Saturday, 26 June 2010

Le Paysan: flower and vegetable seeds, Saintes

Back to Saintes for a brand well known to several generations of gardeners across France.
The story began in 1854 when André Blain founded Les Docks de l'Herboristerie (The Herbalist's Warehouse) to produce and market seeds. Originally these were sold in bulk but shortly afterwards a new company, Le Paysan, was created to sell seeds in sealed paper bags to amateur gardeners. The two companies remained closely connected, with Le Paysan purchasing its vegetable and flower seeds from Les Docks de l'Herboristerie, until the heirs of André Blain brought them together in 1949 to create the Société de Production Grainière. The brand Le Paysan was kept: by then it had become a leading suplier of quality seeds in France and was increasing its presence abroad. Around 180,000 bags of seeds were dispatched every day. These were sold not only in specialized shops and stalls at markets and fairs but also by mail order. I remember my grand-pa in Saintes used to have a catalogue from Le Paysan, even if he always bought his seeds in a shop or at the monthly fair.
Le Paysan's seeds and now bulbs are still widely planted today by anyone with a plot of land.

Even if the first line is hidden by the billboard, it can be guessed as it used to be one of Le Paysan's catch phrases.

Célèbres graines en sachets [The Famous Seeds in Bags]
Le Paysan
Fleurs Légumes [Flowers Vegetables]

There used to be another painted sign on this wall but only a few letters appear between 'Fleurs' and 'Légumes'.

Location: Rue Gautier, Saintes, Charente-Maritime / Picture taken on: 08/06/2010

No comments: