Gift Zinnia Seeds

 A bouquet of zinnias keeping me company in my kitchen are a beautiful summer bounty. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

A bouquet of zinnias keeping me company in my kitchen are a beautiful summer bounty. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Gift Zinnia Seeds

Years ago, when I was focusing on what I would grow in my garden, I decided I would concentrate only on perennials because, once planted, they come back year after year. The one exception is zinnias, an annual originally from Mexico that needs to be planted every year. Frankly, if I could only grow one flower it would be zinnias. I know, so much for planning what I am going to plant in my garden…

These hardy, colorful and butterfly and pollinator-friendly flowers are also long lasting cut flowers, bringing a delightful pop of color into any room.

History of Zinnias

According to Diana Wells, zinnias were named after Dr. Johann Gottfied Zinn, a Gottingen University professor who in 1753 wrote a book on the eye anatomy as well as a book on the Gottingen area flora.

In Mexico, the original flowers were called mal de ojos, translated as “ugly to the eyes” because the original flowers were small and considered ugly.

Burpee Seed Co. decided to experiment with the flowers and “Old 66,” one plant in the sixty-sixth row of the experimental gardens, is the basis for most of the current zinnia hybrids.

Gift of Zinnia Seeds

So as I was sharing with friends on a social media platform, a friend from my local television days shared a beautiful photo of a Monarch butterfly on a zinnia taken that morning. That does it, I posted, I am covering my garden in zinnias next year.

A couple of days later, Diane texted she was in town and had something for me:

 A gift of zinnia seeds in an ice cream bucket with a sweet identification label. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

A gift of zinnia seeds in an ice cream bucket with a sweet identification label. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Not only were there zinnia seeds but she had dried and separated the seeds so they are ready to plant.

 Beautifully-dried and sorted zinnia seeds, ready for planting. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Beautifully-dried and sorted zinnia seeds, ready for planting. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Garden Gift Ideas

Her thoughtful gift was a good reminder how seeds make wonderful garden gifts. Pick or cut off the flower heads and allow to fully dry. Separate the seeds from the flowers and allow to dry again for a couple of days. Package in small envelopes with the flower variety and planting instructions.

If you have kids, have them draw flowers on the gift seed packages before filing.

I picked my last zinnias of the season and have them on my den coffee table, a reminder of the thoughtful gift and the promise of next year’s flowers.

 My last zinnia bouquet keeping me company on my den coffee table. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

My last zinnia bouquet keeping me company on my den coffee table. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

By the way, Diane and I had a lovely visit, another wonderful benefit of sharing seeds. In the language of flowers, zinnias represent “thoughts of absent friends,” which is only too appropriate. Thanks, Diane!

Charlotte