Yesterday I stood at the kitchen window looking out into my garden. It was a freezing, foggy day. To my surprise, some of my plants were still going strong. The Cup and Saucer Vine hadn't even wilted in the frosts and still bore some gorgeous, translucent teacup flowers. And as I watched, dozens of maroon and yellow striped Jolly Jester Marigolds bobbed around in the wind. If anything, they seemed to have benefited from the cold.
But others in my garden were succumbing to fall. They were dry and brown. They were moldy. And they made me sad. The kind of sad where I couldn't bring myself to go out there.
And I hadn't been out there for weeks.
But I finally mustered up the courage and marched out to face my dying band of vegetable friends. The least I could do was hold there leafy hands as they departed this world.
I won't describe to you exactly all I found there, it's just too painful. But I will tell you the upside to the fall garden, and that is collecting seeds.
I've saved the seeds from my chrysanthemums, marigolds, dill, flax, peas, peppers, two kinds of lettuce, and cilantro. I'm hoping to use the seeds from this year's plants in next year's garden. This way, my plants will become healthier and stronger from year to year (that's the word on the street, anyway).
The seed saving process has been amazing, but all this time I've been waiting for ONE SEED. The big daddy of them all, the Mammoth Grey Stripe Sunflower. Oh, it sends the shivers down my spine, my friends.
That's why I was looking out my kitchen window yesterday, to see if the sunflowers were ready. And they were.
It's beautiful how the garden, in her last dying stages, will try desperately to throw you one more gift. And oh, what a gift it is.
Favorite Places Tuesday on a Wednesday? My garden that gives, gives, gives.