The Hudson Valley Seed Library’s seed packs are my favorite seed packs. Each seed pack is a unique piece of art created by an artist that enters a yearly call for artists. The mediums used to create the artwork for each seed pack varies from artist to artist. As does how each artist chooses to represent the seeds inside. Sometimes they’re graphics, paintings, or illustrations that interpret of the plant’s name. A handful of seed packs from the Hudson Valley Seed Library is like holding an art exhibit in the palm of your hand.
Botanical Interests seed packs are similarly artistic. The front of each seed pack is decorated with an original botanical illustration by one of a handful of botanical illustrators contracted by the seed company to produce the artwork for the seed packs. On the surface the illustrations may all look alike but after you’ve examined a few seed packs you start to develop an eye for identifying which artist created the artwork for the seed pack.
Renee’s Garden seed packs have been decorated by botanical illustrations since Renee founded her first seed company, Shepherd's Garden Seeds. Mimi Osborne, a botanical illustrator, has designed every seed packet for Renee's Garden. Mimi's illustrations of plants, flowers and vegetables have graced the seed packets for over 25 years. Renee decided to use illustrations instead of photographs before it became stylish for modern seed companies because she believed that sometimes the stock photos could be misleading to the gardener.
The Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company has two types of seed packs. The light seed packs are usually an illustration, while the black seed packs, like the one pictured above, use photographs of the fruits or vegetables. Both seed packs are larger than standard seed packs but the black ones are my favorite because they’re so striking and not as feminine as say the art for Renee’s Garden or Botanical Interests.
Tips on Buying Seeds.
Around the holidays Renee’s usually has sale and the sale’s coupon code is posted on her online seed catalog. Botanical Interests includes a free desk calendar featuring botanical illustrations with online orders during specific dates in December. If you are buying seeds for a gardener and don’t trust your tastes to match up with those of the recipient you can give them a gift certificate to one of the companies or a membership, in the case of the Hudson Valley Seed Library, and let them choose the seeds they want to grow. If you’re on a budget save on shipping by buying Renee’s Garden, Botanical Interests and Baker Creek Seeds at finer independent garden centers near you.
There are many fine seed companies that carry heirloom seeds that you can buy from to fill stockings with during Christmas, these are just some of my favorites because their seed packs are beautiful. For a more personal touch you can gift gardeners seeds you saved from your own garden and create your own unique seed packs. What’s important in the act of giving seeds is that you’re passing on history and inspiration to a fellow gardener. Substituting candies and chocolates with seed packs in the stocking of a child can teach them the benefits of healthy eating and an appreciation of nature. Using seeds as stocking stuffers can demonstrate that you're paying attention to a gardener's interest by gifting them something they actually want and need.
Do you give seeds during the holidays? What are your favorite seeds to include in stockings?