Fresh Friday – Flower Edition (DIY Seed Packets)

I had a big patch in my new garden bed out back that I didn’t really know what all to do with. I wanted flowers, pretty and EASY flowers, which would take over the space without much effort from me. I bought a pack of Cosmos seeds because I’ve never grown them before. They’re also annuals, so I figured that if things didn’t pan out this season, I could switch it up to something new next year. Unless they become the “morning glories” of The House.

Back story: I don’t think I would ever willingly grow morning glories, unless I had a big swath of fencing that I wanted covered up, FOREVER. They are beautiful and I think they are lovely flowers. The Japanese call them Asa Gao, which translates to “morning face.” So sweet! Mom grew them all along the fencing of our tiny apartment back yard one year. They continued to run amok. When the end of the season came, we cut down the dead foliage and dragged it through the grass outside our apartment and out to the dumpster. The next year, you could see a line of morning glories growing in the grass straight from our back gate to the dumpster. It was so funny, but just a reminder of how pervasive the flowers are.

Anyway, my Cosmos turned out beautiful this year!

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They are majorly prolific. By the time I figured out that I could probably harvest the seeds to share with others, mine had probably dropped more than enough seeds to come back next year…with bells on. The seeds are super-easy to tell when to harvest. The petals fall off, the center draws together straight out from the stem and the seeds form. Once they are ready, the center pops out like a ball on top of the stem, almost like a dandelion head, but the seeds are much longer.

I grabbed a baggy and went out to pluck the heads of the ones which were ready to bring inside and sift through the chaff and seeds.

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The seeds look a bit goofy to me, but it makes them easy to identify. When we got married, sunflowers were our primary flower. I bought a bunch of different types of seeds and made packets for them out of wedding magazine pages. I had A LOT of fun putting them together, and designing a cover for them too. I thought I’d go ahead and do the same with these, but use an old nature magazine for the paper.

IMG_20140807_19310720140808_125942_1If you would like to find the template I used for my seed packets, here is the website for you:

http://www.finegardening.com/make-your-own-seed-packets

I’m pretty sure I didn’t print it out, because it was kind of a waste of paper (the packet was too big for the paper I was using). I tore out my page, folded it in half short-wise and cut along the crease. Then I used the remaining pieces as their own seed packet, so I could get two packets for each page. I freehanded cutting the tabs and used a glue stick to seal the folded edges, leaving one end still open. This makes a mostly standardized size which then gives me the dimensions for my labels. You wouldn’t have to print a full cover label like I do, but instead make just a strip label with the necessary info on it. I just like to add pictures and make it fun.

Also, we don’t have a color printer, so don’t feel like you have to print out a black and white and hastily color the picture with marker like me. haha

Here is the finished product:

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I’m not very good at growing veggies, but people at our church are and each week, at least one member is bringing in some produce from their garden to share with the rest of the congregation. These flowers are such a treat that I am glad to be able to share these with the church and other friends.

Have you ever done a seed share? What’s your favorite thing to grow in a garden?

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