Chive Seed Saving Craft Project

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Chive Seed Saving Craft Project

Chives are lovely little plants and I particulary look forward to the flowers every spring out where they grow in containers on my balcony.

If you happen to be in Chicago in May, among the many reasons to stop by the Garfield Conservatory is a beautiful display of chives behind the building in the "back yard".

Chive Seed Saving Craft Project

I especially love how the flowers dry right on the plant, so that you can snip them off, bring them inside and stuff them in vase for a no-wilt arrangement.

Chive Seed Saving Craft Project

Look closely, and you'll see all those little black seeds in the dried flower heads. If you let them sit on your counter long enough, you'll start finding those little seeds everywhere in your house. So I started wondering what I could do with them, and came up with idea to make a sort of a custom seed tape.

Chive Seed Saving Craft Project

First step, save those seeds! I found the easiest way was to put a bundle of the dried flower heads upside down in a paper bag and shake.

If I had a yard, I would have tried large letters to spell out a word, but since I don't, I stuck with a simple circle. I used a very light weight paper (wrapping tissue or black and white newspaper should also do the trick) and Elemers glue. A flour/water paste should also work if you don't have white glue on hand.

Chive Seed Saving Craft Project

I traced a circle, put down the glue and used the saved seeds as glitter, shaking off the excess.

Chive Seed Saving Craft Project

This is a pretty plain example, but you could really have some fun, either with the shape you chose to make with the seeds or with other decorations you put on the page (say a birthday message) or even the shape of the paper.

With the seeds safetly glued to the paper, you can save your paper-and-seed art for a while before planting it, though if you want flowers next spring, the new plants need to be established by the end of this growing season.

Chive Seed Saving Craft Project

For this experiment, I chose to plant my paper in a Chinese take-out container with only a really thin layer of soil. Chives really like more room for their roots than this, so they probably would have been happier in a deeper container, but this is what I had on hand.

Chive Seed Saving Craft Project

Sprinkled a little more soil over the paper, water, covered and waited.

Chive Seed Saving Craft Project

Chive Seed Saving Craft Project

I was hoping for a neater line, but things did improve rather after a quick "hair-cut".

Chive Seed Saving Craft Project

After a winter of growing on the windowsill and repeated haircuts as I needed fresh chives for cooking, here's what they looked like:

Chive Seed Saving Craft Project

I think they would look much healthier and prettier in a deeper container, and also on a larger scale outside. But they still managed to keep me in chive snippings all winter, so can't complain if it wasn't quite as beautiful a result as I'd hoped for.

- Victoria, 2013-05-18

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