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.

Scrapbooking Retreat: A Page from the Garden

Storybook Creator Garden Page

Twice a year I attend a weekend retreat not far from Apple headquarters, where I pursue my love of scrap-booking. Tucked into a cozy conference room with 16 like-minded, creative, and uniquely wonderful women, I pursue my craft. Pam and Staci, the Creative Memories consultants who put together this retreat, take care of all our basic needs: meals, snacks and caffeinated beverages. This is the first year I’ve left my clever tools and colorful papers at home so I could dedicate my energies to learning Storybook Creator 4.0, the latest in digital scrap-booking from CM.

I wish I could say it was all smooth sailing, but like most endeavors involving a computer, I did my share of hand wringing along the way. Of course the weekend isn’t just about crafting. Like a modern-day quilting bee, the women in Meeting Room “A” laugh and share stories of love and courage, strength and loss and the inevitable changes of life. I’ve learned Pixels2Pages and the spirit of camaraderie, the intricacies of 4.0 and the importance of a softly closed door. I marvel at the stereotype of the “weaker sex” as I’ve shared meals and space with this powerhouse group of “croppers,” a sharing, caring group of women who’ve got my back.

What does all this have to do with gardening? Just this: on the darkest of days, my life blooms with sisterhood. With gratitude to the female posse that helps me grow.