Seeds of Time

"We sow the seed, right. Nature grows the seed, and then, we eat the seed. And then, after that, we sow the seed, nature grows the seed, and then, we eat the seed. And then, after that again, we sow the seed, nature grows the seed...."  (The Young Ones, 'Sick' Ben Elton, Rik Mayall, Lise Mayer 1984)

I grow a lot of the plants for my garden from seed for a variety of reasons and lets be clear about this, many of them are money based as plants are not cheap and money is tight for many of us these days.  I do have a relatively large garden for a suburban area and I have been creating borders in it since I moved in.  I think I might have now completed the main border creation but it means I have a lot of bulking up to do to fill the space.
I have written before on how I rely heavily on self-seeder to fill in a lot of gaps.  I encourage Nigella, Foxgloves and Eschscholzia californica.  I let teasles romp around and I am trying to convince Erigeron mucronatus that it really does want to spread around my garden.  I was delighted earlier in the year when some larkspur self seeded from a previous sowing and I have had milk thistle re-appear this year from plants I grew a year or so ago.  However this is all left pretty much to chance and this post is not about chance.

It has now become clear to me that I need to stop messing around and relying on what pops up or buying new plants.  I need to get into propagation in a big way to fill my garden as cheaply as possible and from plants that I love.  So step one:  buy brown paper bags.
Why brown paper bags?  Because I was watching Gardeners World and that is what Carol Klein used and I am highly suggestible for such things.  I don't shop in places where they provide paper bags like this and to be honest a quick google got me a nice amount for a very small price.  I am happy with my bags.

I then had to make a determined effort to stop deadheading.  Now this was hard for me, I enjoy deadheading and I want all the colour I can get this time of year.  I reasoned with myself though that the first frost will be quite soon (20th October last year according to my garden journal), so there is not much more flowering to be done now.  The recent hot weather has helped enormously to dry seed heads out so I have made a start.
Some Eryngium.
and Helianthus Vanilla Ice.  I have collected some dahlia seeds, agapanthus and lots of cosmos seeds too.  In fact, if it has seeds I am bagging them.  Of course I realise that some will not grow (none might grow!) and some may not come true but I am quite excited about this and looking forward eagerly to sowing them next year.
It is paper-bag heaven!
They even have their own special box.
and I am reliably informed that these will grow into hedgehogs.  I will let you know on that one.

Important note:  The Seeds of Time is a collection of short stories by John Wyndham and well worth reading.  However for some reason when thinking about the Seeds of Time I keep humming 'Wind of Change' by Scorpians.  I gift this to you all.


  1. Ha ha it hadnt occurred to me to buy paper bags. I save bags & large envelopes through the year from gift shops. I love your collection it all looks so neat and organised unlike my usual chaos. I find that one seed head is normally enough for each plant

  2. I never thought of using old envelopes - good idea. I do love my bags, I think it is from years of playing shop as a child. I hav realised I do have a lot of some seeds, I think I will learn a lot from this year.

  3. Wow, hedgehog seeds! I'll be very interested to follow your seed-growing journey (with the other seeds, I mean. Not to bring you down, but I don't expect to see hedgehogs).
    First Dr Who, now The Young Ones and John Wyndham. Have to love your taste.

  4. I think I shall be getting some bags soon.I got a seed saving kit last christmas and it has nearly been filled this year. I have had a lot of fun saving tomato seeds!! You have to try it!!

  5. Hi Anthony - I admit I am not a great tomato grower, I don't like them very much - but I have had them self-seed in the greenhouse when I did grow some, I was very surprised!

  6. Hi Lyn - I think the hedgehogs might mutate into Orlaya - but I live in hope :-)

  7. Awesome blog. I just stumbled upon your blog. What kind of seeds you’re using?
    non GMO seedsor GMO seeds?


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