I've bought seeds from Chiltern's for years and have always been very pleased. Their general guidelines on germination have always worked well, with very few seeds requiring special treatment - as they say, many are fine on the windowsill! Hard to find and unusual plants are their speciality and I have some beauties thanks to Chilterns! Their website is easy to use and their "gift" option is brilliant - they'll send seeds giftwrapped, a catalogue included, for no extra cost, to your chosen recipient - I've used it twice this year already! All in all well worth a visit.
On Jan 9, 2002, nsgardener Nova Scotia Canada (Zone 6a) wrote:
I agree with the comments previously posted. Great selection. A little more information on germination precedures would be helpful, but with the information available on the internet, an inexperienced grower should be able to get the info they need.
I believe if a catalogue is requested by a first time orderer, they might mail one for free. They DO want your business.
The catalogue has an incredible range of seeds, is suberbly written with a wry humour, describes the plants well and honestly. No pictures, I think they aim for an intermediate to experienced gardener market. The catalogue is worth having for the reading material. (catalogue price is different for the UK and is sent free as long as you order from the previous season)
Sometimes a germination hint will be included on the front of the packet but otherwise you're pretty much on your own. I've never had germination problems with this source.
The staff are very helpful and if you ask for something out of stock, they include the alternatives you ask for, which comes to a greater amount than the price you pay.
On Dec 1, 2001, talinum Kearney, NE (Zone 5a) wrote:
A very large selections of seeds. The catalog has over 300 pages. Good plant descriptions in catalog. I placed a large order last spring. On the whole, I was pleased with the seeds. A few things had poor germination. I believe this was my fault, I wasn't careful enough. The seed packets do not contain germination or growing instructions. The seed order somes with an information pamphlet with general germination information. I will order from them again.
On December 2nd, 2001, talinum added the following:
I believe the catalog price in US is $5 and is free the next year with an order.On December 2nd, 2001, talinum added the following:
I believe the catalog price in US is $5 and is free the next year with an order.
I ordered seeds on the web from New Jersey. Since they were being shipped from Britain I expected a long wait, but they were as fast as the fastest companies in the US. Germination was good. Variety is possibly the best in the world. Shipping price is good, even to US. The only problem is the price of some of the seeds (OUCH! but often worth it) and deciding what to order.
This is an amazing seed source. We've ordered from them several times. Shipping out of the UK to us here in California was very quick, the orders have always been correct. I just wish they'd provide germination information particularly with seed that is uncommon. Even so, we'll always go back to Chiltern's for seed.
I love Chiltern's, and wait for their catalog as for no other. There are no illustrations, no zone information and rarely any culture instructions, but the selection is unbelievable and the descriptions are so detailed as to be much more valuable than the garish pictures some catalogs include. They don't have a U.S. subsidiary, so orders are placed with and shipped directly from their U.K. headquarters. Even so, their shipping turnaround is easily among the quickest in the industry. They're rarely out of stock on anything, but if they are, they compensate by shipping ALL your alternative selections.
I must say that this is the best seed company I have ever dealt with. The only problem that everything is so wonderfully exotic sounding that I never managed to plant everything I order. I also adore the droll English wit that is evidenced in the catalog descriptions.
I ordered from their catalog this year for the first time, in early summer, using a credit card, and had no problems with the purchase or shipment. I had great germination rates with balloon flower ('Sentimental Blue') and Anemone sylvestris seeds, decent germination of a coral bells cultivar, and no luck with a few others. Will probably order some perennial seeds again this winter, for spring planting. The catalog is a treat in itself.
I ordered from them via e-mail year before last. As I was going to be visiting relatives in England, I had the seeds sent there. They were sent shortly after I ordered, and the order was correct. I was very satisfied. I did hear from a garden forum that I participated in then that several folks successfully ordered for US delivery. Their catalogue is a wonder, and worth ordering even if you don't wish to deal with trans-Atlantic ordering, just for the plant information it contains.
The most comprehensive listing of seeds I've seen; you need to know the Latin names, but the catalog is huge and a joy to read. You'll definitely find something you've never heard of or planted before (this year it was Stylomecon for me). The seeds arrive quickly, within ten days, which I think is remarkable for a European catalog. Try it, it's great!