I've been on a seed saving spree. (Say that five times fast!) I've always tried to save some seed from our annual flowers, but this year I'm really enjoying finding new seeds to save. If I can put a dent in our yearly seed budget, that would be delightful! And of course it is a more sustainable practice than buying every year, and it has the benefit of a zero carbon footprint.
Today I cut, dried, and saved Love-in-a-Mist (or Nigella). (I must say something about these photos. I used, as always, my phone (iPhone 6). I zoomed in quite a lot. Please please please forgive all the detail of my very dirty, work-hardened hands. Please concentrate on the seedpods, not my yucky fingers. Next time I will figure out a way to photograph with a piece of construction paper behind the desired item.)
Here's a California Poppy. Not quite so lovely. But then this is a hardscrabble flower, meant to survive severe drought and still bloom. It can't afford to have a nice balloon shape. It makes me think of the word 'sere.'
I also collected quite a few nasturtium seeds. I use nasturtium everywhere in both the flower and vegetable beds, as it attracts beneficial insects (and hummingbirds) and repels the ones I don't want anywhere near my delicious veg. Saving these seeds will help me an awful lot in future.
And this year we finally have enough Forget-me-Nots to collect some seed. These seeds are the annoying kind that inspired the inventor of Velcro.
Today (and this whole week) has been enormously hot, so the routine has been: go out to the garden for an hour, then come inside and drink a gallon of hibiscus iced tea, then go outside for an hour, then come inside and have a little lie-down under a fan. I have to say the fruit just loves the heat and is bursting out everywhere. The plums are just a couple of days from eating, as are the peaches, and the tomatoes are clustered all along the stems of the plants.
Tomatoes. Can't wait.
Something else hot weather brings out, and they're not as welcome as the fruit, are flies. Gosh they are annoying. But today I noticed flies pollinating both a yarrow and the cilantro, so they're not all bad.
And oh my goodness the cilantro is just a hotbed of activity, I noticed 8 different kinds of pollinators on it at one time today. This is absolutely one of those crops you should let bolt and go to seed. Pollinators really seem to love this kind of flower - an umbel - and cilantro is another one of those flowers that attracts the good guys and repels the bad guys.
Our garlic harvest was so robust this year that I asked my father to make us another hanging rail for the braids. We have four pegs on our canning shelf, and those are occupied by two garlic braids, a mesh bag of shallots, and a mesh bag of fingerling potatoes. I had six more braids of garlic, and we really don't want to try to fit everything on those four pegs because we need to increase the airflow around the produce if we want it to last longer. So Dad made us a Shaker Peg Rail, and it looks nice in a dark corner by the piano.
Two more pictures to share. I bought a Humboldt Lily at the Watershed Nursery back on Mother's Day, and it's blooming. Spectacular. Why didn't I get more of these?
And I just love the way this Scabiosa atropurpurea 'Scarlet' (pincushion flower) looks as it builds up to bloom.
Hope you're all having a marvelous weekend!