Friday, June 10, 2011

Saving Summer Seeds

One of the most fascinating pleasures of gardening is seed saving. Collecting seeds is a continuous endeavor, you can't be in a hurry and you cannot be a tidy gardener. You'll have to let things go a bit and enjoy the cycle and seasons of the garden. Each flower has its own unique, self-contained seed pod where the seeds are stored until they are ready to scatter. As the summer sun heats up, the pods dry and rattle and crack open, spilling hundreds of  seeds effortlessly to the ground.
This morning, one of my favorite neighbors and I spent a couple of hours meandering in the garden. We collected calendula, zinnia, sweet pea, sunflower, hollyhock and delphinium seeds. If you look closely, you will notice seeds in an amazing array of shapes and sizes. We noticed spirals, hooks, spears, and round disks!   The birds are already starting to collect their seeds!
 In my garden, the hollyhocks and delphiniums are especially prolific, coming up every spring, ready to take their place in the garden beds. Hollyhocks are magnificent, but need to be kept under control. They have huge stalks and take up lots of valuable space in the garden. I like to seed them along the back fence ( if I can help it). The delphiniums are dainty, and don't demand as much space, they are much easier to work around. Although, not pictured, one of my all time favorite re-seeders are zinnia's. They are easy to grow and last all summer long.

Make sure that the seeds are dry before storing. You can use a paper bag, and shake the seeds loose from their pods. Let some seeds drop to the ground for next year (you can't really stop that!). And, share them with someone you love!  We like to put them in a little glass jar and store them in a cool, dry place.
My lovely neighbor collects a little of each color, she knows exactly what she wants!
Don't forget to look for bugs, they are everywhere!
 My neighbor and I thank you for meandering with us ... Let us know if you'd like to swap a few seeds.
  Have a wonderful Summer Day!


Casa Mariposa said...

I just shook out my columbine that I let go to seed every year. I stop deadheading in August and let everything go to seed. I love not knowing where my seedlings will pop up next year! Great post! :o)

Sweet Life Garden said...

I love not knowing where seeds might fall too. It's such a nice surprise in the spring! So nice to hear from you. jill

MiniBinoy said...

don't feel like taking my eyes off those blue flowers!!:)beautiful garden!

Lylah Ledner said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post, Jill. Great pics and of course you are the writer that woos the heart.

Thank you for being you and sharing that with us.

Love u...xoxo lylah

Atelier de Campagne said...

I just became your latest follower. I love the freshness of your blog topics! You know, I just started following Boho Farm and Home and thought, these two ladies need to meet. And then I noticed you do have her on your blog roll.

Thanks for all you do!