Saturday, November 3, 2012

Collecting The Last Of The Seeds

Now that the frost and freezing temperatures are here the beautiful blossoms of spring and summer are simply a fleeting memory. But now is the time of preparing to repeat these blossoms for next year through the seeds they produce. The beautiful wispy foilage of the cosmos above so loved by the bees and beneficial insects of my garden. Planted every year not only for the bugs but for my soul. Nothing pleases me more than picking the blossoms for a bouquet thrown in an old mason jar in the middle of grandmas old oak table. 

Nothing soothes me more than enjoying the yellow of the marigolds mixed in with my vegetables as I work doing my weeding and garden chores.

Nothing bring back memories of my mother more than the colorful blossoms of the zinnias or "old maids" as my mother called them. Every year my mother planted an entire long row of these beauties in her garden for the pure enjoyment of the gardener. Every fall my mother hung an old cloth pillowcase in the top of the garage from the rafters. It contained nothing but seeds gathered from these flowers to replant for the next year.  

Some things thankfully do not change. So half a century later, on a cold late fall day I take my bowls and bags to the garden to gather the last of the flowers seeds for next year. The last thing to come out of the garden so that the birds could eat their fill and then I take my share of what is left before they are pulled and composted.  

 Zinnias, marigolds and cosmos aplenty. Enough for this gray haired old gardener and maybe enough to share with my daughter and friends if they ask. Year after year this ritual continues. Occasionally someone will give me a new color or I will buy a new variety that catches my eye and throw in the mix.  I have to wonder if decades from now my daughter  will remember the sacks of flower seeds stored in mama's pantry or maybe they will  be gathering a pillowcase full of their own. These gardening practices are timeless.

Many seeds I will leave up for a little while longer for the birds. The red berries of the the asparagus attribute to the many asparagus volunteers seen beneath fence posts and trees around my farm. 

The purple coneflower seeds are adored by the little yellow finches and they are nice enough to scatter them everywhere attributing to me pulling large numbers of young ones in the spring. These I started years ago from seeds and the original ones still bloom every year in my beds. And every year the finches manage to find and consume them until I finally cut them down and throw the tops in the compost. Leaving the roots behind to sprout and bloom another year. 

Just one of the many chores of the gardener. Sowing season after season, year after year, each year a new beginning, each year a new blessing no less wondrous, the seeds to a new year. The promise of another day.

What seeds are you collecting right now?

Blessings form The Holler

The Canned Quilter


  1. Thank you so much for this post. I do so miss gardening and all that goes with it. Hopefully this time next year I will be doing this.


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