Saturday, September 8, 2007

Perpetuation of the Species

Sung to the tune of "You've Got a Friend" -

You just throw out my seeds

And you know wherever I land

I'll be growin'
You'll see me again

Winter, spring, summer or fall

Just plant me, water me, that's all

And I'll be there, yes I will

You've got a sprout!

Okay, that's the best I can do and I know, it's pretty lame. I don't even know how I happened to start singing that song with its twisted new lyrics (created by me, thankyouverymuch, and apologies to James Taylor), but that's how it is when you're out in the garden. It's truly a mind expanding experience. And no, the morning glories haven't gone to seed yet; my mind has
always worked in mysterious ways. (Are people really doing that with their Heavenly Blues??)

Just when you thought your plants and flowers were done doing what they did all summer, they're rewarding you with yet another treasure: SEEDS! Most of them are all tuckered out from pouring forth their jeweled colors and elaborate frills, but they have mustered just enough energy to keep things going for next year.

It's time to save the seeds, and I save them for several reasons:

  • They're coming from annuals and I want to grow them again next year.
  • They're coming from self-seeders and I don't want to grow them again next year.
  • They're coming from perennials and I want to grow more of them again next year.
  • They're coming from both annuals and perennials and I have friends and relations that want to grow them next year.

Seeds are as fascinating and varied as the plants that produce them and it can sometimes be difficult to figure out what is seed and what is chaff. A website that has been an immense help to me in identifying seeds when I just couldn't figure them out is The Seed Site. There are macro photos of seeds and the photos are organized according to type. You can also look for them via search by name.

It's fun to gather them, clean the chaff away, let them dry thoroughly, and put them in their little labeled bags. After two summers of doing this, I'm getting more adept at recognizing what is a seed and what is not.

And I will never stop being awed by what wonderful, marvelous, beautiful, inspiring living things come from those shriveled, dried pieces of minutiae.

Now seeds are just dimes to the man in the store
And the dimes are the things that he needs,
And I've been to buy them in seasons before
But have thought of them merely as seeds;
But it flashed through my mind as I took them this time,
"You purchased a miracle here for a dime."
- Edgar A. Guest

Seeds in order of their appearance above: Dill (Anethum graveolens), Annual Candytuft (Iberis crenata), Giant Yellow Scabiosa (Scabiosa ochroleuca), Love-In-A-Mist (Nigella damascena), Baptisia (Baptisia australis)


kate said...

Those are wonderful photographs. I like the Edgar A. Guest poem ... how true this is! They are miracles. Now I just wish that I could find a giant yellow Scabiosa ... they are difficult to get... and I love them!

Unknown said...

What gorgeous photography... and great post theme. How did your garage sale go this weekend, Kylee?

Muum said...

great photos, I 'll bet love in a mist is one you are trying to cut back on!! We have white and blue Nigella, and I love them, but my hustband is always out there trying to beat back the tidal wave of seed heads!

Unknown said...

Lovely photos and thoughts, Kylee. Will thnk of you tomorrow while my travelling companion is collecting seed from various plants (and I'm taking photos of all of them doing just that, and gawking at the magnificence of Gros Morne.

Annie in Austin said...

Nice post, Kylee - the seed photos are beautiful, the link looks very useful and your song made me smile.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Connie said...

Neat post! The B&W photos of the seed heads are very good. I checked out the link about Morning Glories being used as recreational drugs. It would be a major bummer if they were taken off the market because of this....they are one of my favorite vines!

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