My early spring to-plant list always includes pumpkins. A garden without pumpkins must be like committing spring planting heresy. It’s just not right. And of course they have to be accompanied by loads of other squashes.
Lupines are a hardy bunch from seed to flower. Like an independent teenager, they tend to strike out on their own, volunteering in places of their own choosing. (Places that tend to be inhospitable and far from their initial starting point.) Their seeds must be some of the most beautiful, I think in part because of what is waiting inside, the beginnings of eye-catching but humble flowers and foliage.
Pre-treat the seeds with a bit of roughing up.
I think I could convince nearly any child to barter and trade using scarlet runner beans as currency. I know my brother could have swindled me out of my allowance by offering these beans as trade. Sunflower seeds might have been the only other seed to compete with them.
Sunflower seeds, sunflower sprouts, sunflowers. Perfect by design. Simple.
I sometimes think seeds are taken for granted, like these chard seeds for instance. I’ve planted plenty of chard in my life but it wasn’t until I mixed them up with all sorts of other seeds that I was suddenly struck by them. I was teaching in a school garden and planned to introduce seeds and plant life cycles to the children with a seed sorting activity. I took several different varieties of expired seed packets, emptied and mixed them in a mason jar for the coming lesson. When I spread handfuls out in front of the kids in little, mosaic piles on top of black construction paper the students quickly separated the larger beans and corn. Then, all of a sudden here was this seed – a chard seed. It is so prehistoric looking compared to the others. Like the vertebra of a long lost creature.
And, finally, prehistoric #2 – my beloved calendula. Gotta have it.