Category Archives: Seed

Stratifying cold frame

I was asked how I stratify so many different varieties of seed every year, still around 200-300, although until recently it was over 400. I then had two of the cold frames shown in the video. It’s just a wooden frame with Enviromesh draped over to stop mainly birch seeds from entering but allowing water to pass through. You will also see the various mostly recycled sow pots that I use, including milk cartons on their side with holes punched in the bottom for drainage (stapled at the ends). I sow up to 10 different species in each milk carton tray, not sowing plants from the same family close to each other in case the seed wanders! Hope this helps :)

Seed from Korea

Many thanks to my friend Misoni Sandvik for sending me some more seed on her recent visit to Korea….
Misoni figures in both Aster scaber and Bunias orientalis stories in my book Around the World in 80 plants!

From left to right in the picture udo (Aralia cordata), Angelica acutiloba, Cirsium setidens and udo (Aralia cordata) again!


Inundated with perennial seed!

Yesterday, I sowed some 110 varieties of perennial edibles….and I had about 20 left to sow….I thought I was finished for now! Guess what was in the post box!! Another 60 that need sowing now! It’s never happened before that SRGC (Scottish Rock Garden Club) and NARGS (North American Rock Garden Society) seed arrived together!
Did I mention that the Rock Garden seed exchanges are the best places to source unusual edible plants :)


7th January 2018
Welcome to my new seed trade list for 2017-18.
15, 16 and 17 in brackets indicates the harvesting year for the seed. Concerning seed quantity: as I don’t have many plants of each species, seed quantity is limited in most cases. Therefore, for some species you may only get a few seeds. Many species are harvested in my garden. Others are surplus from trade and purchase. OUT: Means out of stock.
NB! Cultivars do not always come true. I offer them anyway, but no guarantees to what you will get!
Botanical Name (year of harvest)
NB! Traditional vegetables are at the end of the list with (mostly) common English names first.
NOTE: I don’t sell seed and I won’t be doing many trades this winter due to a busy schedule.  I am mainly interested in uncommong hardy perennials, but I may also be interested in annuals.
Aconitum heterophyllum (15)
Aconitum lycoctonum (15)
Adenostyles alpina (17)
Agastache foeniculum (17)
Agastache rugosa “Golden Jubilee” (15)
Alcea nudiflora (16)
Allium albidum (16)
Allium altissimum (16) Uncertain ID
Allium amphibolum (16)
Allium angulosum (16)
Allium atroviolaceum (15)
Allium brevistylum (16)
Allium caeruleum (16)
Allium caesium Ex-Kyrgyzstan (16)
Allium carolinianum (16)
Allium cernuum mix (17)
Allium cernuum “Dark Scape” (17)
Allium cernuum ‘Dwarf White” (15)
Allium cernuum “OR KA A” (Wild oregon) (15)
Allium cernuum ‘Pink Giant’ (17)
Allium cernuum ‘White Max’ (17)
Allium darwasicum (16)
Allium daghestanicum (16)
Allium decipiens ssp. quercetorum? (17)
Allium denudatum (16)
Allium dictyoprasum (16)
Allium drummondii (16)
Allium douglasii (16)
Allium fistulosum Ex-“Aprelsky” (15)
Allium fistulosum Ex-“Mongolia” (15)
Allium fistulosum Ex-“Nedre Gjetsiden” (15) (Norwegian turf roof heirloom onion)
Allium fistulosum Ex-“Nerøygarden” (15) (Norwegian turf roof heirloom onion)
Allium fistulosum Ex-“Sve” (15) (Norwegian turf roof heirloom onion)
Allium flavum “Blue Leaf” (17)
Allium hymenorrhizum (17, 16)
Allium insubricum (16)
Allium jesdianum ssp angustitepalum (16)
Allium leucanthum (16)
Allium narcissiflorum (17)
Allium nutans (16) ALL1245 (IPK)
Allium nutans “Caroline” (14)
Allium nutans “Isabelle” (16)
Allium nutans “Lena” (17)
Allium nutans / flavescens hybrid? (Kazakhstan) (white flowers) (17, 16)
Allium ovalifolium var. leuconeurum (17)
Allium pallasii (16)
Allium petraeum Ex-Kyrgyzstan (16)
Allium przewalskianum Ex-Kyrgyzstan (16) 4 accessions from China!
Allium “Purple King” (15)
Allium “Purple Sensation” (17)
Allium ramosum (15)
Allium robustum Ex-Kazakhstan(16)
Allium rotundum (Allium scorodoprasum ssp jajlae) (16) 2 accessions
Allium rubens Ex-Kazakhstan (16)
Allium sarawschanicum (16)
Allium schoenoprasoides Ex-Kazakhstan (16)
Allium schoenoprasum v. alpinum “Album”(14)
Allium schoenoprasum v. alvarense(16)
Allium schoenoprasum “Black Pedicels” (17, 16)
Allium schoenoprasum “Black Isle Blush” (15)
Allium schoenoprasum “Flower Goddess” (15) (Chinese seed)
Allium schoenoprasum “Grolau” (16)
Allium schoenoprasum “Hylau Sprint” (16)
Allium schoenoprasum “Major” (15)
Allium schoenoprasum “Middleman” (16)
Allium schoenoprasum var. yezomonticola (16)
Allium senescens “SSHB” (16) (own selection)
Allium senescens x nutans hybrids (Ex-Mark McDonough) (16)
Allium senescens x nutans “Broad leaf” (Ex-Mark McDonough) (16)
Allium splendens (16)
Allium stipitatum “Album” (16)
Allium stipitatum “Goliat” (17)
Allium strictum (17)
Allium tuberosum(16)
Allium tuberosum(16) from Finland
Allium victorialis ‘Ex-Granvin, SW Norway’ (17)
Allium victorialis ‘Ex-Hopen, Norway’ (17)
Allium victorialis ‘Ex-Lofoten’ (17, 16)
Allium victorialis ‘Ex-Røst’ (17)
Allium victorialis (received as A. ochotense from IPK Gatersleben)(16)
Allium victorialis ‘from Gatersleben TAX6100’ (16)
Angelica archangelica ssp archangelica v. Majorum “Vossakvann” (17) (Voss Angelica) (from only 1 plant)
Angelica archangelica ssp archangelica(17) Wild collected, Alta, Norway
Angelica gigas (17)
Angelica sylvestris “Vicar’s Mead” (17)
Aquilegia caerulea (15)
Arabis alpina (16)
Aralia californica (17)
Aralia cordata (17, 16, 15)
Aralia elata (16)
Artemisia genipi (15)
Atriplex hortensis rubra (17, 16)
Barbarea vulgaris (15)
Basella alba “Green” (16)
Basella alba “Red” (16)
Blitum foliosum (16)
Camassia leichtlinii “Pink” (15)
Campanula alliarifolia (17)
Campanula cervicaria (17)
Campanula glomerata “Alba”(17)
Campanula latifolia “Purple Throat” (16)
Campanula persicifolia “White Double” (15)
Campanula punctata hondoensis (16)
Campanula trachelium (16)
Capsella bursa-pastoris
Caragana arborescens (16)
Carex “Majken” (15)
Carica papaya (16) from Amazonas
Carum carvi “Pink flowered” (16)
Carum carvi “Polaris” (17); old variety used in Aquavit production
Caucalis platycarpos (16)
Centaurea macrocephala (15)
Chaenomeles cathayensis (15)
Chaerophyllum bulbosum (17)
Chenopodium album (15)
Chenopodium bonus-henricus (14) 4 accessions
Chenopodium foliosum (14)
Cirsium canum (17)
Cirsium erisithales (17, 16)
Cirsium heterophyllum (17)Wild, Malvik
Cirsium tuberosum (17)
Cleome gynandra (16) Kenya
Clintonia borealis (17)
Codonopsis bulleyana (15)
Codonopsis cardiophylla (15)
Codonopsis clematidea (15)
Codonopsis lanceolata (15) Chinese seed
Codonopsis pilosula (15)
Codonopsis rotundifolia “Grandiflora” (15)
Codonopsis tangshen (15)
Codonopsis viridiflora (15)
Coelopleurum rupestre (16)
Crambe maritima (17)
Crataegus rotundifolius (17)
Cryptotaenia canadensis (17)
Dianthus albus (17)
Dianthus barbatus “Sooty” (15)
Dianthus oschotenicus (15)
Dipsacus japonicus (16)
Disporum smithii (16)
Dracocephalum integrifolium (16)
Fagopyrum tataricum (15)
Fedia cornucopiae (16)
Geranium macrorrhizum “Czakor” (15)
Geranium thunbergii (16)
Globularia cordifolia (15)
Hablitzia tamnoides (Mixed) (17)
Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus (15)
Hosta “Frances Williams” (H. sieboldiana “blood”)
Hosta “Urui” (17)
Hypericum perforatum (17)
Ipomoea aquatica (17)
Laser trilobum (17)
Lathyrus tuberosus (17)
Lavatera arborea variegata (17)
Leonurus cardiaca (17)
Leucanthemum x superbum “Marconi” (16)
Levisticum officinale (17)
Ligularia fischeri (17, 16, 15)
Lilium martagon mix (16)
Lilium martagon Ex-“Nanossa Bouteri” (17)
Lychnis coronaria (15)
Malva alcea (15)
Malva moschata (17)
Malva verticillata (16)
Marrubium vulgare (16)
Medicago sativa (15)
Mentha asiatica Ex-Kyrgyzstan (16)
Mertensia ciliata (17)
Mertensia paniculata (16)
Mertensia pterocarpa var. yezoensis (16)
Molopospermum peloponnesiacum (16)
Myrrhis odorata “Smooth” (17) (hairless selection)
Nepeta x fassenii “Six Hills Giant” (3 seeds)
Nigella sativa (17)
Onopordon acanthium (15)
Oplopanax horridus (17, 16)
Oxyria digyna (16)
Papaver somniferum “Mix” (16)
Parasenecio maximowiczianum (16)
Peltaria alliacea (16)
Phlomis tuberosa (17)
Physalis pruinosa “Aunt Molly’s” (16)
Phyteuma nigra (16)
Phyteuma orbiculare (17)
Phytolacca americana (16)
Phytolacca americana “Sunny Side Up” (14)
Pinus armandii (15)
Plantago antarctica (16)
Podophyllum emodi (17)
Polygonatum multiflorum var ramossissima (16)
Polygonatum pubescens (16)
Polygonum divaricatum (17)
Prenanthes purpurea (17)
Primula veris “Red Strain” (16)
Prunella vulgaris “Pagoda” (17)
Pycnanthemum muticum (15)
Pycnanthemum pilosum (15)
Rheum australe (15)
Rheum “Cally Giant” (15)
Rheum ribes (15)
Rhodiola rosea (17)
Ribes americanum (16)
Ribes petraeum biebersteinii (16)
Rubus occidentalis “Black Hawk” (17, 16)
Rubus occidentalis “Bristol” (17)
Rubus spp. (Red stems (16)
Rumex acetosa “Belleville” (17, 16)
Rumex acetosa “Krupolistny” (17)
Rumex nepalensis (16)
Rumex patientia (17)
Rumex sanguineus (17)
Rumex scutatus (16)
Sanguisorba canadensis (17)
Sanguisorba minor (17)
Sanguisorba officinalis (17)
Sanguisorba officinalis “Tanna” (17)
Sanguisorba stipulata (17)
Sanguisorba tenuifolia “Purpurea” (17)
Sideritis syriaca (17)
Silene conoidea (15)
Silene dioica “Purple Prince” (15)
Silene vulgaris rosea (17)
Sium sisarum (17) (Skirret)
Solanum melongena “Open Ophelia”
Solanum nigrum
Sonchus kirkii (17)
Sonchus oleraceus “Giant Oregon” (15)
Sonchus palustris (17)
Stachys recta (15)
Streptopus amplexifolius (17)
Taraxacum ceratophorum (16)
Taraxacum officinale “Improved” (16, 15)
Taraxacum officinale “Lyonell” (16)
Taraxacum officinale “Moss-leaved” (17, 16)
Taraxacum officinale ‘Pissenlit Coeur Plein Ameliore’ (16)
Taraxacum officinale “Vert de Montmagny Ameliore” (16)
Taraxacum pseudoroseum (16)
Taraxacum rubifolium (17) (Red-leaved dandelion)
Taraxacum spp. (16) (Izu peninsula, Japan)
Taraxacum spp. “Vennafjellet” (15)
Thlaspi arvense (17)
Tigridia pavoniana (17)
Tricyrtis spp. (17)
Urtica ferox (15)
Valeriana officinalis (17)
Veratrum californicum (16)
Viola crassa (16)
Viola x wittrockii “Schweitzer Riesen” (15)
Withania somnifera (16)
Zanthoxylum spp. (16)
Zizia aurea (17)


Bean ”Armenian Asparagus Bean” (14)
Bean ”Turkish Beans from Geitmyra” (14)
Broccolini (17)
Broccoli Raab (Cima de rapa) “Dietrich’s” (15) (Flowering turnip tops)
Broccoli Raab (Cima de rapa) “Foglia d’ulivo” (16) (Flowering turnip tops)
Broccoli Raab (Cima de rapa) “Sessantina” (16) (Flowering turnip tops)
Burdock (15) (5 different Japanese varieties) (15)
Celery “Kintsai”
Celery “Red stem”
Chervil (17)
Chicory “Barba di Cappuccino” (15)
Chicory “Bianca” (15)
Chicory “Castelfranco variegata” (15)
Chicory “Catalogna gigante di Chioggia” (15)
Chicory “Catalogna Pugliese” (16)
Chicory “Cespo di Molfetta” (15)
Chicory “Di Chiavari” (15)
Chicory “De taglio bionda a foglie larghe” (16)
Chicory “Greco” (16)
Chicory “Palla rossa precoce” (14)
Chicory “Orchidea Rossa” (13)
Chicory “Selvatico da Campo” (15)
Chicory “Selvatico da Campo Rossa” (16)
Chicory “Variegata di lusia (precoce)” (15)
Pepper “Sibirsche Hauspaprika” (16)
Chinese Cabbage “Heading” (14) (Japanese seed)
Chinese Lxeris (15)
Chopsuey Greens (Chrysanthemum coronarium) “Double” (17)
Chopsuey Greens (Chrysanthemum coronarium) Japanese variety (15) (3 varieties)
Endive (16)
Green onion “Piazcheh” (16) (Iranian, prob. Allium fistulosum)
Kale ‘Branchu de L’Embarras’
Kale “Couve Galega” (15) (2 accessions)
Kale “Thousand Head” (14)
Kale “Daubenton / Late purple Sprouting brocolli” (17, 16) (F2)
Kale “Daubenton x unknown (Italy)” (16)
Kale “OP perennial grex, strongly perennial” (16)
Kohlrabi “Azur Star”
Lamb’s Lettuce “Baron” (16)
Leaf Beet “Lucullus” (17)
Leaf Beet “Perpetual Spinach” (17)
Leek “Blue Green Autumn” (16)
Leek “Hilari” (16)
Leek “Lancia” (15)
Leek “Musselburgh” (15)
Leek “Navarra” (16)
Leek “Primor” (16)
Lettuce “Berlinsk Gul” (15)
Lettuce “Cocarde” (17)
Lettuce “Lollo Bionda” (17)
Lettuce “Oakleaf”
Lettuce “Odessa” (15)
Lettuce “Red Salad Bowl” (16)
Lettuce “Ruby Gem” (16)
Lettuce “Senorita” (17)
Lettuce “Summer Bibb” (16)
Lettuce “Senorita” (17)
Onion “Robelja” (16)
Oriental Greens ‘Choy Sum Purple’ (15)
Oriental Greens ‘Choy Sum Purple Flowering’ (15)
Oriental Greens ‘Early Mibuna’ (14)
Oriental Greens ‘Frilly’ (13)
Oriental Greens ‘Green Wave” (13)
Oriental Greens ‘Kekkya Takana” (14)
Oriental Greens ‘Misome’ (14)
Oriental Greens ‘Mispoona’ (16)
Oriental Greens “Red Mizuna” (14)
Oriental Greens “Red Streaked Mizuna” (14)
Oriental Greens “Southern Giant” (13)
Oriental Greens “Swollen Stem Tsai Tsai Round” (12)
Oriental Greens “Wtatsai” (15)
Oriental Greens “Xue li Hong” (14)
Parsnip (17)
Pea “Salmon Flowered” (17, 16)
Pepper “Sibirsche Hauspaprika” (16)
Purslane (16)
Quinoa “Stephe” (16)
Radish (leaf variety) (16) (Japanese seed)
Radish “Daikon Sasha” (15) (Russian)
Radish “China Rose” (14)
Radish “Minowase” (15)
Radish “Rosa” (15)
Radish “Runder Schwarzer Winter” (16)
Rocket (Diplotaxis) “Rustic Arugula”
Rocket (Diplotaxis) “Rustic Style”
Rocket (Diplotaxis) “Wasabia Arugula”
Scorzonera Ex- “Lange Jan” (17)
Shungiku (Chrysanthemum Greens) “Garland Round leaved” (13)
Shungiku (Chrysanthemum Greens) (15)
Sorrel (7 Russian varieties) (14)
Spring onion “Ramrod” (14)
Spring onion “White Lisbon” (14)
Spring onion (Allium fistulosum) (15) (7 Japanese varieties)
Tomato ”Hundreds and Thousands” (16)
Tomato “Matt’s Wild Cherry” (16)
Tomato “Moonglow”(15)
Water spinach (15) (Ipomoea aquatica)

On the World’s Vanishing Vegetables

The article that opened my eyes to the importance of conserving our vegetable diversity was 37 years ago, written by Lawrence D Hills, Director of the Henry Doubleday Research Association (HDRA) in the UK.  This article was in the first newsletter that I received having recently joined the HDRA.  Not much has changed in the intervening years, except it was the oil company Shell that was the “bad guy”. This is well worth a read for anyone interested in food and the history (now and then) of the fight to save our seeds!  We are now 37 years on, we in KVANN (Norwegian Seed Savers) setting up Vegetable Sanctuaries here in Norway!
I had become a member of HDRA following a “chance” encounter on a train north to Edinburgh where I was studying. I was travelling with a bike as was a guy called Dave du Feu.  Dave was and still is heavily involved in cycle campaigning. On that journey he told me of the Edinburgh Cycle Campaign, Spokes and introduced me to organic gardening and the HDRA, both of which I joined!
HDRA_Spring80#0 HDRA_Spring80#1 HDRA_Spring80#2 HDRA_Spring80#3 HDRA_Spring80#4

2017 seed saving

Starting a new album of seed cleaned and packed  for 2017
See also a large album from 2014-2017 on Facebook:
31017: Added 45 more pictures!

051117: Added 5 more

081117: Added 7 more

101117: 24 more varieties added

181117: Added 4 more

201117:  8 more added

101217: 3  added

Current offers in Norwegian Seed Savers (KVANN) autumn seed and vegetable catalogue

I’m often asked if I sell seed of my perennial vegetables and other plants I blog about. The answer is that unless you have something I’m interested in trading for, I only “sell” seed through out Norwegian Seed Savers organisation on a non-profit basis!
Here are my current offers in Norwegian Seed Savers (KVANN) autumn seed and vegetable catalogue. I will add more offers later this week.  I hope you will want to support our work!
If you live outside of Norway and want to join (it costs Norwegian kr 200 / year), please go to  and click on “Bli medlem” and fill out your details. You can then either do a bank transfer or you can pay me 200 Norwegian kroner by Paypal ( and I will transfer for you! Once you have payed, I will send you the catalogue.  Please be prepared to cover post and packing  (I cannot guarantee that all members will be willing to send overseas, but I will!).
Note that all correspondence and publications from the club is in Norwegian (not a big deal these days with on-line translators!), but there are brief instructions in English too (or ask me).

Udo (Aralia cordata); seed  see
Houttuynia cordata, Himalayan water creeper.
Flore pleno (double flowers)
Joker’s Gold
Chinese Market
Garlic (Allium sativum) bulbils
Estonian Red
Black raspberry «Black Hawk» (Rubus occidentalis), seed
Ligularia fischeri  seed (see )
Papaver somniferum (opiumvalmue) mix (see pictures of my varieties here:

Angelica sylvestris «Vicar’s Mead»

Sanguinaria canadensis
Allium pskemense x fistulosum
Taraxacum rubifolium, red-leaved dandelion
Sugar cane, Saccharum officinarum (a hardy cultivar from New Zealand)
Hablitzia tamnoides mix seed
Allium scorodoprasum,  wild and garden forms:
Skåne (via Aud Berit Fjordheim in Gjøvik)
Grums i Sverige
Risør (Leikøya)
Milde, Bergen
Hauge på Lista
Sund, Bergen
Barbarea vulgaris «Variegata»
Phyteuma nigra
Phyteuma orbiculare
Allium cernuum «Pink Giant»
Cirsium eriophorum
Allium victorialis «Lofoten»
Rumex acetosa “Belleville”, sorrel
Rumex acetosa “Vysogorny”/ “Krupolistny” mix(Russian cultivars)
Rumex patientia
Cryptotaenia canadensis
Angelica gigas
Chaerophyllum bulbosum, Turnip-rooted chervil
Allium cernuum “White Max”
Allium cernuum “Dark Scape”
Allium insubricum
Allium schoenoprasum «Black Isle Blush»
Sonchus kirkii
Allium hymenorrhizum
Allium cernuum «Mix»
Symphytum x uplandicum “Bocking 14”, root cuttings
Rabarbra «Træna», vigorous early variety found on the island Træna

Saving seed from edible plants

An album for a “few” pictures from the wild and wonderful world of seed collecting…..