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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's time to start collecting seeds

Poppy seeds are ready for collecting and so are the Lavender stalks and a myriad of other seeds.

And the best way to keep them is in little cotton bags.

I like to hand paint mine.  With acrylic paints.  Labeling helps identify the seeds. I  gather seeds from my vegetables, flowers, herbs and trees. 

More than 30 years ago I first collected Aster Seeds from Lake Maggiore, Italy.  They have been blooming in my garden and in gardens of my friends.

My Lavender is ready to pick.  Lavender Bottles take a little time to assemble but are not difficult.

This lavender bottle was made a year ago.  It still carries that lovely lavender fragrance when squeezed.

The bouquet of asters are from seeds I collected many years ago. 

Before I painted these little bags they were used for testing sand for oil content.  A left-over from my working days when I was doing mineral ownership research for major oil companies.




  1. What a life you live! I love the painted bags....gives me great ideas! The lavender bottles are so pretty,, I have never made one, but maybe with next year's harvest, I will! Being in Texas, my lavender was harvested a month ago.

  2. Beautiful bags - and what a great recycling idea you have!!!
    So, do you plant the seeds in the greenhouse and then transfer the small plants to your garden? I have never had much luck growing things from seed - but, then again, I don't have a greenhouse :(

  3. I haven't any seeds but these hand-painted bags make me wish I did. I would stack them in a bowl in the middle of the dining room table!

  4. Gina, this is so romantic to me ! i love your bags idea...it's a great conversion ! and the mere idea of collecting seeds and making your lavender bottles...Just beautiful and so artistic too!

  5. Girl, you are amazing!

    I've never been organized enough to collect seeds.

    You inspire me with every post! I think you ought to hold a summer camp where we can all come and visit, learn ceramics, canning and other A&A skills. Really.


  6. Hi Theresa, If you saved some of your lavender stalks and if they are long, then you can still make Lavender bottles. You simply soak the stems (leave the heads out) in warm water overnight and proceed as in my tutorial.

    I knew that you would know what to do with those little bags. I actually printed some of mine this morning using my painted images. I used "light-fabric transfers" from Wallmart.

    Have fun thinking up great ideas.

  7. Hi Barbara, I save the seeds and then about the middle of April I mix the seeds with a little garden soil and then I broadcast everything out into a garden area. Then I invite the neighbor children to come and jump on a 4x8 sheet of plywood. The sheet gets woved around until the entire seeded area is pressed down. Then we just stand back and watch.

    I do grow a few vegetables in my greenhouse, especially the Zuckerhut cabbage which I need for my Sauerkraut. My greenhouse is not heated but is below ground level. It holds all of my geraniums from one to the next. They don't mind the cold.

  8. Hi Catherine, Paint a few little bags anyway and fill them with tea leaves. And then you can stack them in a big bowl in the middle of your dining room table.
    In fact, that is where all of my newly painted little sacks are right now, in a large bowl on top of the dining room table.

  9. Hi Lala, I am still waiting for your gilded tomatoe seeds disguised in your fabulous stationary.
    Have been enjoying your very beautiful photography. Thanks for taking us with you in your travels through Spain.

  10. Hi Ann, Yes, we should get together and learn from each other. I teach ceramic and decorative painting all summer long. I usually teach a three-day workshop but I also give private lessons by the hour. We have a lot of fun.

    We live in a very charming and beautiful area. Maybe a trip to the many National Parks nearby with a few canning, painting and maiolica lessons could be possible. You would be very welcome.

  11. Oh, I could learn so much from you Gina if we lived nearer to one another. I have never successfully gathered seeds and it's like magic to have something growing that you got in Italy. I love your bags so much, too. Have a beautiful weekend – I'm off to photograph a 40 acre dahlia farm! xo – g

  12. Dear Georgianna, A 40 acre dahlia farm, oh my, I would be in hog heaven.

    Have a succdessful photo session and a lovely weekend. xo-gina

  13. Gina,
    I am a new follower and am so inspired by your art.
    I use to make little linen bags and paint on them. I love your art and am totally inspired :)
    I will be back soon to spend time at your Sanctuary place.
    Come for a visit.

  14. Hola, you are starting collecting your seeds and I´m starting sowing them!! I really love the bags you have painted to keep your seeds, they are the most charming and beautiful ever!!!!!
    The ceramics you paint are spectacular!!!
    Greetings from Chile,
    maria cecilia

  15. Hi Dore, Welcome to my small part of the world. I am so flattered to think that I can inspire you to keep on painting. Please keep in touch and I will do the same.

  16. Hola, Maria Cecilia, Wish our growing season is just beginning. Summers are much too short. Thank you for your lovely compliments. They mean so much.

    It is obvious that you love flowers, especially roses, and so do I. Thank you for stopping by.