Melody Yip
3 min readMar 15, 2021
the haul

My past is coming back to me. While passively death scrolling my IG a few weeks ago, I was served a “Plant Gem” ad which sells curated buds with some rare offerings. Each seedling was about $20/ a pop. I sent a link to the shop to my next door neighbor and friend — May. She quickly responded “why don’t you just buy seeds? — It’s much more affordable — check this out rare seeds.”

In that moment, the concept of growing my own flowers really excited me. Here is the backstory. In my early 20s, after beginning my first job I like many kids was discontent with the career I chose at 18. I was on a quest to find my calling. While working full-time, I gave myself license to try anything. Most of my curiosities were linked to aesthetics. I took a couple UC Extension classes including Art History and Interior Design. I also took an interest in alternate floral design. I took a floral design class at De Anza. I was largely impressed by the designs of the small Brooklyn shop Saipua. (Saipua has since grown into a floral wholesaler based in Esperance, New York). I basically could not appreciate the cheesy roses and baby’s breathe that dominated the market. I forget why I gave it up on the flowers.The world moved on and thankfully did embrace a wider range of floral sensibility.

I live a pretty content life and am thrilled to be in my 6th year in a fitting career. Last year, I began to ask myself the question — what else is there? I felt the need to round out my life. I know that as humans our life’s purpose is to express ourselves. Apart from work and cooking the things I enjoy eating, I didn’t feel like I was expressing myself. I envied May who had officially “retired” from the work world and is always getting more chickens, making handmade ceramics, knitting cowl alpaca scarves, or harvesting veggies from her garden…

Back to the flowers — I chose 4 different poppies, chamomile, dandelion, strawflowers, and a good many “foliage” type plants. Each packet was about $3 — so instead of spending $200 on 12 different plants— I could buy packets of seeds for $40. Brilliant.

Seeds are really SO different. Each packet contains a robust 800 seeds to a mere 25 seeds. Some would take 7–14 days to sprout and others 14–21 days. There were some that looked like perfectly formed sugary white sprinkles while others looked like dried out worms.

Voilà! Behold 12 days later…

This is a week and half of my sprouts. While I look forward to the day when I can finally put small bouquet together and give it to a friend, I really am enjoying the process of seeing these seeds spout. I’ve got to clear out a part of our gopher torn yard up for these babies. We’ve gotten a few rainy days in the last week so I think it’s the ideal time to begin playing with a shovel in the soft earth.