On Bringing in the Seeds

Frugality. It is the buzzword of the day.
 It seems everyone has embraced this lifestyle.

I learned frugality from our parents. World War II as imputes: frugality in all things, even gardening.

My father collected seeds. He showed us how. Father also wintered geraniums and other plants. One of his prize geraniums, of Hungarian origin, was almost three feet tall. We referred to it as the “geranium tree:” deep red, a prolific bloomer even in winter.

A few years ago, seeing that my sister was doing what our father had done, I too started wintering geraniums. This year, some bright pinks will be added to the salmon and magentas. One day, maybe, just maybe, one or both of us will have a “geranium tree” to rival that of our father.

As for seeds, dill, forget-me-nots, yellow & orange marigolds, sugar pie pumpkin, purple phlox, orange cosmos, columbine and portulaca have been, once again, collected, dried, sealed and placed in a cool, dry place.

I, the frugal gardener. Like father, like daughters.

Or, perhaps it is habit. Tradition. An unwavering rite of summer's passage. Perhaps it is simply a pleasing thing to do this wintering and ‘bringing in the seed.’

Or maybe, it is an act of preserving something more: not just seeds or a favorite flower, but of preserving that invisible connection to our father, from whom we gleaned the knowledge and joy of gardening.


Time to Reflect on 2009

Sedum colors the late summer perennial bed
Another growing season is almost at an end.  2009 will go down as one of those weird years: Too cold, too wet and sometimes, too dry. 

I heard from several gardeners in Ohio and Pennsylvania that it was a challenging year.  So, when I hear some people didn't even get one ear of corn or someone else says their tomatoes rotted, I remind myself not to be a perfectionist.  My garden was good.  I was hoping for "over abundance," but "good" is good ;)

Cabbage, peppers, eggplant, beans are still producing.  A few tomato plants by the patio deck are rippening.  I started four tomato plants for indoors for the winter.  One already has blossoms.

The apple tree took a holiday this year and didn't produce much fruit.  The two pear trees, on the other hand, took up the slack.  Mom & I have been peeling, coring and freezing pint after pint of pears to use in making pear butter and bread over the winter.

I cleaned up the potting shed garden and hauled the corn stalks to the back compost pile.  There were 14 pie pumpkins in this garden.  In the next few days, they will be cooked down and made into pumpkin pie filling.

Lots to do as gardening in Zone 5 wraps up.