Glory's Garden

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Where do seeds come from?

Do you recall when my pal Jim Bessey sent me this package? It contained seeds which I had requested of him for about a year before he actually got around to sending them. Can we say procrastinator supreme? Yes, that would be our dear Just Camping Out guy. Perhaps he was too busy doing all those Kitchens and baths...yes, that must be it.
Where are the seeds?

Anyway... this mass of twigs which were supposed to be the seeds from Jim's Phlox paniculata...He also sent me pictures of his darling little plant and, of course, I had to have it. No surprise there! Well, I wasn't impressed. That is to say, I wasn't convinced there were any seeds in this bunch. You see, I had never seen a Phlox paniculata gone to seed, but this certainly didn't look anything like what I expected.
Sweet William seeds

For some reason I thought they would be more like Sweet William seeds, small, black and round, mainly because of the flower shapes of both plants are similar.
Sweet Williams are very similar, but not quite the same

 If Jim actually knew what he was doing--he told me point blank he knew nothing of seed collecting, after all--then I have reason to doubt, don't you think? My confidence in him was weak to say the least. Hence, why I still wonder if Jim sent me weed seeds instead.
Jim's Phlox paniculata

Well, Jim insisted the seeds were there and they were of his pretty flower, too. It was up to me to find them in that mess he sent me.

Some of you may not even know where to look for flower seeds. While I find this almost incredible, it may be the case, so I may as well start there.

In flowers, when they fade and die, the gardener can snip them off the plant and then seeds won't develop. I told Jim not to cut them off. Yes, the poor dear didn't even know this much*. The flower if pollinated, by insects or even humans can do this as I showed you I did on my indoor tomato plants, when I was pretending to be a bee, will go to seed. So, you should look for seeds where the flower had been. They are either encased in a little husk (in the case of Columbines, Foxgloves and Sweet Williams) or they can be out in the open, (in the case of Cosmos, Dandelions and Cranesbill.)

Columbine seeds in their husk
Well, I could only see that the seeds must be at the ends of the stems, where the flowers should have been. I hoped anyway, but I did what any person not certain of where the seeds may be hiding...I planted the whole bunch, stems, leaves and seed heads and I hoped for the best. We'll see if anything comes of it. If not, I shall hunt Jim down to the ends of the globe...or maybe just send him a nasty email.
Cosmo seeds ready to shatter
 So, if you ever are wondering where the seeds are hiding, look for them where the flower used to be. They should be there. I'll show you exactly where on some commonly known flowers in future posts.

*I must tell you that some flowers are so very intent on taking over the world--dandelions come to mind here, but there are others-- that merely snipping the flowers off the plant is not enough to stop them entirely from going to seed. Most flowers which are very much desired in the garden, however, may not do this as readily or at all.

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