Some seed heads and doing nothing

One thing I've learned about gardening is you have to be flexible. You can and should make plans for what you're going to plant, when and where you're going to plant it, when you're going to do certain tasks -- but you need to be willing and able to change those plans at almost any time. Delay certain activities until the weather is better, or take advantage of an unexpectedly pleasant day to get a little extra work done.

That's sort of what happened to me today. I wasn't planning on doing anything in the yard -- I wasn't even thinking about spending any time out there -- but with near-record high temps (75ºF again) and plenty of sunshine, I thought maybe I should do something. Perhaps I'd pull down some vines, rake some leaves, or something along those lines. That would be kind of fun... but then I decided to be even more flexible and avoid my usual tendency to work in the garden whenever possible. I would spend some time outside but not do any work.


So that's what I did: nothing. Well, actually I just walked all around the yard, camera in hand, testing out a "new" macro lens I recently bought. Looking at everything very closely, finding the beauty in the remnants of the garden wherever I could. What I saw a lot of was seed heads. Very textural, very Autumn, very brown. Here's a look at some of them.

There are plenty of Rudbeckia seed heads around -- I think this was Rudbeckia triloba, but not certain.

Rudbeckia triloba (?)

Liatris aspera (Rough Blazingstar)

Globe thistle

Clematis ternifolia (Sweet Autumn Clematis)

Agastache foeniculum

That's a lot of brown, but not all of the seeds out here are drab. How about some rose hips for color?

For more color there's the hyacinth bean pods that we've seen recently too:

hyacinth bean
They're definitely not brown!

garlic chives

But really, most of the seed heads are some shade of brown, as all of the plants themselves will soon be. That's just how it is. Brown is something that cold-climate gardeners get used to every winter. It surrounds us for months.

Speaking of being surrounded, there are dozens of these garlic chive plants just waiting to drop their seeds. I need to do something about that or I'll be surrounded by garlic chives next year.

I feel the urge to collect these seeds right now, but I think I'll put it off for another day or so. Just trying to be flexible!

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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (November 10, 2010 at 10:22 AM)  

These images are *beautiful*. Right up my alley. Which lens did you get?

Alan  – (November 10, 2010 at 10:39 AM)  

I mainly use vintage manual lenses with my Pentax, unless I'm using the kit lens which is pretty good. In this case it was a Super Macro-Takumar 50mm F4 made sometime between 1966 and 1970. These old screw-mount lenses are cool, and usually pretty cheap.

Unknown  – (November 16, 2012 at 12:01 PM)  

Alan - I work for the New England Wild Flower Society, and we'd like to use your image of the Agastache foeniculum seed head for our Go Botany website. Can we have permission?

Alan  – (November 16, 2012 at 12:20 PM)  

Unknown: please email me. My address is on my "about me" page.

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