Seeds for the Future

Above: Calochortus albus, fairy lantern - maybe one of the mystery seeds planted.

On this tenth anniversary of the massively sad 9/11 event, I breathe to try and reconcile the warp and woof of joy and sadness that form the fabric of life. I sit looking over the forest-filled valley and realize that's the way life is, down to the smallest insect that feeds a chick.

However, I can't stay there for long. As is my nature, I return to the optimism of the old American song: Remember whenever you're down and out, the only way is up. -- Especially if you're a seedling!

Like good ideas, many seeds have been languishing in my stores, and many won't be viable any more. But I'm hoping for surprises - if you never plant 'em, you'll never know, eh?

This year I did a clean-out and sowed around 10 mysteries from the vaults, poor things that had lost their nomenclature. If any succeed, it will be like winning a prize!

I also planted seeds saved from this year's crop of wild natives I managed to grow in my garden.

And I'm not done yet - madia and eriogonum (soon) and lupine and madrone and manzanita and clarkia await their turn. And I have some yerba buena layering away in a moist spot - I'm hoping it will root.

Here are pictures of the seeds I sowed this year so far.

The Low Likelihood Bunch
Aquilegia formosa, Colombine:

Cardamine californica, milk maids:

Cynoglossum grande, western hound's tongue:

Disporum hookeri, Hooker's fairy bells:

Dudleya caespitosa, coast dudleya (or some kind of dudleya anyway)

Maianthemum racemosum, western false Solomon's seal or feathery false lily of the valley

And/or Maianthemum stellatum, stary false lily of the valley (tentative ID):

Trillium chloropetalum, giant wakerobin

Trillium ovatum, western wakerobin:

Viola ocellata, western heart's ease:

Viola sempervirens, redwood violet:

The unknown likelihood of germination bunch
- two penstemons that I grew in my garden, not from local wild and I'm growing them for the hummingbirds specifically.

Penstemon centranthifolium, scarlet bugler, is native in the county south of us, Monterey and it did just beautifully on a dry sunny mound:

and Penstemon strictux X gloxinoides 'Midnight Blue' - photo from Paghat's Garden web site as I forgot to get one of my own:

The More Likely to Germinate Bunch

Eriophyllum confertifolium, golden yarrow:

Heuchera micrantha, alum root:

Holodiscus discolor, sea foam (actually I'm not sure if these will grow easily or not)

Iris fernaldii, Fernald's iris:

Melica torreyana, Torrey's melic:

Nassella cernua, nodding needlegrass:

Ranunculus californica, California buttercup:

And that's all for now - Here's hoping!


Sue Langley said…
Wow! What a beautiful sight, that last picture. Hope for the future indeed. Good to know about the Heuchera,...I'll have to look for seeds.

I'm trying Columbine, and the Globe Gilia and the tall Clarkia, but mostly just laying down the seed heads where i want more. Fingers crossed.

We had a nice rain here over the weekend, but it's already drying out again.
My Holodiscus didn't even bloom this year. It bloomed like crazy last year. And yet the Ceanothus thyrsiflorus bloomed twice, once just 2 weeks ago! I'm blaming the weather personally. I don't have many mystery seeds here, but do have a number of natives I'm eager to start now the greenhouse is up!
I'm too much of a control freak to try out mystery seeds but admire your sense of adventure.

Nice images. Thanks for sharing.
Country Mouse said…
Yes, the heuchera so far are maintaining well in the garden but they didn't bloom this year - I think I started them too late. I bet they'll flower next year though, and we'll see if new babies grown at the right time have any greater success. All the mysteries are some kind of native I gathered over the past two or three years - I didn't gather this spring because I had such a lot in the store to deal with. Looking forward to hearing about how you'll use your greenhouse!

Patrick, I'm more of an out-of-control freak! In a quiet, gardener kind of way ;-)

Thanks for leaving your comments!