Saving Seeds

This is the first year I’ve collected seeds (other than pumpkins) from my garden. In the past I purchased seed packets at local garden centers or online without giving it much thought. Since writing about my garden every day, I have a heightened awareness that plants and flowers are more than just a sum of their parts. Hanging out in the garden with a camera in tow, helps me notice the minutiae. It’s been fun!

4 O'clock seeds

4 O’clock Seeds and Glassine Envelope

I love the way the hard, dark seeds of the 4 O’clock flower appear at the tip of the spent bloom.  They’re ready to tumble into the soil below to ensure their survival. They provide easy access for the birds as well, who can grab a seed on a fly by.  Cosmo seeds are moon-shaped and brittle, sticking out like stars at the end of the cycle. With pumpkins, of course, the seeds hide within.  If we didn’t carve them, they would eventually rot in the soil, self-seeding for the following year.

pumpkin seeds

Assorted Pumpkin Seeds

Cosmo Seeds

Cosmo Seeds

I’ve allowed plants and flowers to go to seed longer than in the past, subverting my natural urge to tidy things up.  Gardens are a messy business. I’m getting better at going with the flow.

Taking a few seeds and leaving the rest for the birds feels like the right thing to do.  When the cycle is truly complete, I can compost the remains.

Indexing Seeds

Indexing Seeds

Earlier this year I bought a system for storing seeds from The SeedKeeper.  It’s a shoebox-sized bin with alphabetical dividers and other goodies, including glassine envelopes for labeling and storing your own seeds.  It’s such a simple thing, but somehow having it at the ready in my bottom kitchen drawer, makes it easy to store and retrieve seeds. I pulled it out today and started storing and labeling the remaining pumpkin seeds.  Since I’m letting go of the seed organization on the plant, I can indulge my organizational side once I bring them indoors.

Seed Keeper Deluxe

Seed Keeper Deluxe

Are you a seed saver?  Do you trade with fellow gardeners in your community?

The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies. -Gertrude Jekyll

4 thoughts on “Saving Seeds

  1. Very purposeful gardening Alys. Won’t it be neat to see your own seeds, grown up in your garden? I used to collect seeds from my giant pink poppies, they didn’t always grow back pink though ?? Usually, Karen would give me a ‘clump’ of a plant and vise versa. Maybe something that needed dividing, that sort of thing. Once, Buddy had to BUY her two new Bleeding Hearts when he decided to bury a bone underneath hers….and I was sitting RIGHT THERE. Embarrassing or what?


    • LOL! I’m sure Buddy meant well. 🙂

      Sharing divided plants and seeds makes great sense. Sharing seeds from giant pink poppies sounds divine!

      Thank you, Boomdee for your always thoughtful comments.

      I bet you really miss living close to Karen.


  2. Hey, that’s what friends are for. Yes, I sure do miss living across the lane. Karen’s such a card. Very quick witted. Once we were on our way to Valemont & this guy in a commercial vehicle, with a bunch of advertising on it, pulled up in front of us. This guy listed all kinds things you could hire him for and his phone number. There was: Fence Building, Snow Hauling, Hot Shot, Basement Development, etc So as I was reading the diverse and extensive list with some skepticism, Karen chimes in with Childcare, Catering, Home Decorator……well we died laughing and continued to think of some other ‘off the wall’ things he should add to his list. (Bravo to the guy, he obviously was willing to do anything to earn a living).


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