Plan-Free: My Mellow-Yellow Weekend

We had a mellow-yellow, no plans weekend. I loved it. That’s not to say I didn’t do anything, but that I enjoyed doing ‘whatever.’

First up, crafting a wreath:

wreath detailI’ve had an idea bouncing around in my head for a while and wanted to give it a try. I’ve been drying a few hydrangea blooms, now faded to a soft purple-gray. The sage is winding down the season, but still has plenty of purple plumage to spare. The thought was to wrap strands of the soft sage along the edges of the wreath, punctuated with three hydrangeas and a bit of ribbon. The colors are lovely, but the implementation is all wrong. Further, the more I worked with the hydrangea, the more I damaged the brittle blooms. Stay tuned for my sad little tale later this week.

Next up, seed organizing:

Oh, how I love organizing. And seeds. And my computer.

I gave my Seed Keeper an end-of-season clean out. It’s a great place to collect and store the seeds, but after a busy spring, I’d neglected the contents. When I had finished planting, I tossed empty seed packets into the box, thinking I would later use them for record-keeping.

Seed Keeper Deluxe

Seed Keeper Deluxe

Head slap: I keep a blog. So, remembering the log part of blogging, I tossed the torn packets into the recycle bin. (At one point I thought I would save them to make cards, but muddied finger prints and torn edges helped me realize the error of my ways.)

The clean out left plenty of room for this season’s seed collection, my most methodical and organized to date.

Matching garden photos with the seeds I plan to store, I created a photo collage.  I sized the collage to fit a sheet of name badge labels, passed it through the printer and voila, an easy way to make seed packets. Using glassine envelopes on hand from last year, I included the name and the year, added the label and seeds, and filed them in my nifty Seed Keeper.

flower seed packets

Flowering annual seed packets ready to fill

flower seed labels

Photo collage for identifying seeds

squirrel on the fence

Looking for directions (sorry buddy, these seeds aren’t for you).  The peanuts are one house over.

End of the weekend, project:

I connected with Emma at Greenhouse Starter over the weekend and made plans to ship her Craft it Forward treasure.  I stayed up making a card to go with it, the perfect end to my mellow-yellow, no plans weekend.

Are you making your way through Monday or still hanging on to the weekend?

Saving Seeds

This is the first year I’ve collected seeds (other than pumpkins) from my garden. In the past I purchased seed packets at local garden centers or online without giving it much thought. Since writing about my garden every day, I have a heightened awareness that plants and flowers are more than just a sum of their parts. Hanging out in the garden with a camera in tow, helps me notice the minutiae. It’s been fun!

4 O'clock seeds

4 O’clock Seeds and Glassine Envelope

I love the way the hard, dark seeds of the 4 O’clock flower appear at the tip of the spent bloom.  They’re ready to tumble into the soil below to ensure their survival. They provide easy access for the birds as well, who can grab a seed on a fly by.  Cosmo seeds are moon-shaped and brittle, sticking out like stars at the end of the cycle. With pumpkins, of course, the seeds hide within.  If we didn’t carve them, they would eventually rot in the soil, self-seeding for the following year.

pumpkin seeds

Assorted Pumpkin Seeds

Cosmo Seeds

Cosmo Seeds

I’ve allowed plants and flowers to go to seed longer than in the past, subverting my natural urge to tidy things up.  Gardens are a messy business. I’m getting better at going with the flow.

Taking a few seeds and leaving the rest for the birds feels like the right thing to do.  When the cycle is truly complete, I can compost the remains.

Indexing Seeds

Indexing Seeds

Earlier this year I bought a system for storing seeds from The SeedKeeper.  It’s a shoebox-sized bin with alphabetical dividers and other goodies, including glassine envelopes for labeling and storing your own seeds.  It’s such a simple thing, but somehow having it at the ready in my bottom kitchen drawer, makes it easy to store and retrieve seeds. I pulled it out today and started storing and labeling the remaining pumpkin seeds.  Since I’m letting go of the seed organization on the plant, I can indulge my organizational side once I bring them indoors.

Seed Keeper Deluxe

Seed Keeper Deluxe

Are you a seed saver?  Do you trade with fellow gardeners in your community?

The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies. -Gertrude Jekyll

Seed Keeper Deluxe: Organized Seeds, Happy Gardener

Seed Keeper: Seed Sorting and Storage

My Seed Keeper Deluxe arrived by post yesterday. Is there anything sweeter than receiving a much-anticipated package on your doorstep?

I took a peek at my new kit when it arrived, but had to set everything aside until early this afternoon when I had a break in my schedule. In no time I had my box filled with seeds, alphabetized of course.Reading the face of each divider has been fun, with clever quips and tips including Rain Barrel Rush! There’s Gold In That There Water! and Vegetables – To Seed or Not to Seed on each tabbed divider

I also learned:

“Eleanor Roosevelt, inspired by War Gardens made popular during WWI started The Victory Garden. Remarkably, 20 million people planted gardens which produced up to 40% of all the vegetable produce consumed nationally.”

Wouldn’t it be nice to return to that tradition?

Lindy’s in charge of quality control

Various Features

The foam core insert keeps the dividers standing upright

Seed Keeper:  The basics

Seed Keeper Deluxe:  Pictured above

Burlap Girdle: Short on space?  Try these collapsible pots