Blooms put collection of seeds on hold

Bees love the marigold. Picture by Tom Pattinson.
Bees love the marigold. Picture by Tom Pattinson.

Ideally, seed collecting should be planned early in the year so you can catch seed capsules at the optimum time, rather than by chance in soggy autumn weather.

When it involves hardy annual or perennial spent flower heads, they should be dry, placed in a paper bag, labelled and stored in a cool environment.

Capsules of French marigolds are collectable, but this year they won’t stop blooming.

Two taller growing cultivars, which the lady of the house raised from seed, were planted on the island vegetable beds to deter aphids. They grew prolifically, but are still attracting bees and butterflies. So we continue removing faded blooms to encourage more and seed collection is on hold.

When a pure white foxglove appears in a group sown for mixed colour effect, you save the seed in hope that it leads to more of the same next time. Because they’re biennials there’ll be a two-year wait, but that’s gardening.

Meanwhile, some foxgloves will bloom in a third year when the basal plant cluster is left in place.