Plant the Seeds
With a wide array of offerings—from wildflowers and herbs to vegetables and fruits—the Library at the Gardens' free Seed Exchange opens the door to the time-honored tradition of seed saving.
by Jamie Haas
Cultivate your home garden by joining the Library at the Gardens’ free Seed Exchange program! Harkening back to a tradition shared by Southern gardeners of years past, the program celebrates the communal act of seed saving. “Our great-grandparents would take cuttings and bring them to their neighbors,” says Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens Director of Library Services Hope Long. “They would share seeds from their gardens. It has almost become a lost art, but this exchange encourages us to start again.”
Not only does the practice inspire a culture of sharing, but also it promotes biodiversity through the exchange of locally adapted plant varieties. Seeds are open-pollinated, which means they result from natural pollination of the parent plant. Choose from open-pollinated vegetable, fruit, herb, and flower seeds, including seeds of pollinator-friendly native wildflowers such as golden Alexander (Zizia aurea) harvested from the Kaul Wildflower Garden, then close the loop and bring us back seeds from your own garden!
To learn more and join our free Seed Exchange, visit bbgardens.org/seedexchange.
Hear Hope delve more deeply into the wonderful resource that is the free Seed Exchange by checking out the video below, and follow along with the Friends' Director of Education and Visitor Experience, Brooke McMinn, and her daughter, Fiona, as they walk through the steps of planting from seed.