alpinE garden club Seed Exchange
The Seed Exchange is an exchange of seeds collected by our members worldwide in cultivation and in the wild. The Club also subscribes to seed collecting expeditions to mountain regions overseas. Seeds are for sale at meetings, particularly early in the year.
Members are encouraged to send seed for the exchange. If seeds are wild collected please send information about where they were collected and any information about flower colour, height, etc., especially for unusual plants or plants that cannot be completely identified.
Any club member may order seeds but donors receive special privileges. To qualify as a donor, a minimum donation of five different species is required. North American members should donate this minimum in seeds native to North and South America. After that seeds from any region are welcome. Overseas members receive donor status for seeds from any area. The success of the exchange depends on the donors so they do receive special privileges. They are able to order up to 60 packages (30 for non-donors) and receive priority where seeds are in short supply so it does pay to make the effort to become a donor. Detailed ordering information will be sent out with the Seed List in the Fall Bulletin.
Donating seed to the seed exchange
It is time to think of seeds again. The Seed Exchange is a major activity for the Club, and it depends completely on people sending in seeds. Therefore seed donors get special treatment when it comes to ordering seed from the seed exchange: they get the first chance at seeds that are in short supply, and they can order more packets than non-donors. So why not give it a try this year, if you are not already a donor? We all grow interesting plants, and it is actually quite fun to hunt for seeds – in your own garden or in the wild. Please ensure that the seed is as free as possible from chaff and other kinds of contaminants. Also please make sure the seed is dry, and especially if you send it in a plastic baggy. We don’t recommend this as we end up throwing away seed every year because it arrives moldy (sometimes to the extent that it is hard to recognize any seed). Please make the label easily legible – I am sometimes left guessing, and I might guess wrong. You need 5 different kinds of seeds to qualify as a donor, and for people in North America, these need to be natives of North or South America. Overseas members get donor credit for seed from any country. That said, we like seed from anywhere, and we do take into account how many kinds of seeds you send, so we certainly hope you’ll go beyond the minimum! IMPORTANT, PLEASE NOTE I am back at home and back in the saddle again this year, so please send all seeds to me,
Linda Verbeek, 5170 Sperling Ave, Burnaby, BC, V5E 2T4 Canada.
It is a great help to us if you can include with the seed an alphabetical list of what you are sending. Also, if you have wild collected seed, please include the location where you collected it, and if you are not sure of the species, some details of height, flower colour (if you know it), possibly growing conditions, etc. Seed is much more likely to be interesting if it is described as:
Penstemon sp., 20 cm, compact, small leaves, flowers pink, growing at 8000ft, than if it is described as:
Penstemon sp., and no more.
The seed should be mailed in a package labeled: flower seeds of no commercial value, to Linda Verbeek at the address above, and mailed to arrive before 26 October 2018. This gives us barely enough time to complete the seedlist by the time the fall bulletin is due. If this is impossible, please make sure we do at least get a list of what you are planning to send by that date. This can be e-mailed to:
And please make sure that you will actually send what you are saying you are sending. It is important that you send the seed as soon as possible, if you can’t make the deadline. Packaging the seed is another major job and it starts soon after the deadline. Finally, to end as I started, the donors are the pillars of our exchange – without you there wouldn’t be one – so I’d like to thank in advance everyone who’ll be sending seeds this year.
Last year we had serious problems with Canada Customs – not because they prohibited seed, but because they had logistics problems, and packages just sat about. Some packages were a month to six weeks on the way and we have no way of knowing whether the problems have now been solved. Obviously it becomes impossible to mail seeds that early, so I am begging you, when you mail your seeds, please, please, PLEASE, send me at the same time a list of what you are sending. For the few of you who don’t have e-mail, please put a list in an envelope and send it as a letter. Letter mail was not affectedLinda Verbeekseedlist@agc-bc.ca