Sunday, September 5, 2010

Seed Collecting

Although I very much enjoy gardening, and spend a lot of time planning garden schemes and projects, I have a pretty brown thumb. It may be due, in part, to my notoriously corner-cutting and penny-pinching tendencies, but I’ll admit there really is something missing from me that awesome gardeners seem to just have.

In the past most things I’ve planted have tended to dry up and die, or get water logged, rot and then die, just get over run with weeds or even become over run themselves, becoming a rampant mess indistinguishable from weeds.

So maybe there’s no one problem I can put my finger on and then fix, except to pay closer attention and learn how to garden better with experience.

Even with such a high rate of gardening failure, I still reap the meditative benefits gardening awards, and I still try, year after year, loyal to my un-sprouted seeds each season.

This year I did so well most of my ladies made it through an entire growing season, and lo-and-behold, as they wilted and dried (at a natural age) I participated in the joy of seed harvesting for the first time.

I was very excited to realize that I was eliminating a huge obstacle I run into each year: "seeding fever" with an empty bank account.

Next year I will already have my labeled packets (free!) ready whenever I am.

I collected the seeds carefully into little yellow coin envelopes, being careful to label as I went along.

My adventure began with the hollyhocks, which have the most amazing seed pods, ingeniously designed and packaged [see left].

The Foxglove also had pods but the minuscule seeds were like grains of fine sand, which my boys loved to try to capture in the envelopes.

The nasturtium produced little double nodules which I plucked and then let dry inside, before packing.

The geranium were also fun to collect, as you pinch the dried flower and pull gently, pulling out fifty or so needle shaped seeds at a time.

While researching the seed collection process I was distracted for days by vintage seed packet art, and decided my little yellow envelopes, although cute, weren’t quite as fancy as they could be. I manipulated a vintage greeting card featuring nasturtiums, and designed a little packet you can print, snip and double stick. This led me to the next vintage label project (see next entry).

You can see more vintage seed art here.


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