Planting Seeds / Publishing Stories

I’ve been planting a lot of seeds in the last year and a half.

Papaver somniferum, 2022, my garden

Some are real seeds: In March, I seed-started cherry tomatoes and jalapeños for what will be my first attempt at a vegetable garden, as well as basil, cilantro, and rainbow coleus. I stratified the tiny ‘Lauren’s Grape’ poppy seeds I harvested last year in my fridge and sowed them on Black Friday. As of this writing, dozens of three-inch tall plants are filling the 3′ x 50′ (that measurement is not a typo) Hell Strip I’ve been reshaping for three years. A few days ago, I also liberally sowed ‘Amazing Grey’ Shirley poppies, ‘Lilac Peony’ Breadseed Poppies, and ‘Classic Magic’ Bachelor’s Buttons. Fingers crossed they come up.

Some seeds are nuggets of knowledge: I took the PennState Extension Master Gardener Program, which was six months of learning more than I ever thought possible about plants and gardening (and bugs and botany and diseases and pruning techniques…I could go on). I was in a place where I was feeling depleted and struggling to write and my experiences in the program have really helped me refill my creative well. It also reminded me how much I like writing non-fiction.

Some seeds are a few hundred words here, a few thousand words there that I’ve been drafting and submitting. In 2023, some of those seeds are blooming/publishing!

Zen Garden Beach Day: A Little Time to Relax is a summery, teeny-tiny book and desktop kit available now wherever books are sold! I love the beach and I love RP Minis and I love that I got to contribute to creating something so darn cute. (The pineapple drink! Justine Kelley’s utterly adorable illustrations next to my words! :heart_eyes:)

Re: the Hell Strip I mentioned earlier, it’s a Memory Garden of sorts. I wrote about it and how you can grow one too for The National Gardener. You’ll be able to read about it in the July issue.

Zen Garden Snow Day: A Little Time to Play is a wintery teeny-tiny book and desktop kit publishing in October, available for preorder wherever books are sold. (The tiny sled! The miniature snowman! The itty-bitty shovel! I can’t wait to add it to my day job desk.)

Also on the horizon is a short piece of gardening memoir in GreenPrints: Gardening Stories from the Heart. (Publication date TBD.)

Back to sowing seeds on the keyboard, with the hope there will be bigger, book-shaped blooms to share in the future.


Published by hannahkarena

author & book publishing person.

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