Collecting seeds

Blackberry lilies gone to seed.

They may look like bugs, but these are actually seed pods
from impatiens that have exploded.
The daylight hours are waning, and the temperature is cooler in the mornings - it's time to wind down the garden and start planning for next year. I've begun collecting seeds for use next spring. One such plant that I'm collecting right now are impatiens seedlings. When the seed pods are picked, they explode when touched, spitting seeds out everywhere. I've collected some in a glass dish to dry and will store in an envelope until next February.

I let lots of flowers go to seed and leave them in the garden. Some, such as the coneflowers, provide food for birds, while others, like the blackberry lily (which resembles an iris in that it has the same type of leaves), I leave alone for their ornamental value.

This past spring I was surprised to have volunteer seedlings from nicotiana, verbena, bee balm, cosmos and pansies. I've learned to not have a heavy hand when cleaning out garden beds in the spring to let everything take it's time in coming up. Sooner or later, I can tell if it's a plant I want or a weed.

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