Sunday, June 14, 2009

Seed Art That Sells

Almost everyone has purchased a package of flower or vegetable seed at least once in their lifetime. Available nearly anywhere, and just about year-round, they are colorful promises of lovely things to come. But did you know that there is a whole industry behind that colorful photo beckoning you to buy?

There's a fun book out on the subject: Seed Art: The Package Made me Buy it, by Irwin Richman. It tells all about the art and science of selecting photos or art for seed packets, which are designed to entice you, and promise you perfect and amazing plants!

Much thought goes into the actual naming of flowers and veggies, too. One of the most famous tomato varieties is called "Mortgage Lifter", an heirloom variety from the turn of the century. Legend has it that it was so named due to it's size-an enormous tomato that sold so well, it helped the farmer pay off his farm!

New York's Hudson Valley Seed Library has taken creative imagery one further, by inviting local artists to create their own seed package image on 13 different plants from Calendula to Zinnia. As varied as the artists themselves, they are printed on recycled paper, and unfold like flowers! Whether you plant the seeds or not (who wouldn't?), the packs are little works of art. You can find them at

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