Our Top Five Packs in 2018 - as chosen by you!

by Isabel Vinton

As the dust begins to settle on 2018, we take stock of another busy year. One of the highlights, in what was definitely a challenging year weather-wise, was our largest and most diverse trial garden and seed plots in 10 years! We're always working to bring the best seed possible to your growing spaces. All of the data from our trials, seed production, and taste tests goes into next year's decisions -- with the hardiest, most delicious varieties becoming our top selections for seed production and sourcing. Many varieties in our upcoming 2019 catalog are a direct result of previous years' data, and we're always on the look out for top varieties that you will be sure to love! So as we look to planning for the future, we always take a look at our most popular varieties too to help guide our decisions. So without further ado, here are your favorite packs of 2018.

1. Good Bug Blooms. It's heart-warming to see Good Bug Blooms right at the top of the list. This beautiful densely patterned collage by Christy Rupp uses a vintage William Morris wallpaper print, entomological illustrations of green lacewings, and a diagram of a flower to celebrate historical flowers and beneficial insects. The seed pack itself celebrates beneficial bugs, in particular the lacewing which will devour insect pests. For more good bugs and how to get them, read this post.



2. Edible Flower Mix. The artwork for this pack is a real, fully edible cookie, layered with realistic, sugar-spun flowers by Rebecca Weld. It shows off flowers as nature's most intricate candies - not only adding bright and elegant beauty to any dish but imparting culinary and nutritional diversity.




3. Basil Bouquet. Always a favorite, we love to see such a delicious, diverse selection of herbs make it to the top 3. With artwork by botanical illustrator and artist, Wendy Hollender, this seedy bouquet features a selection of Genovese, Lemon, Cinnamon, Purple and Thai Basils each with its own unique flavor and purpose. Read more about our favorite herbs in 7 Ancient Herbs for Modern-Day Kitchens.



4. Milkweed. A favorite every year, Milkweed shows no signs of going anywhere! Growing wild milkweed, the larva of the monarch butterfly's primary habitat plant creates a monarch sanctuary in our backyards. The artist Nancy Blum depicts the monarch butterfly on this pack in white, not orange. Why? With loss of natural habitat and exposure to pesticides threatening monarch populations, the slightly ghost-like monarch on the pack is a call to action for those who desire to protect it. Read more about how to grow pollinator friendly habitats in this post.


5. Brilliant Beet Blend. One of our favorite festive packs, the artwork on this pack looks back to the early 1900s when Pavel Ivanovich Kharitonenko was known as the "Sugar King". He lorded over Russian agriculture with his considerable riches, which came from his involvement in the sugar beet industry. With his wealth, he collected Faberge Eggs, brilliantly depicted as priceless beets by artist Bill Rybak. We love this mix for the rainbow of colors we can grow from a single seed pack.

Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments!