Saving Flower Seeds

Saving Flower Seeds

Saving seed from flowers is one of the most enjoyable things I do in my garden.   While so many other activities can be time consuming, tedious, and tiring, gathering seed is actually relaxing and contemplative.  When I talk about activities that are tiring, I’m referring to projects that involve lots of prep work like spraying trees, landscaping, digging, tilling, sowing and planting in the spring.  Then there are all the watering, mulching and summer related jobs.  Harvesting and preserving is, of course, the most demanding requirement of late summer and early fall.   The intermittent jobs like fertilizing, mulching, hauling, mowing, raking, cleanup and all of that just add to the list of tasks that sometimes seem endless. Finally, in late November or December, one hopes to have all the flower beds and growing areas bedded down for the winter.  Only then will there be time for repose.

No matter how much one may love gardening, let’s be realistic, it can be very, very exhausting at times, especially when the area you are cultivating is expansive.  No matter how much I love my little backyard farm, there have been moments when I wonder if it would be better to move on to something else that doesn’t take up so much of my time and energy, especially now that I’m getting older.  But then I’ll have one of those transcendent moments where I feel enormous satisfaction from something I’ve finished doing in my garden, and I’ll feel a shower of joy wash over me.  At those times I wonder how I could ever exist without my garden, and I know that as long as I live I will always want some place where I can grow things, even if it’s just a balcony with only a few pots for flowers and herbs.   Such mixed emotions I’m sure are shared by many gardeners who have larger areas to tend to.

I realized this week, that saving seeds is quite an intimate aspect of my relationship with the flowers on my property.  I was thinking, as I was cutting off pieces of my cosmos buds, that this was like preserving the essential personality of the flower before its host dies, or perhaps a better way to describe it would be before the host transitions and decomposes back into the earth from which it grew.  It’s a tender and selective process that can’t be rushed, much like pruning roses to nurture them and make them produce more abundantly.   I noticed myself looking at the autumn flowers in a different way.  I felt such gratitude for them that they have produced such beauty for me all through the summer, and now that their days are numbered as the cooler days of fall and winter approach I appreciate them even more.  They are still growing abundantly while other flowers said adieu weeks and months ago.  Saving flower seed is an optimistic and life affirming act that is filled with hope and faith in the future knowing that their essence will continue through their their seed that I will sow around in the garden beds next spring. It’s the circle of life; the cycle of the seasons; the law of nature.

In addition to the glorious array of cosmos and flowers that are still growing at this time, I noticed that the bees were still out gathering nectar as they too prepare for their indoor winter life by making sure that their communities will be fed in the months to come.  The bees were landing on the cosmos, and the flowering basil and oregano for their last snacks.  It’s this symbiotic harmony between the flowers and the pollinators that never cease to amaze me as they display the perfect design and action of nature.  Everything in nature works together in perfect harmony when left alone.  It’s only when modern humans interact with nature that it gets messed up.

Click on this website link        When you get to the website, click on the two minute trailer to the film called Forbidden Fruit which may come out sometime in 2015.  It’s a life-affirming film about the mushroom and our relationship with nature. Enjoy!


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