Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Casting pods

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'.

As time goes by the pods colour up with a light wine colour,
but even still this one isn't ready to be picked. It still feels soft,
and the lacy surrounds are still green. I'm only picking the pods
when the lacework has dried to bone colour and the pods
feel dry to the touch, like paper.

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.

And who knows which flower colours we
will see. The original seed mix, called
'Persian Jewels' had a mix of blue, white
and pink on the packet. I didn't get any
pinks at all this spring, and my suspicion
is that my collected seed might end up
producing all-white flowers, but I'll just
have to be patient until next spring, won't I?

1 comment:

luky begum said...

I just came to your post and reading above thing it is very impressive me and it is very nice blog. Thanks a lot for sharing this.
pods moving