Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cigar Box Purse POP UP Shop during Issaquah WINE WALK

Announcing my first POP UP Shop for cigar box purses 
in the Pacific Northwest!

Troy Salon (195 Front Street, Studio C, Issaquah,WA) 
is generously hosting me during the 
Issaquah WINE WALK on Friday, May 5 from 6-9 pm.

Come see a grand display of one-of-a-kind ANA cigar box purses. Each purse is a signed and numbered art piece.
The inside of each purse is just gorgeous - hand lined with fabric and matching gussets (to help keep the contents inside), velcro closure (for added security), tiny metal feet and an 
ANA ceramic logo tag. 

I use real cigar boxes and carefully select only the ones in the best condition to make into a purse. I try to preserve all labels too - except the smoking warning, those I remove when I can.

 Talk about a conversation piece! My purses have been sold in the Ritz Carlon Hotel, within resort gift shops and shipped individually to diserning buyers around the country. 

My kiln-fired ceramic ANA logo distinguishes my unique brand.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Pysanka Easter Eggs

What a gift! Do you love these as much as I do? A friend sent me a set of Ukrainian Easter egg sleeves in the style called Pysanka

The egg sleeves are incredibly easy to use and since I had some faux Easter eggs (made of plastic, but textured to feel more like a real egg) I will be able to keep these treasures forever.

The instructions were to slide an egg sleeve onto an egg, rest the covered egg in a large spoon and quickly dunk the egg in a pot of boiling water. "Sloop!" the sleeve shrinks in seconds to fit the egg perfectly. I realize now that this technology has probably been around for a while and used for children's egg kits featuring superheros etc., but this is my first experience with it. 

If you are celebrating Easter, I hope that you have a glorious and meaningful holiday weekend. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Paas Botanical Easter Egg transfers

I made my first little instruction video. This is a 2 minute video on how to apply the new Paas Botanical transfers to faux Easter eggs. They are so beautiful and I can keep them for years.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Skagit Valley Daffoldils: April 1

"This is Anne Reeves, reporting from the Skagit Valley..."

It's gorgeous in the valley, but the tulips are not ready! Spring has been late this year. Don't worry, just give it a little time. If you are in the area and need a lift after a long winter, there are fields of yellow daffoldils in bloom. 

What I love about this modern age is that you can "like" a Facebook Page for an event (Skagit Valley Tulip Festival) and get real time photos. When the flowers make the festival, we all need current information to show up at the right time.

I was in the Mt. Vernon area for the April 1st Vintage Spring Market at the Skagit Valley Fairgrounds and my friend and I drove the tulip route in case we could see some signs of spring. These daffodils were just what we needed!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Seattle: University of Washington: Clouds of Cherry Blossoms

I love flowering trees and have been hearing about the cherry blossoms in the University of Washington's quad being in bloom from several sources lately. The sun was out and I decided to swing by campus and try to find delight.

I walked around campus until I found this spectacular grove of trees. I thought that the trees looked like a crowd of debutantes in white dresses with crinolines.
Every bud on every tree lining the large walkway was in full bloom. The area was cram-jam with admirers and it was remarkably quiet for the number of people on campus. The crowds' mood was a mix of happiness and reverence. These trees are 80 years old and the idea that people would come out to enjoy this flowering walkway was initiated long ago.
Bright green grass, peeks of blue sky and clouds of cherry blossoms. That's a weather report we deserve after a long wet winter.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Pretty Tablescape: Waverly Dishes Pop with Green Accent Pieces

We can finally entertain! Friends were coming for dinner and as I was setting the table, I came up with this new combination of dishes and glasses that I want to show you.

I decided to use a pattern by Waverly called Norfolk Rose that I bought years ago from a catalog in a 20-piece set. The plates are a soft shell/khaki color with reddish rose accents. Once I knew the color of the dishes, I bought 5 red-orange primulas ($.99 each!) to be the floral focus. They complimented the plates and added a very important touch of green with their leaves.

I had never considered mixing my bright modern green Marta glasses from CB2 (Crate & Barrel's answer to IKEA) with this rather traditional set of dishes, but as I was auditioning different combinations place mats and glasses, this one looked great!

I had some bright green paper napkins from IKEA and they matched the thin green glass perfectly. I pulled out my set of bamboo silverware and the table was set. 

It might seem silly to take this much time choosing the tablescape, but this is what I love and I haven't been able to do it in a long time. The moving boxes are unpacked and all of my treasures are finally within reach. 

In fact, as I create more pretty combinations I'll be sure to show you.

#entertaining #waverly #cb2 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Portland: Salt & Straw Ice Cream: Rose City Riot

I stood in line for Salt & Straw ice cream and it was worth it.

I was in Portland for the weekend and indulged in Rose City Riot (rosewater, saffron & pistachios) and Coava Coffee & Cocanu Craque (coffee ice cream with candied cocoa nibs).

How did this perishable part of Portland make it onto our itinerary? Facebook, of course! 

I "checked in" to Portland for the weekend and a friend in Washington, D.C. posted the three Salt & Straw locations in the comment box so I could visit the one that was closest to our route. Now that's a friend!

We all agreed that it was delicious and having an unusual flavor combination makes it memorable. I noticed that they had a tasting flight - 4 flavors to sample and savor. Next time!

3/30/17 Breaking News: 
Salt & Straw is coming to Seattle's Queen Anne neighborhood! 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Planting Bulbs That Are Already In Flower

I know, you read that blog title and asked yourself what could she mean?

Perhaps the photo above will convince you. Some of the grocery stores and large markets with garden centers are selling a variety of bulbs in bloom. I planted them in my new front yard and it looks like I have been living here for ages. 

I have seen flowering bulbs in pots for years but these items are different. The bulbs are often exposed, with just enough dirt above them to keep them in the pot, and the green stalk is at least 6 inches with blooms forming. The pots are disposable, so its not as if they are meant to be a gift for the indoors. These bulbs (often 2 pots with several bulbs each, for $5) are not yeat blooming and MUST be for the outside, right?

I'm not sure how you would use them if you didn't plant them, so...I planted them! They look happy and make our front house look welcoming. Easter is coming and my little grape hyacinths are trumpeting the season. 

I planted 3 sets of grape hyacinths, 5 sets of tulips, 2 sets of narcissus and 3 sets of miniature daffodils. I love it! The next time you are at a grocery store or garden center, look for flowering bulbs that are ready to plant. You won't regret it!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Flat Rainbow in Seattle's Eastside

Yesterday I looked out and saw a FLAT rainbow! I put it on Instagram and joked that after this long rainy winter, even the rainbows need a lift - ha!

Have you ever seen such a thing? It was hovering over the town of Snoqualmie Ridge, with the Cascade Mountains in the background.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Seattle is a Terrarium: Bella Umbrella Has Symbolic Souvenirs

Seattle is like a terrarium. The bright green of every leaf, vine and shrub is due to the constant misting we get from the sky. I love the long growing season and the happy plants and am anticipating a glorious spring after a long wet winter.

We are known for our rain and the umbrella is a natural symbol of our fortitude. Interestingly enough, very few people who live here actually carry an umbrella. So few that I would peg the person as a tourist if I saw someone carrying one.

Why? I think its because if you live here, you know that the rain won't last long. That said, everyone needs an umbrella sometimes. It's just not an everyday thing, as you might think. The beautiful selection above is inside Bella Umbrella, a beautiful shop within walking distance of Pike Place Market that sells (and rents!) umbrellas. If I were to buy a souvenir of Seattle, this is the kind of lasting gift I would buy myself.
Want to see something cute? The gift shop at the Space Needle sells chocolate umbrellas! I love when whimsy, color and chocolate collide.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Dreaming of Picnics in Washington State

I am ready to get out of town and recreate this photograph! It was a beautiful June day last year and we had taken a driving trip (via ferry too) to get from Seattle to Sequim, WA to visit a peony farm. It has been a rainy Jan/Feb/March and I am ready for some spring road trips!

I am finally living a life where picnics are likely. In Michigan, we always had the cottage as our home base, so lunch-on-the-go wasn't necessary. In Seattle, you can drive an hour or 2 in an any direction and find an area to explore for the day. That kind of spontaneity is fun and having a nice meal with us makes for a better trip. 

While this photo looks like a magazine shoot, I can assure you that it took very little effort to put together. The image is all about the angles. The lunch and silverware draw your eye to the right, following the checks, while the white of the mugs in the picnic basket draw your eye up to the left to see the mountains. The image is full of color and texture and it would make a beautiful puzzle, don't you think?

The picnic basket was a wedding gift to us 25 years ago! It came stocked with sturdy plastic plates and mugs that snapped into the lid with leather straps. It also came with a plastic tablecloth, perfect to cover a well worn picnic table. It had been gathering dust in our basement for years, but now that I'm here in Washington we are pulling it out every chance we get.

I added plastic silverware, 2 plastic wine glasses, and 2 meals-to-go from the grocery deli. 

The location? We pulled into Salsbury Point County Park and arranged our lunch on a picnic table facing the Hood Canal Floating Bridge. Look at the snow-capped mountains in the background! It was glorious and I didn't want to leave.

There are loads of parks on the Kitsap Peninsula and I know that we will be exploring many more in the years to come.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Girl Scout Glory: Remembering the Fun

"Whos' the Girl Scout?," an acquaintance asked when she saw my sasha and this magazine article on my front table.
"Me!," I replied.
"Oh that's awesome."

I think we all have a soft spot for the Girl Scouts and I was happy to see this article "Collector's Guide to Girl Scout Memorabilia" by Caroline Collins McKenzie in the March 2017 issue of Country Living magazine. It really jogged my memory. I remembered by green flashlight and crisp plastic coin purse. Tresures, they were treasures.

2017 is the 100th Anniversary of the Girl Scout cookie and this prompted the magazine to show a beautiful selection of Girl Scout memorabilia that has been available through the years. I knew I had to show you my personal gem (above) full of badges that I earned each week along side my elementary school friends.

The Girl Scout organization, and more specifically our incredible Troop Leader, Mrs. Valerie Agresta, made an indelible mark on my life. I believe that my commitment to and success in the Junior League (a volunteer organization for women) goes back past my years of leadership in my sorority to my overall happiness as a Girl Scout. 

When I was leaving the home improvement store Lowe's last weekend, I chatted with 2 of the girls in uniform selling cookies. I told them that I was a Girl Scout too and that I still have my sash loaded with badges. 
"You do?," one asked incredulously. 
"Yes I do," I said, "I love Girl Scouts, learning things with my friends, earning badges. I'm basically you, only a lot older." 
She giggled and said, "Cool." 

Giving young girls a chance to learn from trained adult leaders is a wonderful way to expand their world and help them learn from a variety of female role models. Have you ever thought about being a scout leader?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Barbara Flores' Magnificent Pear Print

Oh Mi, oh My, Barbara Flores, you know what I like! 

This information-as-art print by Barbara Flores has the color palette of an Italian painting and the subject matter of a sumptuous first course. Pears! 

I have small collection of pears in cement, wax and glass. I love their shape and agree that they should be admired. 

When I saw this poster on display in a Pacific Northwest horticulture booth at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, I knew I had to show you. I am pleased to tell you that this poster can be purchased directly from Barbara's website here, along with other gorgeous designs of hers. 

Bravo, Barbara, I love your work!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Collecting Chelsea: Having Tea

The funny thing about this picture is that is a great illustration of how my mom's input always seems to make my work a little bit better. 

I have been taking photos of my collections on my iPhone so that I can have a visual index of the pieces I own with me at all times. It has been so helpful and I recommend taking the time to do it.

I arranged some of my antique china (the pattern is called Chelsea or Grandmother's China) and at the spur of the moment it occured to me to spell out EAT with some Ikea cookies that I love. I thought it was hilarious and was ready to go. 

My mom looked at it and said "No, No! Spell: tea" which was remarkable easy because its the same 3 letters - duh. She was absolutely right, of course. 

TEA is perfect and here is the beautiful image for your enjoyment.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Friends Across the Miles: The Great Placemat Search of 2017

I did something unusual on Facebook last month. I asked for help with something silly. My facebook feed had too many political posts and not enough things to "like." I was in a entertaining quandry and I thought my friends would like the distraction. I was right. 

Here is my post:

Placemat A.P.B.: I know you're going to Target. Would you please swing by the placemat section? I need 2-4 more of these placemats. Cream with pink, gray, gold stitching. Only comes in one color way. Bought at Christmastime. Seattle-area has zero. I'll reimburse. Thanks!

We have a new house and are using a dining table that is new to us. It a beauiful table that can extend with leaves to seat the whole family. I know, that's a lot of placemats! When I originally found these placemats at Christmas, I bought 6. When I started to think about entertaining, I realized just how many mats I'd need. That is when I tried finding more of this pretty pink, gold and gray placemat and found that our local Targets were sold out. Target is everywhere and so are my Facebook friends, so it seemed like the natural audience to ask for help.  

It was neat to see the responses from across the USA. My college friend in Tennessee looked. My friend from Junior High looked. A girl from Junior League looked. It was so fun to see them check in and identify which Target location they visited and which "we" should therefore rule out. 

In the end, another friend of mine from Junior League in Michigan (that I haven't seen in at least 5 years BTW) named Carol offered to drive to any Target to get them, I just needed to point her in the right direction. So nice! I tracked down 4 placemats online, called the store and had them hold the placemats for Carol

She bought and mailed them to me lickety split. Fantastic. I noted that it was a job well done on the original Facebook post and that Carol had secured 8 perfect placemats for me, on clearance, no less! For a few weeks afterward, friends would ask me, "Hey, did you ever find those placemats?" 

They thought it was fun to help in a "not so important" search. If you are looking for something, I highly recommend asking your friends to keep an eye out. 

Your quest is my quest. Love, Anne

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Making the Perishable Permenant: Photograph Your Bouquets

I bought this stunning bouquet of tulips on April 27, 2015. I loved it then and I love it now - proof that my concept of using photography to "make the perishable permenant" is part of living a delightful life. 

It may be snowing here east of Seattle, but I can enjoy these parrot tulips all day long.

Sapphire Blue Caribbean Jewels: An Outdoor Plant Indoors

Have you ever wished that a plant was fake? Me neither, until now. 

I bought this striking flowering plant called Sapphire Blue Caribbean Jewels (Scilla peruviana) because of its unusual blue petals. I am in love with blue and I have never seen anything quite like this plant.

I know that it can't last here in my family room, but I am enjoying it while I can. The tag says that it is hardy to Zone 7 (ahem, jury is still out on what zone our new house is in - it keeps snowing!). I will plant it in a large container on the deck as soon as the weather permits.

I love real plants and would discourage decorating with anything artificial, but then I glance at this tablescape and wish that I could freeze it in time. 

I guess my message is, live a little. It doesn't make sense, but I will love this plant indoors for as long as I can and then I'll give it the environment it needs to thrive. 

Do come visit soon, it looks great!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

My Own Color Chart: Tea with Milk

The main table and chairs in our new house are actually a set my parents had from years ago. I have been calling the color of the wood butterscotch for months now, trying to shop for fabric to recover the chair cushions and to bring the overall decorating scheme together.

Yesterday, I walked past the table carrying a mug of tea and it became very clear that the color of this wood is Tea with Milk. Cute, eh?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Northwest Flower & Garden Show 2017: Surrounded by Succulents

(It was this selection at a local garden center that got me thinking about buying succulents. 
This is the bounty of the Pacific Northwest.)

I love to write about themes I notice at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. Everywhere I looked this year, I saw succulents. Firm, dusty, pastel beauties adding a touch of dry elegance to everything from cakes to grand floral displays. They were for sale, of course at the many garden center booths. I was tempted!
Pine Creek Farm & Nursery (Vintage Garden Market, Booth 80) arranged a display that looked like the 50 Shade of Green! I just love how they layered old paint and new growth to make a booth you simply had to stop and admire. They had succulents tucked in small pots for sale - what a wonderful gift.

I have been planning to make myself a tabletop arrangement of succulents in a large cement bowl for my partially shaded deck. Planning is the operative word, as it snowed enough to cover the grass last night. Drat.

So all I can do is plan right now, which is why it's a perfect week to go to the Northwest Flower & Garden Show!
Fena Flowers used succulents in their prize winning floral arrangement. They gave us a "A Floral Feast" by mixing vegetables with vibrant blooms and they won First Place!
Here is a closer look at Fena Flowers' beautiful floral display. The entry featured fresh vegetables (notice the slices of purple cabbage), flowers and succulents. It is a masterpiece. My favorite part is how they arranged carrots and scallions across the top of the display and made their growth a focal point. It is witty and wonderful.
I absolutely loved how Celebrity Cake Studio in Tacoma, WA created this striking southwestern style cake featuring in edible succulents. They didn't stop at a great cake, but included edible potted succulents as well. Bravo!

Have I convinced you that succulents are everywhere at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show? I know that part of the appeal is their require low maintenance care. I was given a tiny succulent in a sweet pot last week and was told that all I need is bright light and 2 Tablespoons of water once a week during the warm months. It's easy! 

Succulents here I come. As for you, be sure to come to the Northwest Flower & Garden Show in Seattle!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Northwest Flower & Garden Show 2017: Shopping Mecca

There is far more than ferns and fertilizer at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show. I will spotlight some great gifts in this post and offer you the online links to track them down. This magnificent show is over now, but you can mark Feb 11 on your calendar for next year.

I already regret not buying this adorable lavender sachet lamb at Pelindaba Lavender (Booth 1015) and plan on giving them a call to place an order. I love everything about it: it's a lamb; it smells like lavender; it would make a lovely gift. 
Swansons Nursery (Booth 1218) was loaded with beautiful plants, terrariums and home decor items this year. The stand out for me was this beautiful strand of glass orbs in various shade of green. Each strand was light and lovely. I stood and looked at it in awe, like the way I admire a new box of crayons. 
JohnBob Cool Junk (Booth 84 in Vintage Garden Market) had these charming heart sachets made from vintage linens. The world has gotten away from keeping sweet smelling sachets in their drawers, but its not too late. Lets make our lives lovely again. This is a great place to start. Do you know a bride? Give her one of these at her bridal shower.
Jessica Thompson Jewelry & Accessories (Booth 505) had two displays that I thought you should see. The beautiful turquoise pieces (above) and these happy print scarves (below). They are at the intersection of beautiful and interesting.
There was an artist at the show that made me stop and stare. I realized that I had seen her work before and confirmed that she has a booth at Pike Place Market - huzzah! Look at the magnificent glass beads made by Isisray (Booth 315).
She also makes shaped glass beads - who wouldn't love some vegetables?
I simply couldn't leave with out this floral bracelet and it became my first purchase at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show this year. I had her clasp it on my wrist and I showed it off to attendees all day. It looks wonderful with my ribbon watch!
This year's show was loaded with art. Pieces made in many different materials for a wide range of tastes. In addition to classic piece of garden art, there were paintings, rain gauges, bird houses and antique clocks. You will find hundreds of objects that could enhance your home and garden. 

Mark your calendars: Next year's Northwest Flower & Garden Show starts February 7-11, 2018.

Northwest Flower & Garden Show 2017: Vintage Garden Market

I am in love with this display by Secrets in the Attic (Booth 53 Vintage Garden Market) at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show.

This collage of old award ribbons and vintage photographs sets the mood for the kinds of treasures that Secrets in the Attic sell: scales, kitchen implements, baskets - all interesting items that can be used in new ways to add charm to your surroundings.
There are 20 vendors in the Vintage Market section of the show and it is my favorite area to hang out. I get inspired when I see old teapots planted with a deep blue primula or a vintage map.
How do I explain what is for sale in the Vintage Garden Market? A little bit of everything reimagined with an artist's eye. A faded ladder becomes a charming display. An old wooden croquet set on the porch can be the perfect thing to make a new construction porch seem like an old family place. There is vintage Pyrex (I bought some at Raven's Nest, booth 2717 - below) and concrete lamb statues; metal cake stands and distressed wire baskets.

Come and shop, I know you'll find something full of character. 

#NWFGS #Seattle

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Northwest Flower & Garden Show 2017: First Blush

(Orchid Garden Wedding Banquet display garden 

It's February in Seattle, but we can all pretend spring is here at the beloved Northwest Flower and Garden Show. This tremendous show has a world of inspiration and opportunity all under one roof. 

Your experience will begin with a long walk along the raised garden "Blooming Abundance" created by the Flower Growers of Puget Sound. A spectacular selection of flowering bulbs, plants, herbs and trees that showcase our local bounty. Every item shown here is available in local nurseries right now. 
After purchasing your ticket, stop and admire the Floral Competition entries and try to decide which designer suits your aesthetic. I dare you to pick just one! 

Young Flowers accented their stunning arrangement called "Succulent & Delicious" (below) with clusters of live succulents in dusty green. This luscious design was awarded 3rd Place in the Floral Competition - congratulations!
Now enter the South Hall of the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle and wind your way around the 20 display gardens. They are life size representations of each landscape design company's style or aesthetic. What a wonderful way for them to bring their vision to life. 
"An Evening in the Mountains" designed by Choice Landscapes

There are boulders as big as a small car, full-size trees, real grass, giant water features, garden sheds, glass greenhouses - all telling a story in keeping with the theme: A Taste of Spring

Visually, the Northwest Flower & Garden Show is top notch. And I haven't even told you about the shopping yet! Stay tuned. #NWFGS

Monday, February 20, 2017

Why You Should Attend the 2017 Northwest Flower & Garden Show

The Northwest Flower and Garden Show is designed to delight every possible kind of gardener. In truth, the show covers such a wide range of interests and skill levels, I can't imagine someone that wouldn't enjoy exploring the show.

When you think of these broad topics:

  • full scale examples of how to design a backyard for entertaining
  • a vendor selling every possible dahlia tuber ready to plant
  • a tasting corner dedicated to selling craft food made by local artisans
  • a seminar on how to plant succulents into a vertical art piece
  • a vendor selling in lavender products made in the Pacific Northwest
  • a lecture on how to attract bees and butterflies to your yard
  • a garden center set up to sell books, terrariums and air plants for apartment living
To me, it seems almost silly to bill this show as one for gardeners. Its a show for people and I insist you come check it out.

Visually, you will be astonished by the scale and beauty of the 20 large display gardens. Flowering trees, giant boulders, live moss and spring bulbs are woven together to create themed vignettes all celebrating this year's theme: A Taste of Spring. This portion of the garden show is all for show. Stand and soak it in.

Take pictures and imagine incorporating some of the scale-able elements into your own backyard. The popularity of Northwest Flower and Garden Show goes far beyond these impressive display gardens. There are also living plants of all varieties for sale (succulents, fern, ivy, seeds, bulbs) in the Plant Market. I know, it's a lot.

The selection of garden and flower related products to shop for in the 350-vendor Marketplace is second to none. Need flower arranging tools, garden baskets, bonsai scissors or oilcloth aprons? They've got you covered. In my opinion, access to the Marketplace alone is worth the price of admission.

Looking for a concrete ideas and a chance to mull over what you've seen so far? Look at the schedule and take a seat in one of the 100 free how-to presentations.

Ready for lunch? There are great choices this year from salads and pasta, to soups, burgers and cheese platters, in addition to craft beer and regional wine.

There is more to tell, of course. Floral competitions to judge. Garden War competitions to cheer. Landscapers to hire. A garden society to join. I will be attending the show tomorrow (Weds) and delving in more deeply to be able to give you a tailored look at the show. 
"Good Times, Great Food" by Nature Perfect Landscape & Design)

Tomorrow night I swear I'll have 100 more reasons to attend this year's Northwest Flower and Garden Show at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. Enjoying the show is easy, doing justice to it is the hard part!

Show is open Wednesday, Feb 22 - Saturday, Feb 25 from 9am- 8pm, and Sunday, Feb 26 from 9am - 6pm. #NWFGS #tasteofspring #seattle

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Genius of Burpee: Advent Calendar Promotion

Every once in a while I come across something that deserves an award in promotions & marketing. This year the award goes to the Burpee Seed Company.

They created an advent calendar for the 2017 holiday season and mailed it to garden writers and journalists. The calendar features the Burpee Seed House (which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places) and behind each of the 25 windows of the advent calendar is a tiny packet of seeds. Each package of seeds is a sample of a new Burpee variety.

You can applaud now. Isn't that the cutest idea ever?  It is clever, interesting, unique and builds anticipation. It actually transcends marketing and would be a fantastic item to sell in gift shops and garden centers. I mean it! I can think of a lot of people that would love to get this whimsical gift.

I have to tell you that I have not opened all of my windows yet. My move was scheduled just after Christmas and I was nervous that I would lose the seed packets in the chaos. My dormant treasures are still safe behind the paper windows. When I am ready to sow seeds I will open them all with abandon.

My all-time-favorite-advent-calendar came with an informative booklet that includes a photograph, a description of each new seed and the plant's attributes. Genius.
I have to mention something that is so interesting about the historic Burpee Seed House on the calendar. The booklet explains that the seed house was designed and built in the late 1800's to let in as much natural light as possible in late summer/early fall. It wasn't a safe environment for candles so the employees worked by the natural light from the windows to wash, grade, sort and catalog the seeds. Isn't that wonderful? 

I love everything about this advent calendar promotion:
  • It is beautifully designed and therefore fun to display
  • It builds anticipation for growing season in the darkest time of the year
  • It is informative and tells you everything you need to know about the product
  • It blends the history of the company while including the latest products they offer
Bravo, Burpee! I can't wait to try out some of your latest and greatest seeds.