Back before there was snow on the ground (!!!), we grew a few kinds of flowers in our (primarily vegetable) gardens; marigolds, zinnias, cleome, calendula, and sunflowers. When the cold came, we brought in what was left of the flowers to save seed. Some of the flower heads were already dry, some (cleome) had already formed seed pods, but most weren’t quite there, so we laid them out to dry, and forgot about them.
We’ve finally gotten them back out. We’re going through, ripping them apart and taking out the seeds. What we end up with are jars full of seed for the garden next year, and piles of sweet smelling flower mess. The seeds will go in airtight jars in the basement for storage until planting time comes around, and the flower mess will end up in the compost (although I realize now how the concept of potpourri must have gotten started).
So far we’ve got a pint of marigold seeds, a half pint of zinnia seed, and maybe a tablespoon of cleome (which have very tiny seeds). I’m very excited about this. We didn’t pay much attention to the place of flowers in our garden last year, as we were new to gardening and more concerned about successfully growing vegetables. But next year, we’re going to have hedges of flowers everywhere. Short blocks of marigolds and zinnias in with the vegetables, tall fences of sunflowers and cleome bordering the garden space, calendula interplanted everywhere. And we’ll work on getting some other kinds of flowers going as well.
And every one of these seeds has the potential to be an entire plant, with multiple flower heads containing hundreds (thousands?) more seeds to be planted again the following year! I can’t get over the magic multiplying power of seeds. As a hoarder of sorts (ie I would rather keep a year’s supply of pasta on hand rather than face the threat of running out), seeds are great for me. Go ahead, plant every last one of them. Rather than be out of them, you’ll just have even more to harvest next year!