Seeds n’ Things

Happy fall! I hope everyone had a wonderful summer– which honestly, it still feels like here in Western New York. The weather has been beautiful– however, maybe too much. It has been so warm here that my spring bulbs are starting to sprout again! I fear that we won’t have such a colorful fall like last year because it has been so dry and warm this past summer.

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Never the less, I am not wasting another minute inside, it’s time to get along with my fall garden preparation tasks. A couple of years ago, I wrote a step by step on how to plant bulbs in the fall. I know a lot of people really don’t know how to (I know I sure didn’t at one time), so I wanted to give a little tutorial on how to plant them.

Well, now I am learning how to preserve seeds more. I have done this a little bit in the past, but this year, I have found great joy in harvesting seeds. Every plant has its own unique seed pod.

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The seeds of the hollyhock are slim, wafer-like discs.

Here are a few tips when collecting seeds:

  • Make sure the seeds pods are completely dry when you harvest them.
  • When storing seeds, never place them in plastic bags. Use paper seed packets or bags to allow the seeds to breathe.
  • Remember to share them– think of them as holiday gifts!

Harvesting seeds is a good thing. It is a natural way of controlling individual plant species from taking over your garden.

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The seed pod of a Giant Hibiscus is, well, giant!

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Hollyhocks, Cosmos (Upper Right), White Globe Thistle (Lower Center) will make any gardener happy!

I spent a good portion of last weekend re-organizing and making a place in the unfinished side of my basement to become my little gardening area, which means, saving seeds and storing bulbs that cannot stay outside for the winter. I plan on scouring  Etsy in search for the perfect antique printer tray to hold all my seeds until spring!

I also have purchased 3 more varieties of Allium bulbs that need to be planted, but until it cools down a little more, I think I will wait it out a little longer.

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What are your plans for fall planting? I would to hear what everyone is planting. Trust me, I am not done purchasing bulbs, yet…

 

Falling for Dried Flowers

Good evening, everyone! It seems as though these blog posts get further apart, but I am trying my hardest to get them closer together. It’s been a activity packed summer, and my daughter started Kindergarten this week, so it’s been more emotional than usual around here.

First and foremost, yesterday was my 2nd Anniversary blogging! I can’t believe it’s been two years already– time does certainly fly! Born out of professional frustration, my dream is to one day blog full time, but until that day comes, I will keep doing what I am doing and improving and learning as much as I can to attain that goal. I want to thank you for reading my blog and letting me know what you think and for giving me suggestions that will help my blog in the long run! I am always trying to mix things up, but I want the intent of the blog to stay the same– to help new gardeners start their own gardening adventures by giving advice and ideas as simply and honestly as possible. I want my blog to be the “seed” that starts some great gardens out there! I am still learning a ton about gardening. I am no expert — I just pass along what I have been taught, told, shown, etc. It’s really fun, and I enjoy this immensely. So, let’s get back to business, shall we?

Now, I have to say that I actually have 3 blog posts that I could be posting tonight. I have a couple of “Field Trip” posts that I think you will really like, and hopefully will give you some inspiration in your gardens! But, my intuition was telling it’s time I do an informative piece, because it’s been a little while since I have. And I got the idea of this post from an article in a magazine, along with my blog post I did last year, The Beauty of a Fading Fall garden.

*Remember– your garden doesn’t end when the growing season ends– it keeps giving year round.

I have blogged about the garden and how it gives back to you year round, including the fading fall garden. Planting for Winter Interest¬†also allows your landscape to work for you. Now, I know a lot of my fellow bloggers live in places that don’t have snow (and boy, do I sometimes envy you), but you still have to deal with a Winter garden as well, so please use my post as a springboard of ideas that could work for your nice, warm, green winters.

So, after some researching and getting a lightbulb to go off on my own, I was inspired to take the plants I usually keep to collect seeds, and use them in dried flower arrangements for fall. I even tried to “forage” on trails in the Niagara Gorge this past weekend, but, let’s be honest, it’s a little too early for that. LOL.

My garden grows every year. I mean, I plant more things every year. And I have had some unique things come up in my gardens that I can’t help BUT use dried.

My number one plant? Alliums. At the beginning of the summer, when my Alliums were done, I noticed how beautiful they were dried, and I snipped them off and brought them inside to use as a decoration. I have been using them all summer, and they look great with my fall decor. Yes, my house throws up with Fall decor this time of year:

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And then this happened today:

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My sunflowers came crashing down– no worries, they will be part of some dried flower arrangements to come this season.

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Soon, I will be embarking on my usual pilgrimage to the Erie Canal to get some cattails, but these fake ones I found in the store last year will do for now.

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Here are my white globe thistles in a vase. This plant has been the biggest surprise for me this year, and I am so glad I purchased these last year!

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Here are some other things that would be great to use in any fall arrangement:

  • Seedpods— Chinese lanterns, etc. The more unique looking, the better!
  • Acorns, nuts, etc.–This is what I was looking for, unfortunately, I think it’s too early. Any kind nuts or berries will do!
  • Pinecones— this one needs no explaining. You could call this a default fall/winter decoration.
  • Any flower that dries beautiful in your eyes. It’s limitless. Use what you love and make the most of it!
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This is just the beginning of a beautiful arrangement!