Deadline for requests: 11:59 pm EST on November 25, 2013
Edit 11/24/13: Due to an overwhelming number of requests, the following seeds are no longer available: Asclepias speciosa, Euphorbia marginata, Lindera benzoin, Nicotiana (collected from “Pink Mutabilis”), Nigella damascena ‘Cramers’ Plum’, Papaver ‘Lauren’s Grape’, Pavonia missionum, Phlomis tuberosa, Ptelea trifoliata ‘Aurea’, Sanguisorba tenuifolia ‘Purpurea’, Stachys officinalis ‘Alba’, and Trachelium caeruleum ‘Black Knight’
Well, my friends, I’m delighted to once again have the opportunity to thank you for being loyal readers by sharing some of the bounty of my garden with you. I’ve been gathering, cleaning, and packing up seeds for months now, and I have over a hundred cool things for you to choose from this year. There are ornamentals and edibles; annuals, perennials, woody plants, vines, grasses, and vegetables; garden plants and meadow denizens; and exotics and U.S. natives – so, something for everyone, I think!
I have more to say about how this all works, but if I were in your place, I’d want to see the list first and read all the blah, blah, blah later. So for now, have fun going through the offerings and making your wish list. (By the way, you can click on each image to see the full-sized version of the picture.) As you will see, each offering includes a brief description. This is just the basics, though, so I encourage you to use your favorite search engine to get more in-depth information about the plants you’re interested in and how best to grow them in your particular area and growing conditions.
At this point, I can’t promise how many packets I’ll be able to send each of you, so I encourage you to ask for several things (up to around 10); that way, I’ll have options if I run out of some of your top choices. As you make your list, you may want to put a star next to the ones you want most, because I’ll ask you to list your requests in order of preference (those you want the most first). I think that’s all you need to know for the moment; now, enjoy!
Unless otherwise noted, these annuals flower from early or midsummer into fall.
|nodding heads of pink flowers in midsummer (collected from very pale pink clump); 12 to 18 inches tall; U.S. native; full sun to light shade; Zones 4 to 8|
|clusters of small, pale blue flowers in late spring, yellow/orange fall color; 3 to 4 feet tall; U.S. native; full sun to partial shade; Zones 4 to 9|
|Aquilegia ‘Heart of Gold’
(‘Heart of Gold’ columbine)
|single flowers in shades of purple, blue, pink, and white in late spring; bright yellow foliage; 12 to 18 inches tall; Zones 3 to 9 (guessing); strain named by Barbara P. of Mr. McGregor’s Daughter|
|clusters of starry, pale pink flowers in early to midsummer; broad, gray-green leaves; 18 to 36 inches tall; spreads freely by rhizomes; U.S. native; full sun; Zones 3 to 9|
|starry yellow flowers on 3- to 4-foot-tall stems in late spring to early summer; clumps of grassy, blue-green leaves to about 1 foot tall; full sun to light shade; Zones 6 to 9|
|slender spikes of small, pale yellowish orange flowers in early to midsummer; 3 to 4 feet tall; full sun to partial shade; Zones 4 to 9|
|soft yellow bells in late spring to early summer; 2 to 3 feet tall; partial shade; Zones 3 to 8|
|tiny but abundant, white daisies that age to pink bloom from early summer well into fall; 6 to 12 inches tall; full sun to light shade; may self-sow; annual here (hardy in Zones 7 to 10)|
(Miss Willmott’s ghost)
|silvery gray flowers in summer; 3 to 4 feet tall; full sun; dies after flowering but will self-sow; Zones 5 to 9|
|ball-shaped clusters of white flowers in mid- to late summer; spiky grayish green leaves; 4 to 5 feet tall; U.S. native; full sun; Zones 3 to 8|
|airy heads of white flowers from late summer into fall; very slender leaves; 2 to 3 feet tall; U.S. native; full sun; Zones 4 to 8; spreads by rhizomes|
|small bronzy brown globes above a tiny ruff of yellow petals from midsummer into fall; 2 to 3 feet tall; U.S. native; full sun; Zones 6 to 9|
|soft pink, single flowers in late summer; yellow fall color; 4 to 6 feet tall; U.S. native; full sun; likes moist soil; Zones 4 to 9|
(round-headed bush clover)
|rounded clusters of small, creamy white flowers in mid- to late summer; seedheads last through winter; 3 to 5 feet tall; U.S. native; full sun to light shade; Zones 4 to 8
|white flowers from early or midsummer to late summer or early fall; 3 to 4 feet tall; U.S. native; full sun; Zones 4 to 8|
|open umbels of small, bright yellow flowers in late summer to early fall; leaves turn shades of orange and red in fall; 4 to 6 feet tall; full sun to partial shade; Zones 4 to 9|
|spikes of white flowers in early summer; red to maroon fall foliage color; 2 to 4 feet tall; U.S. native (provenance Milford Township, Bucks County, PA); full sun to light shade; Zones 3 to 8|
(tuberous Jerusalem sage)
|tiered whorls of pink flowers in early summer; dry into long-lasting seedheads; 4 to 5 feet tall; full sun to light shade; Zones 4 or 5 to 10|
|Platycodon grandiflorus ‘Axminster Streaked’
(‘Axminster Streaked’ balloon flower)
|puffed-up buds open to purple-blue flowers speckled and streaked with variable amounts of white in mid- to late summer (some seedlings may be solid-colored); yellow-to-red fall color; 12 to 18 inches tall; full sun to partial shade; Zones 3 or 4 to 8|
(American ipecac, Indian physic)
|abundant, small, white flowers in early summer; lacy green leaves turn deep red in fall; U.S. native; 2 to 3 feet tall; full sun to partial shade; Zones 4 to 8|
(narrow-leaved mountain mint)
|clusters of tiny, white flowers through much of the summer; needle-like green leaves are intensely mint-scented; 2 to 3 feet tall; seems to be a less vigorous spreader than many mountain mints; U.S. native (provenance Milford Township, Bucks County, PA); full sun to partial shade; Zones 4 to 8|
|large, yellow, daisy-form flowers with elongated, dark centers in midsummer atop 5- to 6-foot-tall stems; basal clump of broad, gray-blue leaves; U.S. native; full sun; likes moist soil but adaptable; Zones 4 to 9|
|Ruta graveolens ‘Variegata’
|greenish yellow flowers mostly in early summer; blue-green leaves with irregular cream splashes; markings are most noticeable in cool weather, disappearing in summer heat; 1 to 2 feet tall; full sun; Zones 4 to 10|
|Sanguisorba tenuifolia ‘Alba’
(white Japanese burnet)
|nodding clusters of tiny white flowers in late summer atop 5- to 7-foot-tall stems; ferny green leaves turn yellow in fall; full sun to light shade; Zones 4 to 8|
|Sanguisorba tenuifolia ‘Purpurea’
(purple Japanese burnet)
|arching, reddish purple flower heads atop 5- to 7-foot-tall stems; ferny green leaves turn yellow in fall; full sun to light shade; Zones 4 to 8|
|Stachys officinalis ‘Alba’
|white flowers to about 1 foot tall in early summer; tidy clumps of deep green leaves to about 6 inches tall; full sun to partial shade; Zones 4 to 9|
|light purple-blue daisy-form flowers from late summer into fall; 3 to 5 feet tall; U.S. native; full sun to light shade; Zones 4 to 8|
|Verbascum ‘Governor George Aiken’
(‘Governor George Aiken’ mullein)
|spikes of white flowers to 6 feet tall in early to midsummer; fuzzy, silvery leaves; full sun; Zones 4 to 9 (guessing); usually biennial; from reader Alice B.|
|clustered, bright purple flowers in early fall; slender green leaves; 24 to 30 inches tall; U.S. native; full sun; Zones 4 to 9|
|slender, spiky clusters of white flowers in midsummer; long-lasting seedheads; 5 to 7 feet tall; U.S. native; full sun to light shade; prefers moist soil; Zones 3 to 8|
A note about growing grasses from seed: be aware that if you can grow a grass from seed, it can grow itself from seed. In other words, any of these have the potential to self-sow. Well, ok, the corns usually don’t, but the others can—sometimes to the point of being a problem, depending on where you live and where in your garden you’re growing them—so I suggest that you to do some research on those you think you want to try. I don’t want to discourage you from growing them; obviously, I grow them all myself and like them enough to think of sharing them!
|Amaranth ‘Hopi Red Dye’
(Amaranthus ‘Hopi Red Dye’)
|leaves, stems, and flower plumes are all deep red; young leaves are edible; mature plant is also very ornamental; can reach 6 to 7 feet tall; full sun; annual|
|ferny young leaves and bright yellow flowers are edible; full sun; annual; plants were grown from seed collected in China by botanical explorer Joseph Simcox|
|Lima bean ‘Alma’s PA Dutch Purple Burgundy’
(Phaseolus lunatus ‘Alma’s PA Dutch Purple Burgundy’)
|green pods produce deep reddish purple seeds; vining; full sun; annual|
|Mustard ‘Ruby Streaks’
(Brassica juncea ‘Ruby Streaks’)
|deeply cut, deep purple leaves; best in cool weather; full sun to light shade; annual|
|Okra ‘Bowling Red’
(Abelmoschus esculentus ‘Bowling Red’)
|hibiscus-like, pale yellow flowers; long, slender, deep red pods; full sun; annual; from Dee N. of Red Dirt Ramblings|
|Okra ‘Hill Country Red’
(Abelmoschus esculentus ‘Hill Country Red’)
|hibiscus-like, pale yellow flowers; chunky, reddish pods; full sun; annual; from Dee N. of Red Dirt Ramblings|
(Vigna unguiculata ‘Pretzel Bean’)
|cream-to-pale-purple flowers; curled, green pods that are tough but edible; probably best eaten as seeds (a.k.a. cowpea or black-eyed pea); also ornamental; vining; annual; full sun|
|Red noodle bean
(Vigna unguiculata ‘Red Noodle’)
|cream-to-pale-purple flowers; long, maroon pods are edible but even better as an ornamental; vining; annual; full sun|
|Stem lettuce [celtuce]
(Lactuca sativa var. asparagina)
|long, slender green leaves; thickened stems are also edible when peeled; annual; full sun to light shade; plants were grown from seed collected in central China by botanical explorer Joseph Simcox|
ODDS AND ENDS
Last, a bunch of things that ended up in the miscellaneous category for a variety of reasons: they may be very limited in quantity (as in 5 packets or less), be very slow to germinate, produce unpredictable offspring, have questionable IDs, or just be plain weird.
Whew! Good for you to make it this far. I hope you had as much fun making your choices as I did gathering them. Now, here are the details on how this works.
How much do the seeds cost?
I’m not asking for any payment or anything in trade for these seeds. My goal in doing this is simply to get cool seeds into the grubby hands of other gardeners who will sow, grow, and appreciate them. I enjoy all of these plants, but some are extra special to me because they’ve come from readers and from other bloggers; I’ve indicated these pass-along seeds in the descriptions above. If you have luck with the seeds I send you, it would make me very happy if you’d be willing to collect seeds from the plants and then pass them on your gardening friends. Quite a few of them are very hard to find or not commercially available at this time, so they need to be shared as widely as possible.
I’d also greatly appreciate getting comments or emails about how the seeds worked out for you. Obviously, I’d like to hear that they did well, but it’s also very useful to know if you didn’t have luck with them, if the plants didn’t perform well for you, or if they turned out to be different from how I described them. I do my best to make sure that I collect the seeds from the right plants, clean them well, and label them properly, but mistakes are always possible. There’s also a possibility that the plants I collected from may have crossed with other species or selections here, so the offspring might be different that either you or I expect them to be. (By the way, I’ve given provenance information on the seeds that I collected from native plants growing wild in the fields and hedgerows around here, for those of you who care about such things.)
How about postage?
Covering all the postage costs got a bit overwhelming for me last year, so I’m asking that U.S. readers send me a SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope – regular or business size). When I confirm your request, I’ll let you know how many stamps I think the SASE will need (just one for most seeds, but maybe two or three if you’re requesting bulky seeds, such as corn or beans, or if you’d like to me include extra padding).
For readers outside of the U.S., I will pay for the shipping, but I probably will have to limit the total to two or three packets to keep the cost down. It will be up to you to make sure that you are legally allowed to receive the seeds you request.
How do I send in my wish list?
Leave your list in a comment below, or send it to me in an email at nan [at] hayefield [dot] com. Make sure that you include a valid email address with your request.
Please list your seed requests in the order of preference (what you want most listed first). I encourage you to ask for whatever you’re interested in, up to around 10 things, so I have plenty of alternates if I can’t provide your first choices. Please be specific: do not request “some of everything” (I know it may be tempting), “whatever is easiest” (give the annuals or edibles a try), or “whatever is left” (judging by last year’s giveaway, there won’t be much).
I will fill requests in the order I receive them, so if there’s something you desperately want, I encourage you to get your list to me as quickly as possible. I sent out nearly 400 packets last year and have twice that amount ready to go this year, but I just never know what’s going to be popular.
I will respond to your email or comment within 48 hours to confirm that I received it, and to give you the mailing address for your SASE (or to ask for your mailing address, in the case of requests outside of the U.S.).
Please mail your SASE to me by December 1, 2013. I hope to send out all the seeds by mid-December, so you should have them by the end of the month.
Where can I find out how to germinate the seeds I get?
I’d hoped to include germination advice with my description of each of these seeds, but I simply ran out of time and energy, so I’ll leave it to you do some online research on the seeds you receive. Type the botanical and/or common name into your favorite search program along with “sow” or “germinate” and you should be able to get at least some basic tips. You can also find extensive germination databases and seed-starting information at Tom Clothier’s Garden Walk and Talk.
A while back, I wrote a post called The Science of Seed Germination, about an alternative to sowing in pots or in the garden. In there, you can find links to the online versions of Dr. Norman Deno’s seed germination research: definitely worth checking out if you want to learn more about both the basics and intricacies of growing from seed.
Well, I think that’s it! Remember, the deadline for seed requests is 11:59 pm EST on November 25, 2013.