Posted on 34 Comments

Seed Giveaway Wrap-up

Papaver Lauren's Grape; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
The winner: ‘Lauren’s Grape’ poppy (Papaver)!

Thanks to all for the overwhelming response to this year’s seed-sharing spree. The offer is now closed and the seeds are divided up: 1233 packets on their way to 147 seed-crazy gardeners in 6 countries. It was terrific to see so many familiar names among the participants and a joy to meet others for the first time. As of late last night (Monday, November 30), I’ve sent emails to everyone whose seeds have already been mailed. A few SASEs have not yet arrived:

  • Alice S.
  • Danita.
  • Diane V. W.
  • Gretchen G.
  • Mary M.
  • Shannon R.
  • Vicki M.

If you requested seeds and didn’t get an email from me with the mailing information, please leave a comment here and then check back for my response. If you did get the mailing info, it would be super if you could send out the SASE (or stamps) by December 4. I’m really looking forward to getting the seed stuff put away and reclaiming my office.

Callirhoe involucrata with Orignaum vulgare Aureum; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Winecups (Callirhoe involucrata) with golden oregano (Origanum vulgare ‘Aureum’)

Overall, interest was pretty evenly spread among the various kinds of seeds. Natives were particularly popular–especially winecups (Callirhoe involucrata) and the four clematis species–but  even folks who selected mostly natives were still tempted by other seeds.

Agastache foeniculum Golden Jubilee with Dianthus Princess Scarlet; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
‘Golden Jubilee’ anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) with ‘Princess Scarlet’ dianthus (Dianthus)

As you saw at the top of this post, the most popular seed this year was ‘Lauren’s Grape’ poppy (Papaver), with 26 requests. Tied for second place, with 23 requests each, were ‘Golden Jubilee’ anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) and ‘Mega Punk’ spike celosia (Celosia spicata).

Celosia spicata Mega Punk with Hemerocallis Nonas Garnet and Helenium; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
‘Mega Punk’ spike celosia (Celosia spicata) with ‘Mardi Gras’ helenium (Helenium), ‘Nona’s Garnet’ daylily (Hemerocallis), and malevolence (Solanum atropurpureum)

Other popular picks were ‘All Gold’ lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), golden lace (Patrinia scabiosifolia), and Sanguisorba armena, all with 20 requests, and black-leaved cotton (Gossypium herbaceum ‘Nigrum’) and purple Japanese burnet (Sanguisorba tenuifolia ‘Purpurea’), both with 19 requests.

Melissa officinalis All Gold under Syneilesis aconitifolia; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
‘All Gold’ lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) with shredded umbrella plant (Syneilesis aconitifolia)

The least popular–with no requests at all– were bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa), eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana), Job’s tears (Coix lacryma-jobi), and variegated self-heal (Prunella vulgaris ‘Variegata’). I was a little surprised that the last one was overlooked, even by folks who normally zero in on weird weeds or anything variegated, but no matter: I’ve scattered the seeds back in my garden to enjoy the eye-catching leaves in new spots and will work on getting some flattering photos of it next year.

Quercus macrocarpa acorn seed; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Poor, overlooked bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa); I guess not many people have room for 70-foot trees these days. Never mind; if you choose to sprout, I will find a home for you.

I found it especially interesting that so many of you were willing to try the “ex” seeds: those that will possibly or probably produce variable seedlings, such as Astrantia major ex spring yellow (which may or may not have pale yellow leaves at the start of the growing season); Dahlia ex ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ and ex ‘Dracula’ (which will likely have dark leaves and a range of flower colors); Lobelia cardinalis ex ‘New Moon Maroon’ (which may or may not have dark leaves); and Sanguisorba tenuifolia ex compact form of ‘Purpurea’ (which may or may not produce compact seedlings).

Sanguisorba tenuifolia ex compact form of 'Purpurea'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Compact form of purple Japanese burnet (Sanguisorba tenuifolia ‘Purpurea’)–a plant that appeared here at Hayefield several years ago–with orange coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida)

Thanks again to everyone who participated this year, and my best wishes for success with whichever seeds you received. One suggestion, especially for those of you who are somewhat new to seed-starting: Before tossing the packets in your seed box for sowing next spring, take a few minutes now to check your favorite germination resources, or those listed at the end of the giveaway post, to make sure that they don’t want to be stored in the refrigerator or sown sooner, either indoors or outside. Good luck to all!

Astrantia major with spring-yellow foliage; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Masterwort (Astrantia major) with yellow foliage in spring: a seedling from  ‘Sunningdale Variegated’ that appeared here a number of years ago
Posted on 34 Comments

34 thoughts on “Seed Giveaway Wrap-up

  1. My seeds came today, Nan (well, I guess that’s actually yesterday now….it’s 1 a.m., I notice), and I’m so looking forward to starting them. Thanks again! This recap is interesting. Happy Holidays to you!

    I appreciate you letting me know, Patty, and the same good wishes to you!

  2. I almost did the Burr Oak despite being surrounded by forest but at the last minute I decided to pretend to abide by my Husbands edict that no other tree shall be planted under 6′ and not until all garden islands are connected. Some rubbish about how I’ve taken a 2 hour mowing job and made it into a 2 person all day event, lol! Have a great winter rest and thank you again for your generosity and patience!

    So, he’s actually given you carte blanche to expand all of your beds? That doesn’t sound too bad. See what he has to say when there are only narrow grass paths left to mow!

  3. I was overjoyed to receive my seeds in the mail yesterday. Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful bounty. I look forward to seeing some of them growing in my garden. Enjoyed seeing how many others requested seeds and just what they requested.

    Great to hear that they’re in their new home, Shirley. Have fun!

  4. Just got mine in the mail, too. I’m so excited. Thanks for your generosity!

    Seeds are much more interesting than a bunch of holiday catalogs, aren’t they? Enjoy!

  5. I am eagerly anticipating the arrival of my seeds, with Wintersowing in mind and, in the spirit of your generosity, I promise to ‘go forth and share the bounty…..’…lol..

    We’ll hope for a safe and speedy arrival!

  6. Nan-

    I received my seeds after Thanksgiving !!! Thanks a bunch. Can’t wait to do some planting this Spring and maybe some wintersowing as well.

    Heather Schlerf

    You’re very welcome. I’m doing a bunch of sowing myself over the next few days.

  7. Thank you Nan! May your winter be restful and full of plans for next season! Susan

    Thank you, Susan; you too!

  8. Hi Nan! I received mine last Friday and opened the small envelop like a Christmas gift! Thank you very much again for spreading these wonderful plants among us. I just browsed Rob’s plants site and I found it very useful. I wish you a great December full of joy and success in your wintersowing! Take care.

    Good to hear! Yes, Rob’s site is very helpful: both the general seed-starting page and the specific plant entries. I find his information valuable because he provides first-hand results, not recycled info from other sources.

  9. You’ve started a revolution Nan!
    Looking forward to trying out the bountiful seeds from your garden! Thanks again!
    Julia Hofley

    I think everyone who takes the time to grow something from seed does their part in making the world a better place. Happy sowing, Julia!

  10. Hi Nan –

    I think you have earned a Gold Medal in the Singles Seed Sharing event of horticultural Olympics! I’m still suffering from self-imposed seed-ordering withdrawal and looking forward to another chance. Applauding your generosity from arm’s length.


    Hah! Thanks for that, Tiiu. Best wishes to you and your garden for 2016.

  11. Thank you for the seeds. i can’t wait to plant. Do you think they would do well with winter sowing? Also, your garden is so beautiful. Could you tell us what you add to your soil.

    Hi Cheryl. All of the seeds have different needs, so I can’t give you a simple answer. You should be able to find the info you need in the resources I linked to, or in a Google search.

    I don’t do much to “improve” the soil here, because I’d rather the perennials grow more slowly than be floppy and need staking. If I move or divide an established clump, though, I’ll often mix some alpaca manure into that spot before replanting.

  12. Thanks Nan! So fun to get your seeds. I have spent hours on the internet looking up a lot of your seeds. Also loved the fern postage stamps. Did not realize that the postoffice had these. Appreciate your generosity!

    That’s one of my favorite parts of acquiring seeds: the fun of hunting down more information about sowing and growing them. Yes, those fern stamps are pretty, aren’t they? I’ve certainly gotten to see a variety of stamps in the past two weeks!

  13. Hi Nan! I sent in an email with some seed requests but I don’t believe I got an email with address info back. This may be my own fault as I goofed on spelling your email the first time though I thought I had suceeded the second time. Thank you so much for your generosity-with your seeds, your time, and your knowledge.

    I just sent you an email, Megan. So sorry I didn’t get your list! If you didn’t get my email, please leave me another note here with your list and mailing information as soon as possible; I will make sure that it is not made visible to everyone.

    Update: Your seeds are on their way on 12/2!

  14. Your act of kindness and sharing is such a wonderful statement about those that garden…I am going to see if I can share your tradition next fall by sending out seeds from my garden.

    Thank you, Charlie. It’s a great experience, and a wonderful way to make new friends!

  15. Hi Nan,
    Enjoyed the recap! I mailed postage to you on the 17th, and haven’t received seeds or notification that they were sent and am not listed above. Does this just mean you haven’t processed my request yet? Or should I re-send the postage?

    Thank you again for undertaking such a big project! I’m really looking forward to see what I’m able to grow ; )

    I did get your postage, Ann, and your seeds are on their way. They should be there by the end of this week; if not, let me know!

  16. Hi Nan Very happily received the seeds today and am looking forward to their show. I’m amazed by your good work and wonderful photography. Take a rest now and happy holiday to you. Sandy B.

    That was quick! But then, they didn’t have very far to go. Think spring!

  17. Nan, thank you again. For those of us who got clematis seeds… here’s a link.
    Looks like the time to sow is now, and it will be awhile before they germinate…

    Thanks for sharing the link, Carol. They definitely take patience, but they are worth the wait. I know it’s possible to germinate them, since that’s how I got the plants these seeds came from!

  18. I was so excited to receive the seeds, and now I’m having fun deciding how/when to sow them. Thank you again! I’m amazed at how organized you are, on top of your generosity! If the seeds succeed, I’ll do my best to get some of the next generation of seeds to other gardeners, to continue the good deed.

    Trying to keep this all organized was harder than any of the seed stuff! I’m really happy to hear that your packets arrived safely. I too am currently sorting through my seed box and separating everything into “sow now, “sow indoors in spring,” and “direct sow.” The piles of little packets make me feel very rich!

  19. What beautiful photos of the poppy and the shredded umbrella! Thanks again for the seeds and thanks for the update, I love hearing what your “best sellers” were and I also kind of feel bad for the acorns. Shame on me for not trying a few out in the no-man’s land behind my yard.
    and look at you thanking people for participating after all the work you’ve done to make this happen. You are such a generous person.
    All the best!

    And to you, Frank. I’m always intrigued to find out what other folks think is worth trying, and I’m glad you were too.

  20. Can’t believe I missed it! Ugh! Next year I will send my list off right away. Thanks for doing this, it is such a special project that sows so much joy. Enjoy the holidays. J.

    Sorry about that, Joan. I put reminders in the last couple posts but I guess some folks missed them. I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to do this again next year, but you may want to subscribe to make sure you don’t miss future posts in case I can.

  21. Nan, seeds arrived, safe and sound. Thank you again for sharing! Happy Holidays to you and yours. Looking forward to the 2016 growing season.

    Thanks for letting me know, Ginny!

  22. Dear Miss Nan, Thank you for the seeds. They arrived safely. I will keep you posted as to the results. Hope you are enjoying this prolonged late autumn weather. best wishes & happy holidays, Liz

    Thanks for the update, Liz! I’m definitely making the most of our relatively mild weather to get some garden projects done. I wish you a successful growing season in 2016!

  23. Nan, Such a kind and noble spirit you are. My seeds arrived in this mornings mail, and I am overjoyed with your largesse. Now, on to the germination challenges. Thanks truly from the depth of my being. I’m looking forward to many wonderful plants. John

    I’m so pleased that they arrived, John. Have fun!

  24. Oops! So sorry, am on my way into town right now to mail the SASE.

    No problem, Nell; your seeds are ready whenever it arrives.

  25. Thanks for the seeds, Nan, such a generous thing to do. I have a New Jersey tea plant I grew from your seeds, and enjoyed the red Petunia exserta flowers and colorful marigolds as well, from last year.

    Thanks for the arrival report. I hope this batch does as well for you!

  26. WooHoo! I got my seeds today!…from the Lovely Lady in Pa!
    They will be very happy here…I’m quite busy in my mind already….lol.
    Again…..Many Thanks, you shall be rewarded many times over.


    That was pretty quick. May they grace their loving new home!

  27. Thanks for my seeds!! My husband rolled his eyes when he handed me the envelope. I can’t blame him though, I just recently informed him that the mixed border along the driveway will need another 6 foot of expansion to accommodate all the new stuff I plan to put in next year!

    Oh dear. But really, that just means less mowing in the long run, right? Have fun planting!

  28. Nan, I think I saw mention somewhere of you having an Etsy Shop for seed sales….are you still doing that? I couldn’t find it, if so….could you provide a link to that, please. Thank you…

    I hope to have some news on that front soon, Sherry–for my next post, if I’m lucky!

  29. Good to know…..thanks.

  30. Dear : Nan , first of all thank you for creating this web site , second your gardens are one of the most beutifull I’ve seen , I see the love in them . I stumbled appon your website by accident looking for ( callirhoe involucrata ) seeds but from the perfect plant like the one you have in the picture . I don’t know if it’s too late to get some of those seeds but if you do or even don’t please email me . Or maybe even someone else has some left . And one more thing I got these seeds from this plant that I haven’t been able to identify , can you help me with that as well ? Thank you Aldrin .p
    Ohh if someone has any of this seeds to spare email me,

    Welcome, Aldrin! I just sent you an email about the seeds.

  31. Nancy…I need your help if possible…I am searching for the seeds for…Ocimum citriodorum ‘Pesto Perpetuo’…but i am unable to locate a source…do you know of a vendor that may help…Kathleen…

    Hi Kathleen. I’m afraid you won’t ever find seeds of ‘Pesto Perpetuo’. It’s my understanding that it does not bloom, and indeed, I’ve never seen it flower here. Apparently the plant that this selection sported from is also non-flowering.

  32. Hi Nan, my seeds arrived safely a day or two ago, and I’m all set now to do my research– but I have to thank you first. Your generosity with your seeds and especially with your time …well, it’s just a beautiful thing…unheard of these days. Not only will your seeds make the world a better place, but maybe just as important– so will your kindness, your personal attention to each gardener who responded. My fervent wish for the coming year is that each of us lucky enough to be involved will pass on the love. Thank you!

    Aw, Steff; thanks for that. I’ve received so much kindness in return–not to mention unexpected gifts of amazing seeds!–that I can hardly take credit for being generous in the first place. I don’t get out much, so it’s been a real treat for me to have this opportunity for personal contact with so many gardeners all over the world.

  33. Seeds have landed! Now determined to be worthy of this generous, thoughtful gift. May everything in your garden flourish. Thanks again.

    That’s good to hear, Nell. I was thinking the same of the many amazing seed gifts I’ve received recently!

  34. Nan,
    Happy Holidays to you and the boys. Thank you for your generous gift of seeds. My plant rooms are bursting but happily I am making room for my seed starting. Hope you enjoy the hyacinth bean seeds.

    Thanks, Sandy; all the best to you too!

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