garden gift idea: sowing seeds full of smiles


WEDNESDAY’S SNOW IS TURNING MY HILLY WORLD TO ICE; the day was so short as to be unforgivable; the forecast calls for 11 degrees F tonight, the second such low in a row. No matter, though, because in my imagination, at least, I’m having grilled tomatoes with a wildly handsome red fox, thanks to Hudson Valley Seed Library’s killer seed packets, like the one above. Got anybody who could use a smile in their holiday stocking? Take a peek at a few more:

You heard me get all excited about Hudson Valley Seed Library when I met them at a lecture months back, and now there’s a whole other set of “art packs,” as they call these artist-designed creations. The four colorful rounded tabs (the blue parts on the packet above) fold behind the cover image, and the whole little origami-like thing holds a glassine envelope of heirloom seeds. You can purchase one, or a whole set of 16. Charming.

Categoriesfrom seed
  1. ConeFlower says:

    I just followed some of you links until I found March 2008 where you talked about how it’s never too early to sow spinach. You made me so happy. I planted Spinach, turnips, radished and Toy Choi bak choi (something ate most of the choi) last October. It’s all up but way too small to harvest. I couldn’t find what to do for them through the winter, but I guess the answer to that is “nothing but wait”. I am thrilled at the thought of spinach in April!!

  2. Stevie says:

    The art packs are beautiful. I feel like a kid who collects trading cards with all my seed packages. I love to go through them and plan when to plant, especially when it’s snowing. I hope that some make it into my stocking!

  3. Brenda says:

    Wow, you beat me to it! I came to this site to get some ideas for Christmas. A coworker asked me to come up with Christmas gift ideas for his wife, who loves to garden. My suggestions, and I’m looking for others, is to buy her a new wheelbarrow and fill it with gifts. I always like good quality garden clippers, gloves, hand lotion, a gift cert. to her favorite nursery, and books – always books. I would suggest “A Country Year” by Sue Hubbell. I’m looking for more suggestions from all the experts out there! Thanks!

  4. ann says:

    I ordered purple angelica seed from Chiltern Seeds
    and they have not germinated. The angelica that I started years ago self sows and grows robustly and I think that purple would do well if I can get it started. Will I have to spray those large flowerheads to get that wonderful color?
    12 below zero here, but I snuggle under that eiderdown comforter and dream of lengthening days and spring planting. These catlogs provide the cheapest inspiration
    for hope of new life at this time of year.

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Mavis..and yes, exactly! I love that the owners of Hudson Valley Seed Library commission each packet each year, and they even have an art opening to celebrate the new packets. They are truly devoted believers in heirloom seeds, to say the least. See you soon, I hope.

  5. The seed packets are wonderful. Years ago, I saved seed from my garden, silk-screened envelopes with a design that said “If you plant these, they will come…seeds for a butterfly garden” and sent them as Christmas cards. Occasionally a random recipient will still mention those cards and claim that descendants of the seeds still thrive in their gardens.

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Ricki. Glad you like. I always mean to make seed cards as you describe, but somehow…well, you know the rest of the story. :) See you soon again.

  6. Cynthia A. says:

    Thanks Margaret–I was able to click through from that link. Perhaps my browsers were cranky! Stay cozy as you look at seed catalogs.

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