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In Focus

I guess I’m a seed collector now.

Some of the flowers in the garden have begun to die off for the season, and it is the perfect time to collect seeds from my favorite flowers, herbs and veggies.

The problem I was having was not knowing what kind of flowers I had grown, as I sprinkled two different kinds of pollinator mixes. So, if I was going to collect seed, I needed to know what they were.

Some were more obvious like bachelor buttons, hollyhocks and zinnias, but for some of the others I was entirely clueless.

I downloaded one of those free plant identifier apps called PlantNet and it seems to be working very well. You take a picture of the plant and a list of suggestions comes up, including all stages from flower to the dead plant. It has been very helpful.

There is one flower that I seem to have every year and it was so cool. It had little blue flowers that would shed almost every night, leaving a blue confetti on the ground. It does this all spring and into the summer. It recently dried up for the season and the app was still able to identify it. It is called blue flax. I researched more about the flower and found it to be the plant that created flax seeds, like the type used in cooking, oils and medicine. I was ecstatic. I picked a bunch of the pods and now am waiting for them to finish drying out and I am going to crack them open and collect the seeds.

While playing the “weed or flower” game, trying to identify all of my mystery plants, I learned I have another one called Motherwort, a medicinal plant, and an actual catnip plant, forget-me-nots and so much more. This was very exciting for me.

And I will be patiently waiting for the rest of them to go to seed. So far, I have the flax, calendula, four varieties of hollyhocks, coriander, echinacea and a few other flowers. And I recently scooped out the seeds from an overly ripe summer squash. At this rate, I won’t have to buy many seeds next season.

I’m still patiently waiting for one of the pumpkin plants to actually produce a pumpkin. I feel like there should be something by now. They flowered and are spreading out and growing, but no pumpkins yet. I’m hoping they will start setting on soon. I’m quite excited to see black, pink, blue and white pumpkins!


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