The Gathering is Beginning

September arrived with some cooler weather and some thunderstorms and heavy rain.  You can feel the Fall weather heading our way.

It is that time of year when I start to leave some blooms on the plants and let them go to seed.  Some fading blooms are left on the plant as they add some height and interest to the gardens in winter, plus the birds, especially the goldfinches enjoy snacking on the seed heads.  But I’m also a gatherer of seeds so that I can enjoy the beauty of the flowers the next garden season.  

So out came the egg carton,  a simple method to keep the seed organized that I came up with last year.  I have numerous colours of 4 o’clocks and each seed looks exactly the same.  I printed the colour of the seeds, 1 per section, and when I gathered the seeds I just popped them into the right section to finish drying.

The bottom row had other seeds in it and a new section was labelled this year … orange cosmos.


The seed head on the orange cosmos is developing, but have patience and don’t pick till the seeds are dried out like in the second photo.  Then I carefully pinch the seed head and all the seeds pop off into my fingers.  I’ll let them dry in the egg carton compartment and then be able to sift out the seeds from any dry bits that got in there.

Once all the seeds are totally dry I pop them into envelopes that have been recycled from the mail (mostly junk mail).

All the envelopes get stored in the wooden 4 quart basket that was painted and decorated several years ago.


The garlic chives that seem to pop up where least expected are in bloom now.  The old bench is under the rose arbour and the chives are growing right through the back of the bench.


The morning glories are doing really well with blooms of mauve, pink and blue.  The seed pods will soon be developing, some I will collect and some I just let fall and self seed.  The nasturtiums are hanging on, but a lot of the blooms have gone to seed.  They just need to dry out before gathering.  One pot of fuchsia has finished but the ones growing in the big pot in the shady north garden are doing really well.  There are still lots of blooms on the Let’s Streak hosta as well.

The plants in the gardens and containers are in varying stages of blooms.  I’ve grouped them into stages (my names) and can move them around each week as they progress.  This is a good reference for me to look back at next year for comparison. Some plants are in 2 areas … example is coreopsis because it is blooming but with continual deadheading it is also budding

leafy and growing – yucca,  peruvian daffodils, coleus,

Budding –  still buds appearing on the coreopsis, mums

Blooming –   fuchsia,  coreopsis, clematis,  nasturtiums, golden goblin blanket flower, 4 o’clocks (pink, yellow, variegated), feverfew, climbing beans, miscanthus,  zinnias,   garlic chives, lets streak hosta, morning glory,hosta (pale green leaves), sedum, mums

Fading blooms –   pansies, hostas, beebalm,  petunias, canna, echinacea, cosmos,  rudbekia,

Seeding – lunaria, orange cosmos, 4 o’clocks

Harvesting – tomatoes, beans

Blooms finished. leaves flourishing – iris, lily of the valley,  early yellow daylilies,  bleeding heart, columbine, dianthus, evening primrose, ninebark, creeping jenny,  oxeye daisies, honeysuckle vine,  lavender, ditch lilies, Bressingham Blue hosta, astillbe, coral bells, lady’s mantle, weigela, daylilies,  shasta daisies, hostas,  liatris, climbing roses, roses (bush),

Vanished till next year – tulips, daffodils, poppies, yellow molly alliums, trilliums,  drumstick allium,

I’m sharing with Cottage Garden Party  and Fertilizer Friday.

More from The Gardener Side

plants … seed info … veggies & herbs … bulbs, corms, tubers

the gardens  … whimsy in the garden


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