Art of the Heirloom - Original Designs for Seed Packets

Art of the Heirloom – Original Designs for Seed Packets

Do you ever wonder who actually sits down and designs things like seed packets? How did they get the job? What a charming assignment it would be, and clearly is to those who do it.

Hints of spring have us all thinking of our gardens about now. In my case thinking is as far as I’ve gotten…

Meanwhile, do you ever wonder who actually sits down and designs things like seed packets? What a charming assignment it would be, and clearly is to those who do it. Until March 8 the Horticultural Society of New York is exhibiting Art of the Heirloom: Cultural Seed Savers the original art of some 26 seed packet designs courtesy of the Hudson Valley Seed Library, which is a whole very cool thing in itself. Worth a gander if you’re in the ‘hood, or here. And see bottom of post for an important update as of 3 March.

Okay the seeds of art… Teddy Bears sunflowers have round fluffy faces. You may have put that together on your own if you didn’t already know it.

TEDDY BEAR SUNFLOWER by Kahn & Selesnick
TEDDY BEAR SUNFLOWER by Kahn & Selesnick

The Hort will also have the seeds for sale. Now is the time.

Echinacea is a pretty pink daisy-like flower that also helps prevent colds — in pill form. Do not eat the flower itself. I don’t think. But maybe you could? Someone?

Echinacea by Gabe Brown
Echinacea by Gabe Brown

The Panther Edamame seems to have been in a sort of William Morris mood.

PANTHER EDAMAME by Jessica Pollak
PANTHER EDAMAME by Jessica Pollak

The implication here is that butternut squash is for cat lovers.

No comment.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH by Lora Shelly
BUTTERNUT SQUASH by Lora Shelly

This guy is starting out with designing seed packets but but will clearly move on to surf boards and Hawaiian shirts in no time.

COCOZELLE-ZUCCHINI by Will Sweeney
COCOZELLE-ZUCCHINI by Will Sweeney

I’m not sure what constitutes a “Champion Collard,” but I would go with it, even into the Matrix.

CHAMPION COLLARDS by Jeff Carmagna
CHAMPION COLLARDS by Jeff Carmagna

By the way do you know about Margaret Roach’s A Way to Garden blog? It’s great. Even if you don’t know a collard from a catfish, you’ll like it, and learn. [UPDATE on March 4: See Margaret’s response in the comments – and also see her post that includes links to her piece in the March 3 New York Times about buying seeds and info on a lecture by Hudson Valley Seed’s Ken Greene.]

I don’t know how I came up with “a collard from a catfish.”

And while we’re on the “C’s”, chamomile has a lively color combination. Would be fun for a summery room.

Chamomile by Sarah Snow
Chamomile by Sarah Snow

The Hort is at 147 West 38th Street, 13th floor, 212-797-0915, and admission is free! Open Monday – Friday.

8 Comments

  1. Great 20th century artists have been the influence for so many commercial endeavors. You can see it in almost everything, from highly sophisticated to outrageous and dumb. The seed packets are petite and lovely. LOVE packaging.

  2. Frances, thanks for this lovely post. I am so glad I read all the way to the bottom to discover your mention of Margaret Roach’s blog. I just put down her “The Backyard Parables” not 5 minutes ago — it is so marvelous! Can’t wait to check the blog out.

  3. I do know a collard from a catfish, you are correct! (And you made me laugh.) Hudson Valley co-founder Ken Greene is coming to my side of the river to lecture March 23, by the way. http://seedtalk.eventbrite.com

    • Thank you Margaret – a pleasure to hear from you! Thanks for the link to info on Ken Greene’s talk, and I am going to update my post to include the links to your NYT piece yesterday.

  4. Oh, I loved this post, all the pretty colors! I think you make a tea from the dried echinacea blooms, hang a bunch upside down, then snip the dried flower petals into a little tea bag and into the teapot! Love chamomile tea, it was my grandfather’s cure for everything from a tummyache to a broken heart. Loved the butternut squash/kitty kitchen, so cozy!

  5. Gigi Maloney

    The packet picture by Lora Skelly reninds me of my daughter Meghan when around that age. I emailed her the picture and we laughed becasue the little girl has the same hair,long forearms and ankles which my daughr=ter inherited from me complains because she got my “kankles”. She now has three kitties that look exactly like those and follow her around and love being in the kitchen. Exhibits like this make me miss NYC more and more. Thank you for posting this joy. You find the neatest things.

    • Gigi what a delightful and lovely story — kankles, kitties and all! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Blessings, Frances

  6. You are the best!

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