Friday, September 11, 2009

Saving Columbine Seeds at UBC Farm

Let the seed-saving begin! I was granted permission again this year to gather some seeds at UBC Farm, so yesterday I got to work. Those silvery grey columbine pods are quite striking against the patterns of the ugly concrete bunker. They are excellent spring bee plants and it is so satisfying to shake the pods into a paper bag. You can do this without damaging the plants, leaving them up for sculptural interest during the winter.

I collected lots of calendula and hollyhock seeds which of course come with free little earwigs, like a living toy in a crackerjack box, so I tip the bag out to leave them on the farm for someone else to enjoy. These seeds are great for teaching kids because they can learn to separate the chaff and outer parts of the flower from the seeds.

There weren't many cosmo seeds that were ready to gather. They are tricky to collect because they tend to fall off as soon as they are ripe.

Aren't these pumpkins gorgeous? They do look magical, like they could turn into a horse-drawn coach or happy-go-lucky scarecrow at any moment.

I'm very curious about these sunflowers with soft, silvery leaves. Who are they? Where did they come from and where are they going?

I took these photos last week when I was checking to see if the seeds are ripe. It has been raining since then, so it's still not the ideal time to collect seeds as they were a bit moist, but I can dry them out on baking pans in my back porch--much to the consternation of my partner when he wants to use the pans to cook our dinner!

The rudbeckias are stunning at this time of the year. They are the true late-bloomers here in Vancouver.

I've never seen this kind of amaranth before, and I like the colour. It would look amazing in a fall flower arrangement. Did I say fall? I meant late summer. Let's hope we get more days like this one so that seed savers all over the province can "rob the pods."

No comments:

Post a Comment