by Nita Hill

Himalayan Honeysuckle (Leycesteria formosa)

Himalayan Honeysuckle (Leycesteria formosa)


This morning, after trimming the spent perennials and turning the compost, I returned to collecting seeds. So far I have my favorite foxgloves, nigella and purple lupins I stole from my neighbors (why are stolen seeds so wonderful?!), Chinese honeysuckle and this morning the beautiful black beads that form at the base of the ladder leaves of my orange tiger lilies.

Tiger lilies

Tiger lilies


It will be a few weeks before harvesting the freckled belamcanda lilies with their aptly named blackberry seed pod. Saving seeds is superfluous when you aren’t moving. As of today, staying is uncertain.

Nigella seeds

Nigella seeds


After a trip to Spokane, where I was pleasantly surprised after spending three walks in the perennial gardens, I can grow almost everything I grow here. It was as if I was back in Memphis in the evenings having to crisscross streets to avoid the long arch of the sprinklers. I wouldn’t call them sprinklers, they flooded everything! The grass was deep green and everything was still fresh and proud unlike my limping along garden in Portland where you are shamed if your grass is green and it is a back-handed complement if folks say how “nice” your beds look although it is acceptable to keep things alive. It’s also considered acceptable to flood your vegetables. There are plants I will avoid. It is several degrees hotter and much colder there though I assume the “season” is about the same.

Jack-in-the Pulpit seeds

Jack-in-the Pulpit seeds


When I made this garden, I had assured myself it was the last time. Any new garden I make will probably be different and smaller but somehow I will manage with my beaten up knees, wrists and shoulders, to put something in the ground.

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