Flowers from Catherine Hamlin’s garden to yours

Earlier this year, we had the pleasure of designing a truly touching custom Gift of Seeds for the Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation.

Over 60 years ago Catherine Hamlin and her partner Reg embarked on an unexpected journey of a lifetime. They signed a three-year contract to work as obstetrician-gynaecologists and set up a midwifery school in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. On arrival, Catherine and Reg were confronted by the heartbreaking reality that there was little or no treatment available in Ethiopia for obstetric fistula – an internal injury caused by an obstructed labour that leaves a woman incontinent, humiliated and isolated.

In their first three years in Ethiopia, Reg and Catherine operated on 300 fistula patients. It wasn’t long before news of a cure spread, and more patients came seeking treatment.  Upon completing their three-year posting Catherine and Reg chose to stay in Ethiopia to continue treating women suffering obstetric fistula. To cater for the demand, they began fundraising and opened the now, world-renowned Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in 1974.

Catherine Hamlin not only transformed maternal care in Ethiopia but around the world pioneering what is now noted among medical professionals globally as the world’s best-practice preoperative and postoperative fistula treatment. The Hamlin Model of Care combines clinical excellence with Catherine’s vision of treating every woman with compassion and dignity. Surgeons from around the globe visit and train at Hamlin’s hospitals to learn this acclaimed, world-best treatment.

Sadly, on 18 March 2020 Dr Catherine Hamlin passed away but she left an unforgettable legacy, one that will continue to treat patients and save lives. Under Dr Catherine Hamlin’s pioneering guidance, over 60,000 Ethiopian women with fistula injury were treated. Catherine was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and received numerous international awards and acknowledgements for her dedication and pioneering work.

It is estimated up to 31,000 Ethiopian women still live with an untreated fistula injury and new cases continue to occur. The Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation and Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital will continue to work towards eradicating fistula until every woman in Ethiopia is assured a safe and healthy delivery.

A special Gift of Seeds

Catherine’s journey was one of passion, determination, and selflessness. She worked tirelessly for decades to improve maternal health care across Ethiopia and to give women love, hope and the opportunity to regain their lives.

Dr Catherine Hamlin loved her garden at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia. The hospital garden is a tranquil space where obstetric fistula patients can sit in the sunshine, convalesce and socialise with one another.

Catherine Hamlin Foundation chose Everlasting Daisy and Forget-Me-Not flower seeds to include in their beautiful custom designed Gift of Seeds. Both Gifts of Seeds are available for purchase in the Hamlin shop.  They were also given to guests that attended the recent Celebrating Catherine Dinner.

If you would like to support the Catherine Hamlin foundation, you can purchase their Gift of Seeds here or donate here.

We are truly touched to work with such a wonderful charity and create a Gift of Seeds in honour of the belated Catherine Hamlin and her truly remarkable work.



Tomato and lettuce seeds for Live Well Logan program

We enjoy working with organisations that promote healthy living, so when the City of Logan reached out to us in need of custom-designed Gift of Seeds for their Live Well Logan program, we jumped at the chance to help them.

Live Well Logan is an active and healthy program offering residents free or low-cost activities to keep fit and healthy. Activities include boxing, ball sports and tai chi, as well as diabetes and weight management education and maintenance programs.

To promote this program, we worked with the City of Logan to create two varieties of Gift of Seeds containing tomatoes and lettuce seeds to hand out to program participants. Both packets feature vibrant illustrations of tomatoes and cos lettuce along with information about the Live Well Logan program.

We love being part of a program that not only encourages you to live a healthy life by moving your body, but by eating pesticide-free fresh homegrown produce too!


Seed Packs for Healthier Happier

One of our biggest projects in 2018 was producing a whopping number of these seed packets for the Queensland Government’s Healthier Happier campaign.

The custom designed Gifts of Seeds form part of a Kitchen Garden Pack which include an instructions booklet, gardening tips and tasty suggestions.

We produced five seed packets for each pack including Lettuce, Cherry Tomato, Basil, Spring Onion and Carrots which were available free to Queensland residents!
This was our second time producing packets for this campaign and a fab opportunity for our small business which creates employment for locals in our hinterland town. We also love being a part of a campaign which encourages growing your own veggies 🙂

Looking back, looking forward

Hello 2014! It’s always nice to do a bit of reflecting in January of what our previous year looked like. 2013 was an exciting year filled with achievements and growth for Sow ‘n Sow, here are a few of the highlights:


 Launching our Australian Natives collection
Designed in collaboration with Daniella Germain (who’s stunning illustrations adorn the packaging) our Australian Native collection of Gift of Seeds have been very well received, getting especially popular at Christmas when we sold more of the Natives than we did our original Gift of Seeds collection, which went against the normal trend for more sales of our ‘original‘ collection earlier in the year.

CustomSeedPacketWorking with highly regarded companies on custom designs
We delivered vibrant custom designed Gifts of Seeds for the City of Sydney, the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, the Australian PlantBank, Audi Australia, Sensology Bacadi Lion and Evolve Development amongst others. We take great pride in delivering top quality, environmentally friendly promotional seed packets to all of our clients.

A growing team
Catalina joined us in March 2013 and helps us with all of our product assembly and order fulfilment. And August joined us in November to help manage the sudden surge in our work load over Christmas. Both Cat and August are now highly valued members of our team.

Sunday Life Jan 2013

Some great press
In 2013 our products were featured in Home Beautiful Magazine, Your Backyard, Yen, House and Garden, Country Home Ideas, Artisan, Gardening Australia, Sunday Life and Your Garden to name a few! We are extremely grateful for the exposure.

Our first Christmas Gift of Seeds
In August 2013 we launched our ‘Christmas Greetings’ Billy Buttons Gift of Seeds which was so well received that we ran out of stock in October and had to re-print! We hope there are Billy Button seedlings filling gardens all over Australia at the moment.

100+ stockists
We are thrilled to now have our products stocked in over 100 fabulous retail outlets across Australia including boutique gift shops, florists and eco retailers.

XmasSeeds6The Big Design Market
Being part of this massive market event held at the Royal Exhibition Building at the busiest time of the year was really exciting for us. It was great to be public facing again as we haven’t done a market in a long while.  We met loads of lovely customers, had great chats with like minded creative businesses and the honourable Stephanie Alexander popped by which was a thrill to hear even though I wasn’t there at the time!

Looking forward

2014 is likely to be another big one. A new team member is due to arrive in early March, unfortunately this one is going to need a few years of training before we can put her to work! To coincide with becoming a mother for the first time, we will be launching a Mothers Day Gift of Seeds with Chrysanthemum in the coming weeks, so stay tuned! We are looking forward to celebrating another great year of sowing seeds. Thank you for all your support and interest in 2013!

Australian PlantBank Gifts of Seeds


These fully custom designed Gift of Seeds were created for The Australian PlantBank, a new science and research facility for the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust. Located at the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan, PlantBank officially opened on Friday October 11 2013 and our Gifts of Seeds seeds were a part of the opening celebrations.

This internationally significant plant conservation facility houses a seed vault and research laboratories that specialise in horticultural research and the conservation of Australian native plant species. As a promotional product, our Gifts of Seeds were of course perfectly suited!

The design was carried out by the in-house graphics team at The Royal Botanic Gardens and the seed type was paper daisy seeds, a vibrant Australian Native that is popular and easy to grow.


Australian PlantBank. Photo via Flickr


Custom designed Gifts of Seeds for the City of Sydney

City of Sydney Green Villages 2013


Sydneysiders keep an eye out for the City of Sydney’s Green Villages branded Gifts of Seeds. These will be used as part of the city’s partnership with Grow It Local, encouraging residents to grow their own food and live more sustainably.

This is our second custom design for the City of Sydney (see the first ones here), who will be giving these organic basil and organic coriander seeds away at upcoming Green Villages Workshops.  They will also be distributed across Sydney cafes who use local produce, who will give them to customers to spread the word!

The Sustainability Marketing team loved our latest Gift of Seeds collection so these custom designed packets are again illustrated by the fabulous Daniella Germain, whose gorgeous illustration of Sydney’s quintessential terraces adorn the card.

Green Villages have some great free workshops on everything from balcony gardening to natural cleaning. Grow It Local is all about encouraging backyard, balcony, community and windowsill food farming, bringing people together and having fun. You can post your own veggie patch on the Grow It Local Map and share your garden via #growitlocal on instagram. Check out our little patch here!

Custom designed Gifts of Seeds for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney

The Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) in Sydney is one of the most well-known gardens in Australia and as such we were honoured and thrilled to create a custom designed RBG Gift of Seeds. The packets are currently being placed in hotel rooms at the Four Season Hotel (Sydney) as an innovative way for guests to support the Gardens and in doing so, help to protect Australian plant species in threatened habitats.

Paper Daisies were chosen as they are one of the most popular features at the Gardens in Spring and are easy to grow from seed. The design of the packets was created with Karen Rinkel, the Garden’s graphic designer, who applied a vintage botanical illustration of the paper daisies (Rhodanthe chlorocephala subsp. rosea ‘Rosy Everlasting’) combined with the layout and a few elements from our retail packets.

The Royal Botanic Gardens raise half of their funding independently which contributes to maintaining the gardens, conservation and heritage projects, science, research, education and outreach. If you would like to show your support for the gardens by purchasing one of these lovely packets, pop over to the Gardens Shop.

Custom Gifts of Seeds for the City of Sydney



We’re really proud of these custom designed Gifts of Seeds for a few reasons. Firstly because they are part of a fabulous program which celebrates sustainable living and ‘growing your own’, and secondly because we had the opportunity to work with The City of Sydney!

We were delighted to hear that the council’s Sustainability Marketing team thought our Gifts of Seeds were great, and that they’d love to have a custom design for the Green Villages Brand. Green Villages is all about inspiring individuals to live more sustainably. They hold workshops on creating balcony gardens and growing food in small spaces, and they have just launched a website all about educating the community on how to live green!

We aren’t exactly sure where or when the packets will be handed out at this stage, but there are two kinds, organic basil and organic coriander to look out for. They are quite distinctive in their 100% recycled packaging, so if anyone sees them around, please let us know!

Custom Gifts of Seeds – The Guest Room Mt Martha

We’ve just completed a custom design for a new Bed and Breakfast on the Mornington Peninsular called The Guest Room Mt Martha. The owner Pauline Eather wanted to have a personalised message printed onto the back of the existing Forget-me-not packets, so that she could leave one on the pillow for guests as a take home memento of their stay. Isn’t that the loveliest idea? I’ve never been to a B&B with that much sweet thoughtfulness and as such I had a suspicion that the accommodation was probably outside of the ordinary but when the lovely Pauline sent me these photos last week I was pretty much gob smacked  – the gardens and accommodation look gorgeous! Those veggie patches and chickens are picture perfect and the room looks positively luxurious!  For bookings contact Pauline on [email protected]