hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


This is the week of seed preparation. For weeks,as summer wound down, I have cut the seed pods from the various previously blooming flowers, dropped them in small paper bags, and waited for them to dry. This week, I gathered all the brown bags together, found some small plastic bags and gummed labels, and got to work. First I crushed or otherwise opened each pod over a square of wax paper, letting the seeds gather on the paper, and putting the chaff aside. It's about the only time each year that the word chaff comes to my mind, let alone gets spoken aloud. "Gosh, there's an amazing amount of chaff from these Queen Anne's lace seed balls," I say to Ed.

And there is. And a lot of seeds as well; thousands of them. And thousands more of rose campion, and hollyhock, and columbine. And many hundreds of nasturtium,Welsh poppies, California poppies, opium poppies, and evening primrose, and of the sunflowers in the photo, as well as of the many more flower garden gifts that keep giving. There are tens, only, of water iris and of meadow rue, but more may come of even these less abundant seed producers.

It is a good time to be doing this because it is cold and gray and rainy and hard to temember that there was once a time of great and abundant color everywhere, whenever I looked out the windows. November is the month that brings you to your senses as to where you live, how far north you live, and what's in store for you over the
next five months.

When I am finished there is nice little stack of plastic bags, neatly labeled, waiting to be stacked into the freezer, where I will see them regularly, at least daily, and thus will serve to remind me that the flowers will be back with us, even though it seems at this moment that we have permanently succumbed to a cold, gray world.