Fall is like…

“We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done”.  -Book of Common Prayer

Fall is sort of like those lines from the Book of Common Prayer, isn’t it?

I have a gazillion things to be done outside and it’s a bright, sunny day (but cold & windy), so I should be out there taking care of various fall garden chores…   “left undone those things which ought to have done”.  I know once I get out there working, I’ll get warmed up, but I’m procrastinating.  Maybe after lunch, it’ll be warmer then.

Instead I’m inside, fooling around with all the seeds I’ve collected over this growing season.  And it’s a task that could easily be done on a winter day, long after the fall garden wrap up is complete… “done those things I ought not to have done” (right now, anyhow).

I never want to buy a plant twice – – – which is not the same as not wanting to grow it again, or not wanting to have more of the same.  I just don’t want to spend my hard earned $$ on it again.  It’s about collecting seeds!  Propagation.  I do it avidly in my own gardens and have been known to collect seeds in other places, too (garden centers, public gardens, friend’s gardens, gardens that grow street-side, in the wild… you get the drift, no seed is safe from me).  I save seed from the fruits & veggies I buy at the Farmer’s Market during the growing season.  Oh, and I do actually buy seeds, too, both locally and online.  And I exchange seeds with my Flickr friends.

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Just a small portion of my bags of seeds

Just a small portion of my bags of seeds

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Anyhow, I’m working on all these seeds, cleaning, packaging, & labeling.  I get to the tiny 2×3″ plastic bag where I’ve been stuffing the ‘almost ready to pop’ dry seed pods from the annual silky deep red butterfly weed (asclepias ) I grew this summer.  I mean, the unopened pods are stuffed tight in the bag.  There are easily a dozen and a half pods.  I let very few of them open in the garden.  So, I grab hold of the stems and pull them all out… you know what’s coming, don’t you?  If you know what milkweed seed pods look like and how the seed disperses, you know.

flowers and seeds

flowers and seeds

Every one of those pods popped open, simultaneously!  They’d been waiting to disperse their seeds for ever-so-long and those babies were ready, and I mean READY!  And that’s exactly what they did!!  All over my work area in the corner of the living room!  And all over me!  Oh my!  How I wish I had a video of this event to share with you!  And then I started laughing, and they blew around even more!  I’ll undoubtedly have bits of this ‘fluff’ all  over for some time to come!  I did manage to capture most of them and stuff them in a new, larger baggie.

recaptured!

recaptured!

And, yes, I’ll plant those seeds next year.  But next year I’ll collect their seed a bit differently,with a bit more intelligence and understanding of the ways of this beautiful  red and yellow butterfly weed.

My new garden shed with trim not yet painted dark brown.

My new garden shed with trim not yet painted dark brown.

I’m working (or should be) on planting the area where I just had a garden shed built.  And I need to finish painting the shed door and trim (white trim now, will all be chocolate brown when – if – it ever gets done).  All those sale plants purchased end of season will be planted there.
It’s so gorgeous out today!  Fall leaves are just exquisite, showing their crayon box reds and yellows!  I’d best get out there and quit procrastinating…

4:30 PM update – Yay me!  Got out there & got some things done.  Once I get started, I’m a ball o’ fire :-).  And, sure ’nuff, hadn’t been working 15 minutes before I shed my jacket.

Planted and mulched:

  • 1 Beautyberry (callicarpa dichotoma ‘early amethyst’)
  • 10 reblooming German irises ‘Immortality’ (soft white)
  • 2 Ilex crenata ‘Helleri’
  • 1 Pink Knockout Rose (rosa x ‘radcon’ PP#15070)
  • 10 clumps of grape hyacinths (dug up prior to removal of the driveway fence)
  • a handful of mystery crocus bulbs (were mixed in with grape hyacinth bulbs above)
  • a Eupatorium Hyssopifolium (don’t know common name, but reminds me of the wildflower called boneset, which is also a eupatorium).
  • Rudbeckia ‘Henry Eilers’ (moved from an unsuitable place; I failed to read the height on the plant tag when I originally planted it and put it at the front edge of a bed).

Also got the gutter guard put on the back gutter of the shed where my rain barrels will be located.  In a climate with below freezing winters, do you empty out the rain barrel in late fall??

And I got the path from the front of the shed to the edge of the grass ready for gravel by putting down the landscaping cloth and placing the pavers at the edges to hold it down.  Now I need to get the gravel, but not today.  Whew!  I’m bushed!

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3 thoughts on “Fall is like…

  1. I could see the milkweed fluff flying out all over the place, it made me laugh. You are very industrious and frugal to do all that work with seeds. My approach is more along the lines of let all the plants stand until spring, then transplant volunteer seedlings as the spirit moves me.

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