Fall has arrived and the winterization of the gardens have begun. Peonies have been cut back and soon to be moved to a new location, leaves are being mulched and the squirrels are busy gathering and burying nuts.
One of the fall tasks is the collection of seeds from annuals. Celosia, nigella and black-eyed susan seeds are collected and sowed in the late spring the following year. This year the celosia (Flamingo Feather) has been a highlight of the Study front garden. Visitors ask questions when seeing these plants and are invited to touch the soft, feathery bloom. The spike-like blooms holds hundreds of seeds.
In collecting the seeds I cut the stem of the plant and place the flower spikes in a paper bag. I will let the blooms dry for a period of time and then shake the seeds from the spike. The seeds are stored in glass jars in a dry, dark area over the winter. In late May, I rake up a small spot in a sunny location and sow the seeds, water them well and wait to enjoy a great summer accent.