Monday, October 10, 2011

Seed fantasy vs. seed reality

For Mother's day this year my girls got me a whole bunch of flower seed. They know me well. Look at this beautiful package. The graphic design is fantastic. I can certainly see why they found it appealing. Doesn't it seem like you can scatter this seed while twirling around in a long, flouncy sun dress and a floppy hat? Then by nature's mysterious magic, a beautiful flower garden will appear.

Carefully following step 1 I "removed all weeds". This section went from this,

to this. 

And this section went from this,

to this. It took all 3 days of my 3 day weekend.

On the front slope I raked the soil,

then scattered the seed and raked it in. This actually was fun and I confess that I did twirl around just a little, even though I was wearing dirty shorts and my husband's old baseball cap.

There was only enough seed for the shorter section, so I blended up a batch of homegrown seeds for the longer section.

The packaging isn't quite so appealing, but the seed is just as good.

Everything's planted now and the sprinklers will keep the soil moist until the little seeds sprout in the warm Fall weather. I'm resting my weary back and thinking things over. I've been looking at this lovely package of seeds for months now and something seemed off about it. I've realized the problem is this: there are no insects whatsoever on the label. Not a ladybug, not a swallowtail, not even a fuzzy bumble bee. Where are these seeds supposed to have come from anyway, a factory?  This is a huge missed opportunity to educate largely ignorant consumers about their important place in nature. We who are blogging about our gardens are mostly preaching to the choir, but Renee's Garden has the potential of reaching millions of uninformed people.

For God's sake, even my fancy china is covered in bugs! C'mon Renee, without insects you would have no seed to sell. If you change this label and add even a single happy little ladybug, I promise you I'll buy a dozen cans of your seed and give them away for Christmas.


  1. What a good idea. Even insects which people don't like can look good if presented well - and almost everyone likes pretty ones like butterflies (even if we are inconsistently ambivalent about caterpillars).

  2. Now there's a good idea! Different life stages of the insects too.If only it were possible to make a ladybug larva look cute.

  3. Hi Katie. Sorry I haven't been over. Things will be busy for a while yet, probably months. (:

    Saw your comment since I am home today and I am making sure that I add you on my blog roll so I won't miss as much. Bare with me while I get all of this other stuff done.

    Your garden area is going to look wonderful. Your daughters do know you well. Will anxiously await photos next year.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  4. Hi Cher!
    That's okay. I figured something was up when I didn't see your name pop right up in my e mail. Hope you get through it and back to your gardening real soon. Thanks for making time for me today!

  5. It will look fab when all the flowers come. I planted a wildflower border at our local school this year and it turned out fab. The children love it...and so do I.

  6. Hi Bridget!
    Thank you for the encouragement! It's surprising to have parallel things going on here in USA and in Ireland; the Sierra Nevada and your green island have so little in common, yet you and I have so very much in common. Please let me know if you need any seed assistance with your children's flower projects. Working with our children is more important than anything else could ever be.

  7. So true! Enjoying the insect life is one of the best parts of my garden... It makes me sad when I hear people squeal about being afraid of spiders or snakes in their plantings. In my book, they're missing out big time on the magic of a whole other world, right out the back door.

  8. Love to see how it turns out! I tend to throw seeds around without properly preparing my clay soil (after all, weeds seem to grow there quite well!) and then wonder why no flowers come up.

    I agree that one of the best parts of having a garden is the wildlife that comes with it! It is a great joy to feel like I am connected with the natural world around me.

  9. Hi Indie!
    My fingers are crossed. Hoping the flowers beat the weeds out this year. What is that saying about the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and hoping for a different result? I'll put some pictures up in the Spring. (Hopefully of flowers and not weeds!)

  10. Katie-- your garden is looking fantastic! Thanks for the reverie...made me cry. Your sis.

  11. You are welcome, Sis. You are long overdue for a visit.


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