The seed packets were originally purchased by my Grammy. Grammy passed away from ovarian cancer at the young age of 64 in the spring of 1977. The illness took her quicker than anticipated. I was very close to her and felt a deep kinship with her. Her very quick exit from this life left a void in my life and in my heart that still causes me to mourn.
When Grammy's three daughters went through her things after her death, my mom brought Grammy's seed packets home with her. The seeds were never planted--probably unconsciously left in storage as a way to somehow hold on to the garden and flowers that were an extension of who she was.
Aside from looking a lot like her and having similar personality traits, my connections with Grammy were many (which is why I miss her so deeply), but none seem so strong as the gardening connections I have with her. Grammy's garden was where I came to love my favorite flower--the lilac. It was also where I photographed my first hollyhock. And it was where I tasted chives for the first time. I learned to love the smell of hay at Grammy's house. And I developed my affinity for the look and smell of bearded iris there. Because of my special connection to Grammy and her garden, when my mom came across the seeds a month or two ago she passed them on to me.
The newly discovered seed packets alone are a treasure for me. The graphics and typefaces take me back to my childhood. When I flipped over this packet of Shirley Poppy seeds it said that it was packaged for the growing season of 1970! But I also noted on the front that the packet touts that the seeds are "foil packed".
Yesterday, I finally got up the nerve to plant the 38 year old seeds. Poppies do well in our soil and are best if the seeds are sown right about now. So after I completed the planting of the new roses, I snipped open the foil packet within this seed packet to sow them. The seeds had obviously stayed dry because there wasn't any clumping. I sprinkled them around with my new seed sowing trowel that vibrates the seeds through a tiny hole for even dispersing.
Now I'm going to just sit back and wait to see if seeds this old can germinate. If I'm successful with these, I'm going to try out the other various seeds I also acquired from my mom.
Somehow, I'm hoping that my sweet Grammy will angelically kiss the seeds to make them grow. If they do then the Shirley poppies will be dubbed "Elsie poppies". I will definitely be keeping everyone apprised of the "Poppy Seed Experiment".