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Thursday, November 12, 2009

First seed harvest


And now another obsession, uh, endeavor here at the gardens: seed harvesting.

In all my years of gardening I've never saved seed (except for cut'n'come again zinnias and castor bean seeds that I saved last Fall). But this year I've decided to try it. I blame it all on the Winter Sowing forum and the nice Indian summer we're having this year (which keeps tempting me to do extra stuff outside).

Anyway, you know I started sooo many plants from gift seeds this past Spring. It was a real eye-opener. In the past I've always bought perennials, one plant at a time, assuming there was some juju magic to growing perennials from seed vs annuals. DOH! (Yes, there are lapses in my garden brain...!)

So, I was just going to save the zins and castors again this year, but one single plant made me rethink the whole shebang. And that was the blue lobelia (lobelia syphilitica). Remember how surprised I was when I found that plant growing amidst the red lobelia (lobelia cardinalis) that I WS'd from gifted seeds? Well, a couple of days ago I saw that though it had bloomed late, the bees had done a good job of pollinating and there where maybe 20 ripe seed pods on the plant. I gathered them up and shook out the seeds. 50-60 of the tiny things. I thought if I wintersow them and get more plants next year, then eventually I could have a really nice stand of these nice plants (and the bees would love them).

So there you are...the magic of a single seed mistakenly packed with something else turning into a surprise plant making more seeds so I can sow more plants - and perennial plants at that. And then I can have enough seeds to share with others, spreading the fun!

Sometimes it takes a brick wall to fall on me. LOL

So here's a list of what I've collected this year.

I have a TON of some:
Tall double mixed hollyhocks
Mixed cut'n'come again zins
Enchantress rose zins
Mix mini-zins (mixed colors): Liliput, Bright Border, Pinwheel, etc.
Castor bean (tall tall TALL)

And less of these:
Elegans hosta
Unknown hosta (med size - narrow wavy yellow leaves)
Hyssop - "apricot sprite"
Hyssop - lavender
Delphinium - "frosty skies"
Salvia - "blue bedder"
Russian sage
Queen of the Priarie
Violet 4 o'clocks
Sunflower - (a light yellow petal)
Baptisia australis - false indigo
Echinacea - tall purple coneflower
Salvia splendens ("Yvonne's salvia")

The bright red berries on the napkin in the pic there is a gift (thanks Tom) of cornus florida (white dogwood) to try. Even as I type I'm participating in a seed swap on the WS forum so who know what new surprises wait for me in an upcoming mail delivery.

I can hardly wait! :-D

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