then, what do I know :smiley: