Monday, February 21, 2011

Seed stash

 I've begun ruminating over what seeds to start for the spring. What should I start indoors? What will I finally seed outdoors this year? Do I still have those scarlet runner bean seeds I meant to grow last year? Upon realizing my stash was not in the coat closet as I believed,  I eventually found my stash in its plastic bag under the desk in the office. You can tell I am an obsessive plantaholic in this regard. 

Aha, seeds galore.

I am not one prone to boasting but I am sure that some of these seeds are true antiques. Take for instance the two packets of cleome, carefully picked from some beautiful plants in Niagara on the Lake, Ontario. I believe that was 1988.

And of course the packet of purple columbine has to be circa 1991. 

You may notice that some packets have been opened. I realize this devalues them but I actually wanted to plant them and have beautiful flowers at some time or another. I think I must have gone a little batty. 
I did steal some seeds from a neighborhood median street planting two years ago. I had been eying them for weeks waiting for the seeds to mature. They were some kind of heliopsis, about seven feet tall or more, with sunny yellow flowers. The right day came and I made my move. I could not resist, but my walking companion was somewhat taken aghast and kept looking over her shoulder until we turned off that street.

I am planting some veggies this year. I was neglectful last year and did not have a veggie garden, and rued my shortsightedness and lack of motivation all summer long. It was too easy. I planted seeds in rows, watered the bare earth for a week or two (there were times I felt ridiculous watering the bare earth - if someone asked what could I say?) and then presto veggies came up.
I don't know why it is not the same with flowers. Too hard? Maybe. There is all that scarification and stratification needed, especially if you are a native plant person like me. I'm lazier than that. 
I think I'll leave that mind searching question alone, since I'd rather concentrate on building my antique seed collection.


  1. Hi Patty, I was chuckling along as I read your story, maybe because I could identify with the notion of an antique seed collection. I especially enjoyed the seed stealing confession in your story. So funny! You know you are plant crazy when you start finding such resourceful ways of adding to your seed drawer collection!

  2. Patty you had me chuckling too! Last fall I had my eye on some zinnias that I had been waiting to go to seed. The day I planned to grab some, the landscapers were pulling the plants up...I ran out and in my broken spanish tried to explain that I wanted the plants. Talk about someone thinking you're batty!! I loved your story. Happy seed collecting to you!

  3. Thank you Jennifer and Cat. I hoped someone would find my seed collecting habit funny.

  4. I am waiting for some flower that I like in my neighbourhood to dry so I can steal them some before they are gone into the greenbin. I am chuckling too when I read your post to what extend a flower lover will go too. I hope you have some vegetable growing in your garden.

  5. Ah, what a fun name - antique seeds. And oh, that reminds me that I have some antique seeds with me too. Yeah, I'm also a seed collector.

  6. 1988?!! Anything older than that in your antique seed collection? I don't have a seed collection at all. Does this make me half a gardener?

    I enjoyed reading the post as well as the comments. Seed stealing? :-D

  7. LOL I have some seeds too old to plant,too, but have kept the packets around for decoration. I like to collect things, too.

  8. Oh, and I don't remember where I put the seeds I "harvested" from a plant on the corner of a busy street that I've admired over the years. Well, maybe I'll stop by and ask for a small division in exchange for something from our yard.

    (My word ID is, "mercy". I like that word.