Saturday, February 26, 2011


A seed is a promise of spring. Last fall, as we got closer and closer to a killing frost, I wandered the gardens knowing in a few days all the flowers would be dead. In the squash vines was a pretty pink flower still blooming. Some of the flower heads had set seeds. I decided to harvest those seeds. So each afternoon I carefully removed the seed heads that were mature. I also tried to harvest some marigold seeds. Harvesting seeds is not only cost saving but also therapeutic. It's convincing yourself that even though winter is on its way THERE WILL BE A SPRING. Planting tulips in the fall is another therapy I recommend. It provides self encouragement to survive the winter. You want to make sure you see that five dollar bunch of bulbs bloom. 
Starting out in this world I had no clue that you could harvest seeds. I guess we are enticed to learn of the birds and the bees to the point of infatuation. It's not until later that we discover the flowers and the trees. Working in Rochester I met an old woman who was planting seeds. She showed me that she had picked the flower heads last year from her marigolds. That spring day she showed me how to clean the seeds and plant them. I was amazed and then realized how naive I had been. The seeds have got to come from somewhere. Many flower seeds can be harvested that way, but if the plant is a Hybrid the next generation will not exhibit the same characteristics. So don't get your hopes up or expect that you can buy one flower at the greenhouse and save seeds for next year. I have high hopes though for the seeds I harvested. This winter I paged through my seed catalogs and identified the flower that was growing in the squash. Here is a pretty close picture of what I found growing in my garden.

This is where the seed catalogs really come in handy. It says Germination: 14-30 days, 65-85F. Well-drained soil. I have (STGT) Seeded To Germination Tray five of those harvested seed. It may be a little early to start them unless it actually does take 30 days for germination. We shall see if they are viable. I hope to plant them around the mail box this year. The soil there is "well-drained". I have found the seed catalogs to be very good reference material. But if all else fails a simple google search can provide the same information.
One final note, where did the Lavatera come from? Many years ago I received a free packet of seeds along with my order. The packet was a wild flower mix of seeds. I planted those in the garden. Over the years this little pink flower has managed to keep the cycle of life going all by itself. I wonder now if it will allow me to participate in that cycle? 

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