Gardening deals out all manner of minor punishments to the keen, and one I am about to willingly risk once more is that of saving flower seeds in late spring to sow in autumn next year, in the hope of seeing a pretty colour show a year from now.
The last time I did something similar was back in 2010, when I saved the seeds of colourful Zinnia angustifolia plants, hoping to get the same nice mix of yellow, orange and white flowers that I had enjoyed the year before.
Alas, they were virtually all-orange, with a few yellows and no whites at all, plus one pink one that I didn't want. Despite all that effort for such unpredictable results, I'm giving it a go once more, this time by collecting the seeds of Nigella, or love-in-a-mist. Besides, such interesting looking seedpods deserve to be saved.
|These pods make a fair bit of noise, as they are dry and|
papery, in some case with seeds rattling around inside.
|There's no shortage of seedpods to harvest either. Lots of them.|
|Just as a reminder, here's what I want to see next year. This|
year's flower colours were blue and white, and I'm interested
to see what pops out in early spring 2014.
|The seedpods themselves go through a few stages before they|
are ready to be picked. These are the youngest stage, fresh
green with green lacy surrounds that form the 'mist'.
|Splitting a dried pod open reveals the plump|
black seeds. I'll collect all these over the next
week or so and put them in an envelope,
ready for sowing in autumn next year.