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Seed Saving


Today we’ve had one of those gorgeous fall days with azure skies and brilliant sunshine, casting slanting shadows across the garden. Soon the air will become chilly again, and the leaves will fall in greater abundance. But now it’s time to gather the clinging seedheads before they are carried off by deer, bunnies, chipmunks and the wind. My paper recycling stash yielded some paper bags for storing my seeds. Paper is best to keep seeds from molding prematurely before they can be sorted and cleaned. So up the hill behind my house I went, clippers in hand, ready to collect seeds from plants that sprang forth naturally out of the soil from my little glen.

At one time, the garden had been carefully lain out with aesthetically pleasing groupings of shade loving shrubs and perennials. But as the seasons passed, some shrubs flourished, while others languished from a lack of sunlight, or other unfavorable site conditions. It could be said that the rewilding began when I first attempted to create this garden. Certain plants began to assert themselves, and have repopulated this space, coexistng with tall winterberries, inkberries, a split redbud and cat briar, which wants to take over and claw everyone in its path. The following seeds were gathered so that other gardeners may enjoy these subtle Long Island native species. Plants collected:

  • Anemone virginiana – Thimbleweed
  • Carya tomentosa – Mockernut Hickory
  • Geum canadense – White Avens
  • Mainanthemum racemosum – Solomon’s Plume
  • Osmorhiza longistylis – Sweet Cicely
  • Viburnum acerifolia – Mapleleaf Viburnum
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