Seedy Business

last of the annuals

Remains of the Day

It’s seedy business.

If I don’t do it though, the birds, squirrels, wind and rain will.

Gather seeds, that is.

I’m fairly new to seed-saving.  I’ve always been a seed packet junkie, often buying far more seeds than I could ever hope to plant.  When my son was much younger, he regularly talked me into buying every pumpkin variety to be had.  Santa brought additional seeds for his Christmas stocking each year.  Our seeds runneth over!

Last year I started saving my own seeds and now I’m hooked.


I planted four o’clock seeds this summer with mixed success, but collected them again for a second try.   I successfully started one plant in a pot, but thanks to ‘self-seeding’ ended up with multiple plants in the side garden.


The compost bin produced an entire crop of pumpkins so I had left over seeds to spare.  I started several plants indoors, then gave them away to friends.  Reports were positive, so I definitely plan to do this next year.


This is the best part of my seed-saving adventures.  I saved handfuls of Cosmo seeds at the end of 2012 and gave them as gifts that Christmas.  I made a tri-fold card using digital software and my own Cosmo photos, then added small seed packets inside.  A few of my friends kept the cards and seeds intact, but others planted them.  My friend Stacie sent me a photo last month of her towering Cosmos.  That was pretty cool.

Cosmos Seed Cards - Page 001

Cosmo seed card front panel

Cosmos Seed Cards - Back Panel

Cosmos Seed Cards – Back Panel

Early this spring, I  gave away pumpkin seeds to a pair of adorable three-year-old twins.  I met them walking with their dad one evening while I was working in my garden.  The girls showed genuine interest, so I went inside and got them seeds to take home and plant…and they did!  I saw the family a few months later, and dad told me the plants took root.  Good stuff.


The annual garden is going to seed and temps are finally dropping.  I knew time was of the essence.  I collected a healthy sample for next year, at the same time leaving plenty of seeds on the plants for my foraging friends.

seed gathering tray

My system: I used a portable tote and plastic cups from an Easter-egg dying project. I dropped seeds into the cups, then salvaged a bloom for easy identification later.

I’m looking forward to sorting and labeling seeds this weekend, a joyful activity for someone ‘born to organize’ like me.   I’ll share my progress next week.

seed pod

My favorite seed pod. Tiny black seeds tumbled out when I gently tapped the pod

Happy weekend!

Natural Gifts: Collecting Cosmo Seeds

The idea came to me a few weeks ago: I’ll collect Cosmo seeds to give as gifts for the holidays.

The prolific flowers are easy to grow and spectacular to behold. Cosmos grow in planters or directly in the ground, and thrive with little fuss.  It’s a cheerful gift for the middle of winter: the promise of spring blooms.  They’ve given me pleasure all summer long. I want to share that with others.

Collecting seeds is easier than I thought.  I’ve enlisted the services of my enormous pumpkin leaves. The vines have gently wrapped themselves around the base of the Cosmos, so they’re perfectly positioned for catching seeds.  What synergy.  I gently shake the seeds from the leaves into a bowl and bring them inside for safe keeping.

Cosmo Seeds

Cosmo seeds resting in the crook of a pumpkin leaf

Designing the seed packet will be fun.  I have several ideas rattling around in my head.   I might employ the use of my Creative Memories digital scrap-booking software to make postcard-sized packets.  I have several photos to use in the design as well.

I’ve enjoyed making envelopes from prior year’s wall calendars so that also has possibilities.  I use a template to trace the envelope, then fold and seal.  I’ll download planting instructions from the internet and then print them on creamy card stock.

Calender into envelope

I turned my garden calendar pages into 4 x 6 envelopes.

My little seed packets will be small gifts with big potential, given with hope and affection.

Do you enjoy giving gifts from your garden?  Perhaps you make jam preserves, dried flower bouquets or lavender sachets?  I love hearing from you and hope you’ll share in the comments, below.