I'm a Seed Snatcher III

trudi_dSeptember 6, 2005

Well---I'm still at it. (who could resist?) But now I have a companion--sorta. Hubs has finally stopped resisting and now will hold open the kleenex for me to drop in the seeds I've just rescued.

I was walking the dog last night (late last night) and made mental notes about this or that coming to maturity. I'm currently keeping eye on a patch of overgrown mahogany and gold marigolds at the back parking lot of the local Duncans. I can feel the need for a Coolatta coming on...maybe I'll bring a baggie tonight too ;-)

A cup of coffee, a donut and seeds! Is there anything better than that?

Happy Seeds!


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Butterfly! I have trained my 2 year old right from the get-go (when he was 1 and started wanting to pick flowers) that he should only pick the brown ones! It wasn't only to preserve my plantings, it was for a future of seed snatching. :)

    Bookmark   December 2, 0002 at 12:07AM
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Butterfly! I have trained my 2 year old right from the get-go (when he was 1 and started wanting to pick flowers) that he should only pick the brown ones! It wasn't only to preserve my plantings, it was for a future of seed snatching. :)

    Bookmark   December 2, 0002 at 12:07AM
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Butterfly! I have trained my 2 year old right from the get-go (when he was 1 and started wanting to pick flowers) that he should only pick the brown ones! It wasn't only to preserve my plantings, it was for a future of seed snatching. :)

    Bookmark   December 2, 0002 at 12:07AM
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cjsmith(z6 SE MA)

I've gotten all the pods from a batch of daylilies at a condo on my walk to work. And I snatched a mix of seeds from a tub of petunias at the gas station the other day. I'm calling those my Exxon Petunias. DH actually brings me seed pods as a surprise occasionally (other people's spouses bring them flowers....:-)

    Bookmark   September 6, 2005 at 8:33PM
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Visiting MIL recovering from open heart surgery, I'm snatching verbena seeds at the HOSPITAL, for heaven's sake! (But they were such a great shade of blue...)

    Bookmark   September 6, 2005 at 11:45PM
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albertar(z7 LINY)

I've spotted a beautiful burgundy hibiscus that I'd love to snatch seeds from. Every time I go by the house, there is never anyone outside, if I see anyone I'll definitly ask them, but in the meantime.....

    Bookmark   September 7, 2005 at 2:50AM
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garden_witch(z6a MI)

My DH hasn't brought me seed heads yet, but he has learned that a cute little potted hydrangea earns major brownie points. He also brings me neat junk for the yard, but thats for another forum =)

I have been eyeing a gorgeous stand of tall miscanthus on a corner a few blocks away, and some lovely little petunias in another corner planting. Time to start walking again =) Last year I got a nice handful of hollyhock pods from a different corner planting. I don;t feel too guilty when taking seeds from these little corner gardens, they are on public property after all!

Of course, I still don't know where the heck I am going to find room for 7'+ tall ornamental grass, or why I would want pink petunias, and haven't planted the hollyhock seeds from last year. But I do like collecting the seeds! One year I even pulled a petunia stem out of the trash at work, it had good pods =) It is still in my seed box, labeled "mystery petunia, snatched from work." I think I need help....

    Bookmark   September 7, 2005 at 4:33PM
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Felt a little twinge of guilt this morning. I ended my walk at the neighborhood park. Collected cosmos "Bright Lights" and "Sensation", nictotiana alata and hyacinth bean vine seeds. I pulled up a lot of milkweed that was strangling some sedums, and pulled a bunch of weeds from the patch of nicotiana. While I was doing that someone from the neighborhood strolled over to thank me for being so "public-minded" as to weed a city park.

Didn't know how to tell him I had about 12 packs of seeds as payment!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2005 at 2:50PM
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Your stories bring two stories to my mind.

Trudi's Hubs holding the kleenex for her brings the first to mind.

Last Fall, I met up with my first true love at one of our high school chum's funeral. Let's just say that after 30+ years, the sparks were still there and leave it at that. He got his orders he was being shipped overseas 4 days after we got back together. We saw each other a few times before he left in January for Germany. We have corresponded through emails and phone calls. In July, my company sent me to Europe on business which was to be completed on my sweetheart's 50th birthday. So naturally I hooked up with him for a long week-end while I was on that side of the pond. We took a hike up the mountain behind our hotel and there were some beautiful foxglove seed heads everywhere. I started harvesting some of the seeds and my sweetheart brought me over a cash register receipt and held it for me while I dropped the seeds in it. He got big time points for that. He left for Iraq the next week and I won't see him until next July.

The other story is, Last Friday my daughter came to take me to the Emergency room because I have been having a medical situation that could not be diagnosed and was rapidly reaching crisis mode. When we parked the car, my daughter, also a seed snatcher, saw me eyeing the ripe grass plumes, and had to remind me it was not the proper time to be snatching seeds.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2005 at 8:24PM
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trish_ca(CA 8)

I have one that tops them all. My hubby went over to
Thailand on a business trip, and the ceo of the company he was visiting took him out to lunch at a golf course resort type place. As the taxi is driving past some trees my husband states those are the most beautiful trees he has ever seen and his wife would love some of those seeds. Well, the ceo makes the driver stop the car, get out and climb 20 feet up the tree in his uniform to collect the seeds for him. He brought them home and I planted them, and lo and behold they have sprouted. I have no idea how he got them out of the country, but he did. Now he tells me at work they have beautiful trees but these are purple, so he is waiting for the seeds to be ready. He never did this before, could be some wierd mid life crisis?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2005 at 8:47PM
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Hubs asked why it tooks so long at the supermarket today--I had just gone to pick up a few things. It really did take just a little while in the store. BUt the parking lot--swell, that's a different story. It just so happens that the daylily pods had matured on their decorative plantings. How could I resist?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2005 at 8:51PM
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I snatched Senna seeds and lantana cuttings from New Orleans last spring. The plants are nice and healthy. First time I have't felt guilty about my avarice and larceny.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2005 at 8:08AM
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A house downtown has the neatest yellow trumpet vine growing on an arbor right near the sidewalk. TONS of ripening seed pods hanging right in plain view...I think I am going to have to park the car and take a walk around the block. I have only ever seen orange trumpet vine and scarlet, both of which grows wild around here. The yellow is pretty neat!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2005 at 11:06PM
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Wow, Trish; those are some seeds with a story! And it's nice to know that, even in a business meeting in a foreign country, he's thinking of things that will appeal to you! If that's a mid-life crisis, more men should go thru it!

And isn't it neat to have souvenirs growing in your yard? Brenda, I wonder if the parent plants are underwater now?

I have a great lilac that, while it doesn't look especially exotic, came from a cutting I took at St. Basil's on Red Square in Moscow five years ago.

Far more prosaic, and it wasn't techincally seed "snatching" -- I bought a half-dead "Red Rocks" penstemon for $1.99 at Lowe's yesterday because it was loaded with seed pods just ready to burst! I'm confident with some TLC I can recesitate the plant -- plus I have beaucoup seeds to play with!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 8:39PM
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I almost got caught snatching some Jacob's Ladder seeds at a nursery the other day.

There was an employee working not to far from where I was. The seedhead was perfectly ripe and right there at eye level. Who could resist? I had just clipped the seedstalk when he turned around. He saw me looking at the plant and said even seasoned gardeners like himself had difficulty keeping this plant alive and he suggested I look at other plants. Meanwhile I am trying to stash the seedhead into my palm without losing any seeds. I sowed about 15 yesterday and have about 15 more I will sow in the Winter if I don't have any seeds sprout from this sowing.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 6:32PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Walked in the brand new precious city park today. The Purple Love grass was full of seedpods. I couldn't resist. I scrunched a bunch in my hand and a lot of teeny tiny seeds fell into my grubby palm. :-) I'll go out there again tomorrow when the park is full of people. Security guards there are pretty strict, ya know. :-D. I was told once that there were cameras everywhere. LOL.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 9:08PM
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garden_witch(z6a MI)

My son and I went for a walk this afternoon and we passed a patch of "dead" columbines that were a beautiful dusty peach. "Oooo, columbines!" *snatch!* My first of the season =)

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 6:17PM
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I drive my DH and 15 year old daughter crazy with this we will be walking past some flower and I start looking will DD will say Mom in that teenager tone of voice I get them everywhere. We are hooked have to feed our addiction. Patty

    Bookmark   September 17, 2005 at 4:20PM
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Filling up with gas today, noticed the landscapers were mowing the lawn, humm those sure were pretty cosmos with alot of ripe seeds heads in assorted colors. With truck parked just joined the crew in dead heading a few flowers. Very glad had a few empty yogurt cups for my plants with me.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 9:36PM
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Raney10(z7 TN)

When we recently toured Williamsburg, VA there were ripe seeds everywhere and fortunately I had a napkin in my pocket which I tore into pieces to wrap up dill and lavender seeds. The next day when we were going to Jamestown and Yorktown, DH took glad bags along for me and I got joe pye weed from both places and even some magnolia seeds. He just rolled his eyes when I asked the manager of the Garden at Yorktown if I could have seeds from the bee balm. She was happy to oblige and I told her all about winter sowing.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 10:40PM
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I am laughing out loud at the stories here! Seed snatching should have no guilt attached to it. LOL. We are doing a good thing, spreading plants by seed. Those seeds would just rot anyway. We are the people who beautify the planet (or intend to!)

If you get "caught" snatching, DEFEND your act bravely! Who can be mad at someone who is saving seed to make more flowers?

We need a bumper sticker.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 9:05AM
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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

OK, Alison! I found your hyacinth bean source. My co-workers and I have been enjoying lunch at Basi recently and plan to have our Christmas party there, so we have been passing that gate and I get a good giggle. The alleys there have nico etc and I was wondering if your garden is near there? BTW, I summer sowed Red Rocks this summer with great success and Princess Mimi got some of the babies at the fall swap. We missed you. It was fun.

Was trying some cardio tonight and found a neighbors house loaded wth tall pink platycodon loaded with pods. My pink platy was ravaged by something - I think grasshoppers - until my praying matises moved in and cleared the chompers out. I will be ringing that doorbell in a few days or so to get permission - there are scads of pods - hundreds. Can you imagine???????

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 4:48AM
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cjsmith(z6 SE MA)

Grabbed white foxglove, yellow foxglove and gaillardia from the landscaped areas of the condo near where I work. And I have my eye on a lavendar ROS and something else that I cant identify but looks pretty (I'll have to take a picture) there as well.....

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 6:00PM
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I know that I cannot EVER pass a purple coneflower & not covet it even if I have a zillion of my own. They are the ultimate addiction! In addition to taking a hike at the botanic gardens for health reasons or to snatch seeds can't really figure out which is the primary reason

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 10:50PM
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I went seed shopping today! Or should I say seed swipping! I got white and purple Texas Cenizo, about 6 yesterday today and tomorrow, bottle brush, baby pink zinnia, burgandy zinnia, red periwinkle, and pink ruella. What a trip I had.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2005 at 12:02AM
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triple_b(BC 5b)

YOU FOLKS ROCK! That is all I can say about it. Now I am inspired to keep my eyes open everywhere I go, not just on my own flowers.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 4:58PM
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luvs2garden8686(z7 VA)

I am happy to say that I snatched some stella de' ora daylilly seeds from bojangles last weekend :)

    Bookmark   October 2, 2005 at 11:22PM
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I liberated a few gaillardia and coreopsis moonbeam seeds from a highway rest area planting last weekend and was horrified when a man with a curious look on his face approached me. Instead of "busting" me however, he merely asked if I knew the names of a few nearby plants. When he moved on and I relaxed, another visitor to the area joined me and began commenting on the various plantings. I tried to maintain my innocent look and move toward the car with my treasures, but she was intent upon sharing information - trying to get me to crack and confess, I was sure. Guilt can do funny things to a person!!! Then she started telling me about all of the seeds she had brought home from traveling around the country - a fellow seed snatcher trying to decide if it was safe for her to snatch while I was around. LOL!!! She claimed that this addiction is actually a service aimed at spreading beauty. I gave her a couple of coin envelopes I had hidden in my pocket and chuckled as I continued my trip.

I've also snatched Stella d'Oro daylily seeds from a strip mall - such easy gathering - and lots of short yellow yarrow from a parking lot in the past few weeks. I'm just getting warmed up and all of your stories (plus the encouragement of my rest area confidante) are just what I needed to keep me going.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 1:48PM
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lavendrfem(z6 CT)

lol - this is so funny....I love this thread. I've just started saving seeds this year. And now wherever I go, I'm searching for seeds. Today at a park near where I work, I got Hosta seeds and heuchera seeds. On another trip I got some rose hips. Spreading the joy/beauty......yeah that's it!


    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 8:42PM
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cjsmith(z6 SE MA)

It is so much fun.

Got clematis from a vine hanging over a fence.
Got something unidentified (I'll post a pic on another thread)
Got purple morning glory (OK those are everywhere, but still)


    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 1:25PM
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I have to say...it is really amazing once you start to save seeds (my first year here), that your eyes go everywhere for seeds or potential cuttings.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 9:37PM
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sazji(8bNW Turkey)

My favorite place for snatching seeds? Cemeteries! Here in Istanbul, they are some of the few really green places left in the city, besides the few crowded parks that are usually full of people barbecuing. They have family graves here generally, imagine a large rectangular raised marble bathtub with a headstone. People plant flowers in them. The most common thing is iris; so much so that the flower has become associated with cemeteries in many people's minds. On my most recent foray I got some nice dark pink hollyhock seed, some multicolor four o'clocks, and, from the grave of one Rahmi Yasaroglu, about half a cup of seed from a really brilliant red poppy. I'd been eyeing them for quite a while...and as I just moved into a place with a huge and completely ignored garden, I figure I can have a poppy field the first summer, until I can start getting other things going. :) I also have some seedlings coming along from Caesalpinia, and lots of common things like Gomphrena and marigolds.

I don't feel guilty for taking seed from streetside plantings. They aren't going to be used, you are in effect deadheading. I do draw the line at taking cuttings from public gardens (known in the business as "finger blight"). When it's someone's garden, I ask. They may be planning to propagate; imagine if you had watched the seed pod come along of your special hybrid, to have it snatched one day... Most garden people are good friendly folk and like to exchange; I made several gardening friends that way back in Seattle. And of course then if you lose your plant, you know where to go. (An exception to this was the famous Elizabeth Miller, whose amazing garden was turned into a botanical garden. When her workers were pruning her rarities, she had them cut the prunings up into the smallest pieces possible so that nobody else would have the plant...)

Anyway, next spring I'll call my garden the Rahmi Yasaroglu Memorial Poppy Field in his honor. Hopefully Rahmi bey will be happy at having spread the beauty. ;)

    Bookmark   October 8, 2005 at 5:10AM
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garden_witch(z6a MI)

I'm still eyeing a fence-load of various blue morning glories =) Can't wait to start snatching those. I think the miscanthus down the road is about ready, better get to walkin' =)

    Bookmark   October 9, 2005 at 5:03PM
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Since everything is starting a rebloom here due to the rain, I decided it would be a public service on my part to deadhead at the mall - came away with some ornamental grass I think might be purple majesty millet, tall rose red snaps, tall cream yellow snaps, what might be orange profusion zinnias (heads have to dry out a bit more before I can dismantle them and see if they're zinnia seeds), and a rudbeckia that has a circle of yellow-orange around the light (like Irish Eyes) colored center, and the outer petal tips are lemon yellow. Different than anything I have, and I thought I had the ruds pretty well covered!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 12:54PM
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Raney10(z7 TN)

Good news, I've turned my DH into a seed snatcher too. I had been watching these clumps of beautiful purple flowers along the road near our home. Stopped three times but they weren't ready to collect yet. Then I got busy with out of town company and DH walks in with a stem of these lovelies saying he hopes they are mature enough. The leaf looks like phlox but I really have no idea, just hope I can get it to germinate.
Wish me luck.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2005 at 7:33PM
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I paid the utility bill today in person, do so every november, so I can run my snapping litte fingers over their primo (and viable) miscanthus. Several fronds fill an empty bill envelope quite nicely.

I will NEVER be able to get them back in seeds, but I admit it's a thought ;-)

    Bookmark   November 4, 2005 at 10:27PM
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danaoh(SWOhio zone 6)

going to Oxford ohio tomorrow, home of Miami University (Miami was a university before Florida was a state). Can't wait to go for a slow walk in their botanical garden

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 1:32PM
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I am SHOCKED & APALLED ÂÂÂÂ ok no IÂm not but I am JEALOUS.
All I have been able to snatch so far this year is some huge yellow marigolds and Stella DÂOro lilies from a small public garden acrossed the street from work.
In spring I watched as workers planted the garden Ho Hum Â.. (I have a lot of down time at work and the front wall is all glass) days pass, weeks pass the garden is coming to life as I watch out the window. OH LOOK Day lilies, hmmmm marigolds, black eyed susans ÂÂÂÂ OH WAIT what is that I see coming up in the back ÂÂ.. CANNA, I now know what my mission must be Â. A little voice drifts across the street " free the canna seed" so I sit and watch and wait, assured by the small voice that I have been assigned to free the seeds from this small garden surrounded by roads, because if I do not free them to grow in heathly soil they will be blown into the road only to wither and die never showing their true beauty to the world. I walk slowly around the triangular garden twice daily keeping inventory in my head and small plastic cups in my pocketÂÂ My mission is clear and I wait, listening to the small voice that drifts in the breeze "free us please, we want to share our beauty with the world" (at least the small part that drives past MY house next growing season)

Ok ok ok maybe itÂs not a mission but it keeps the guilt away while I pluck pods waiting for what I truly want THE CANNA!!!

oh yeah the bonus .... the whole time I'm being paid

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 6:45PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Two months of watching those coreopsis outside the physical therapy place finally paid off. Don't know what kind they are, but yellow, semi double flower. Finally got there on a day when it was full of ripe pods. My fingers just couldn't help it, had to help the plants along so they could flower again and oh, what a haul I got of seeds.

Now it's gonna be time for some walks in the neighborhood and see what else I can find


    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 12:49AM
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good grief! I thought was alone in snatching seeds from the older unsold plants left over at the local Nursery!

You guys have now given me lots of good ideas!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 6:25PM
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Perhaps I have just been caught up in just getting to wherever I was going, but now I see every trip as a hunt for seeds just waiting to be liberated.

We had breakfast at Bob Evans - literally a flower bed full of flowers in serious need of deadheading.

I had a Dr's appointment - again foundation plantings full of seeds.

On the way home there was a huge ( and beautiful ) planting at the front of a new apartment complex -

and again coming into the drive I spied several varieties in the new subdevelopement model home plantings.

I took pics of everything and will have to look up a few - but these were all in areas open to the public and not a soul gave me a second notice.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 9:55PM
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albertar(z7 LINY)

There I was the other day removing seed heads from Stella de Oro and Cannas at St. Catherine of Sienna hospial grounds in Smithtown NY. The cannas stand over 6 foot tall, thank goodness I stand 5'8" tall, lol

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 11:43AM
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Okay, so I spent awhile reading these posts and got curious so yesterday my kids and I took a very long walk where I was initiated into the seed snatcher club. It was so fun, they might need to make an SSA group (Seed Snatcher Anonymous). I think we will start taking a lot more walks now, and I will just use the excuse that I need the excercise! Thank you to all of you who motivated me to do this, I had a blast! (Although I am new and don't know what I snatched, or if it will grow lol)

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 8:26PM
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mercurygirl(z8 Puget Sound)

I guess this is the place to confess. I feel a little guilty but don't know if I should, maybe you guys can help.

Last month I got a beautiful bouquet of hydrangeas at our Farmer's Market. They were so great that I looked up propagation and planted cuttings. Well, they've rooted and I'm hooked. So last week I was at a nursery where I found a lovely specimen of hydrangea planted in ground, with no marker. I nipped off a little piece and it's now potted. Should I feel bad? Or return it?
Oh, and I believe I'll become a seed snatcher too!


    Bookmark   September 10, 2006 at 3:27PM
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cmh35(z6 tn)

I was walking through the park one day in the very very month of seed heads, I took some here and I took some there
and now I don't know what I have...Just cause I wanted to join the seed snatching club of america. Time to go back and get more and make labels

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 4:21PM
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Last Night I took my 2 and 3 year olds for a walk. I told them to pick mommy flowers, the dead ones, I thought they would look less suspisious squated down pcik flowers from in front of the bank than their mommy, but my baby accidently pulled to hard on a marigold and took the whole plant by mistake. you should have seen the ladies face when she came out of the atm booth and i am standing there with a bouquae of dead flowers with there pods and the roots handing out the the bottom. I thought she was going to call the cops. Oh what a horrible mother I am to enlist the help of innocent children, by the end of our walk my son was saying " you want one of those flowers, mommy?" :0) Maybe tomarrow we will go take a walk alittle later, say like dark!!!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 3:04AM
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Great I am not the only one. I was thinking I would send them out to "pick more flowers for mommy" tonight!! There are some beautiful marigolds that are going to seed at the NURSING HOME!!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 4:36PM
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lblack61(z5 NY)

I saw the title of the post and immediately had it pegged down to the tune of the song, "I'm a Girl Watcher"...lol. I can't stop laughing.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 9:14AM
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I have to explain my duty to my BF everytime we pass by somewhere that has potential for great seed gathering and I scream "Wait!! I want some of those!!" I finally got him to stop at the exit of a McDonalds that had coneflower that looked like mexican brite, all going to seed, I was able to get about 3 tops and now if I can just remember what I put them in !!
My problem is always remembering to keep something handy to place the seeds in, I have walked around with pockets full of different seeds and by the time I would get home, I have to sit and sort through them, then I got the idea of carrying tissues with me. It would be great to be able to just take containers along and not feel bad about others "knowing" lol, what I am up to!!
I sent this forum link to BF at work in self defense so he gets a better understanding of why I have this URGENT NEED to gather SEED!!
Happy Snatching!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2006 at 10:40AM
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I guess I am a little concerned that collectors would snatch and plant seeds when they have no idea what the plant really is!

Plants should be ID'd before you put the seeds in to be sure they are not invasive. You could be creating a problem in your yard if you don't know what you are planting.

Otherwise, happy snatching!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 5:10PM
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I finally was able to replace my stash of giant celosia seed (5 feet tall, dark red) from street planters in Cooperstown, NY (home of Baseball Hall of Fame). It was so exciting to find these plants, my heart was pounding. I shook the flower head and got a handful. Nice town, too.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 7:02AM
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This thread is sort of like AA

Hi Im Dennis and I'm a seed snatcher

Hello Dennis...

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 4:43PM
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daylilydude(7 Tishomingo Ms.)

I have got to tell my story or i'm gonna bust!!! I went to Lowes getting for my yearly PVC pipe fittings just in case my or my neighbors pipes break and i just happened to come back thru the garden section and low and behold there were the Lemon And Orange Gaillardias just a flowering away! So i went to take a closer look and there were some ripe seeds so i went around the back side of them so i could see the cashier women and i got so carried away at getting seeds that i didn't see the other store cashier come up behind me OOPS! Busted i thought? But she just handed me a bag so i would have something to put them in.She said that the women that work in the garden center don't mind people getting seeds it saves them from having to do the dead heading just as long as we didn't hurt the plants. I knew it was my lucky day when i found everyone of my pipe fittings and then got free seeds to boot! Just call me LUCKY!!!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 3:07PM
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west_texas_peg(8a West Cen TX)

I had a seed snatcher in my garden yesterday. I offered free hollyhocks and Flame Acanthus on a Trading Post Radio Program. She showed up while we were eating lunch; said she wanted the free hollyhocks. I told my husband I would get them for her, he offered her the free Flame Acanthus and came in to get them leaving her alone in the garden.

I spotted her heading for the side of our house looking at other flowers...not to admire but for seeds! She climbed into the bed with my Flame Acanthus to take seeds off the plant...seeds that were not ready to be harvested!

I went out with her free seedlings and seeds; she wanted to know what the Russian Sage was...wanted to know where the seeds were. Then she stepped into the bed where my Oxblood Lilies are, looking for seeds on another Russian Sage.

Geez, she was getting free Flame Acanthus plants and free hollyhocks seeds...why did she need to step in my flowerbeds trying to snatch more seeds? None of the other people who have come to pick up the plants and seeds have attempted to jerk seeds off my plants.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 9:30PM
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So I go to my fav botanical garden to see how their gigantic corkscrew vines are doing, and to see how the seeds are coming along. I have been watching them all summer and the flowers were just truly awesome. They were almost 8 inches in length, while my CS vine flowers were the size of pencil erasers,:(..... sniff.
Boy, was I excited to think about how big their seed pods would be. Mine were coming along fine, and I actually got about 5 seeds.
Well, to my utter astonishment, while their seed pods WERE big and long, about 5-7 inches, they were EMPTY!!!!
Why, oh why, is this happening? My flowers are teensy tiny, while my seeds are on steriods compared to theirs!
Anybody have any idea of why this is happening?
BTW, I should mention that I am having a incredible seed harvest this year. I have never in all my years of gardening, seen the size and amount of seeds that I am getting this year. I have done nothing different from any other year,either...
Each and every item in my garden has not only three times the amount of seeds that I usually get, but I have to say that conservately my seeds are 10 times the normal size.
Will this affect germination?
Thanks for any and all hints & advice.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 11:41PM
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Funny stories, now I feel more like I belong...umm among the people who help spread the joy? You bet!
I've been admiring this large Hibiscus like tree with shades of pink flowers, passing by it on the hwy, near New Orleans, planning on stopping one day, then the other day me and daughter went to the end of the side street, both of us noticing this same tree! and one of it's branches was broken on the ground, of course I wasn't about to leave without taking some cuttings and seed pods which were soft and barelly starting to get a beige tint, they'll rippen soon, we will go back and knock on the door for more seeds.
Didn't know who the tree belonged to, it was on the side of the dividing driveway, but we'll find out.
Beautiful Confederate Rose.

Had a laugh when I found out the name, seen it listed on GW a few times and thought it was a rose, lol.

Great to share good stuff,


    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 11:42AM
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lanaw(z8 Tx)

I must confess, I have become a seed snatcher. This past summer my sister was in hospital having a lengthy procedure and I was left with no supervision ;O) I was walking around in the front of the hospital and spied these beautiful plants that had leaves similar to aloe vera but thinner and long spikes of pretty red flowers coming out of the middle. Anyway they were covered with seed pods and I just acted like I knew what I was doing and pulled them off. The maintenance man came out and asked me what I was doing so I told him I was collecting the seeds otherwise they would come up all over the beds and the landscaper would have a problem. So he said I could all I wanted. Whew!!! But I had to have them. Turns out they are red yucca and I now have 2 flats of them growing. Love free seeds!!!

    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 3:53PM
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carress(z6 NY)

I thought I was the only one who was cheap and innovative enough to do this;)

I live next door to a nursery that believes in pretty landscaping - Enough said;)

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 12:44PM
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moonphase(z7 Ga)

I went to Cherokee,NC to the casino this past week end,Had to have a break from the grands.As I neared the casino,I saw pot after pot of yellow violas and johnny jump ups.I spent over an hr. collecting seeds and will ws them.Now,I will have a pot of these.I love violas.Wish I had alot of other colors.But I had fun seed snatching.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 10:38PM
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larry_c(z6 Stl. Mo.)

Compulsive....snatching seeds from attractive road side plots..I have them labeled like " Drury Inn plant..20" high.great red blooms"...." Serta dist. plant off of Page..yellow..airy..beautiful"..." Commercial...Cactus...hardy..round red 1" dia. stems on flat base"....now..the question is how do I ever ID these? Or do we really care?


    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 2:38PM
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manda3(8a DFW Texas)

After reading all of these stories, I snatched my first seeds yesterday. Actually my brother did. I kept seeing this red yucca at the post office with tons of seed pods hanging off. I drove by four times in two days but there was always someone parked next to it. I told my brother about it and he said I was silly for being scared to get out of the car and pick some. So he made my drive over and got out and picked them all for me. Most were already open, but I still got a ton of seeds. I can't wait to plant them this spring or start winter sowing them. Red Yucca is my favorite plant and I only have one. :P Hopefully I won't kill them. I think I know what I'm doing now. :P

    Bookmark   November 25, 2010 at 11:18PM
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Yucca can be WSed with success. I have a lovely set of yuccas in my garden now grown from seed I started several years back. The first year the seedlings are small and need to go (I think) into their own holding bed, then the next year they can go into their permanent places in the yard. By year number three they had started to bloom very well. The bloom period is just a few weeks but the plants themselves are robust and function much like an evergreen shrub--I can look at the year round. Very nice.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 9:52AM
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manda3(8a DFW Texas)

Thanks for the advice. :) I can't wait to get started.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 12:24PM
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Love this thread! Now it's time to confess. Today my aunts/bf went plant shopping from one end of the Valley to the other. It was my aunt Janie's birthday who was not present today and lives in Houston as do the 2 that were visiting over the weekend. On our birthdays we like to all get together and we buy plants for the birthday girl from her wish list, and take the opportunity to snatch some seeds and clippings here and there. Never from someones yard as I would hate it if someone did that to me. It was so much fun today and we got lots of wonderful seeds and I really call it a success when you can make a convert out of someone. One of my aunts usually tells she is walking away from us because we are going to end up in jail and today she took her first seeds, they were sungold gazinia silver leaf. I love that plant. She did good for her fist time. And guess what? They left back to Houston and she forgot them at my house....ahhh too bad. Looks like I am getting some gazinias in my garden. Josie

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 2:52AM
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Any more seed snatchers out there?

Let's keep the thread alive!

I love your stories!


    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 7:11PM
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I've become a seed snatcher the last few years. I do handyman work for a small customer base and we have a small crew of four. I've got them all working for me on stealing seeds! Most of the customers know about it or they have headed back south for winter. Right now I have a flat of hardy hibiscus and one of cleome going along with some pots of barberry and a few different lilies.
There's a doctor's office about 15 miles from here and I had everybody on the crew stopping to see if the seeds were ready whenever they went by! They had 2 different varieties of canna I had been eyeing. I also know the property manager in a condo community and she lets me know when seeds are ready and when plants need thinning. I'm running out of places to put things LOL!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 7:09PM
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LOL! You guys are all hilarious, I love your stories. And here I was thinking that I was a weirdo for scouring around for seeds when I'm actually not alone...

I'm delighted to meet other seed snatchers! I've always considered it more as "seed collecting" and I don't really see it as a bad thing, i.e. I need to hide my actions. Although, I have yet to go so far as to collect seeds in a nursery, haha. My argument is, I'm just saving things that would have been thrown out anyway, and I'm doing the planet a service by adding more green, growing things.

Of course, in the process of saving the planet I am also feeding an addiction. Seriously, it's kind of dangerous that I've stumbled across a website that encourages seed exchanges. I'm a seed junkie!

I haven't taken seeds from nursery plants per se, but I have on occasion gone to my local nursery and wandered around actively looking for stray seeds. My nursery is pretty tidy though, I think someone must go around saving all the old seeding plants because I never see them. I think they actually take them out back and plant them in the wild, which makes a very pretty back alley. At the end of the summer I'm actually going to harvest some of those wild plants, haha.

I'm always on the lookout for interesting plants when I'm out, though. I don't think it's weird at all to pick off a seed pod, most people pick flowers on the side of the road anyway, this is not that different!

Most criminal I've been? I sometimes shoplift seeds from the bulk bin at Safeway or other grocery stores. I know they're not as viable, but I wanted to try anyway. I now have two baby sunflowers!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 9:44PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

One morning after the first frost I walked to a nearby park and was collecting marigold seed. Someone called the cops and they sent a detective who was in the area to inquire as to what I was doing. I explained and the cop was amused.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 12:02PM
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eureka(SS11 LasVegas/Henderson)

I came across one of the first seed snatcher threads several years ago. I did do some collecting but usually forgot about pods or seeds in the pockets of my jeans.

But this year I will be planting seeds collected during a vacation to IL. One day we went to a historic Swiss settlement town in So Wisconsin. There was the most wonderful nursery w/the most incrediable plants. The nursery had every one of the hybrid coneflowers I have been drooling over. I did take a couple of the dying flower heads from a Big Sky "Sunset" and a "Double Pink". I fiddled around so long, trying to bring myself to take one each of the dying flowers off the big 5 gal plants. I just grabbed it quickly, scared to death that the security camera would get a huge shot of me snatching a dead flower. She also had an enormous hot pink hibiscus, probably 6 in across with a very flat face. There was a dying flower on the ground and I grabbed that. She carried only Monrovia plants and they were all outstanding. I live in CA so I was limited on space for collecting. I also collected from the McCormick estate(former publisher of a Chicago newspaper)where the daylilies had just formed seed pods. The lilies were just gorgeous, very pale pink & of course I forgot the name. The pod was still green but I let it dry thoroughly and hopefully it will produce. The grounds are planted with such gorgeous plants and there were so many seeds & pods to be had but I was concerned about getting greedy & possibly being tapped on the shoulder by a security guard. My family members would have backed up and said they didn't know me if that happened.

It kills me to see seeds and pods go to waste but in parking lots or even inside Lowes or Home Depot, I weed their plants as I look at them. If I see a pod I will snap it off and not feel bad. Love the story of the two yr old pulling up the entire plant, too funny. I don't think most businesses would mind giving permission if asked first. I carry a Leatherman tool that has a small scissors, perfect.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 2:30AM
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Well, Easter Sunday was spent hanging out with my Grandma and I found out she is a fellow Seed Snatcher! Now I know the addiction runs in the family, hahah! I not only inherited her green thumb, I've inherited her seed addiction as well. And she let me take home some of her seeds too -- "Sure, hun, have as much as you like" as I stare bug-eyed at the huge piles sitting on top of the table. Kid in a candy store.

She is completely unembarrassed about it too. My Grandma thinks it was the most natural thing in the world to take a few pods from some wild hollyhocks in a field. And she cataloged them by color! So cool.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 2:16AM
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scpearson(5 NE CT)

I am brand new to collecting seeds, and stumbled by this unusual post. You all have me laughing!
But,.... WHY NOT? As long as you are not trespassing on private gardens like one of the postings above, you are just "paying it forward" in the land of plants!
The posting at the casino reminded me... worked at a casino, and of course, they had a landscaping service. They just tore out the plants that were not in season and placed them in a dumpster, where all the employees drove by to see what could be rescued on their way home.
Come to think of it, my Grandma was an unabashed seed collector too, like Astroknot's Grandma. It was a very natural, practical and common sense thing to do. No one ever wanted to waste anything. I like that idea. We throw away and waste too much!
Thanks for sharing all your secrets... this has been a wonderful thread for a newbie seed saver , kind of like "how to pan for gold!"

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 12:55AM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

Trudi, a friend of mine bought me a beautiful Pinks plant and yesterday I was deadheading the spent blooms. Are the seeds for the pinks inside those pods sort of like marigold seeds are? I laid them out in an empty bird bath figuring the sun would dry them up even more and they would be easy to open up.

Was at a local library and saw some butterfly weed plants and although I WS some, they still look like seedlings. I am going to dig it up and transplant it. Don't think it gets enough sun where it is planted now. The blooms on the butterfly weed are so soft when you touch them. I was surprized. Don't know why I figured they would be stiff feeling but I did. How do you gather seeds from that plant?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 10:52AM
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Hi Pippi,

With most flowers that develop an elongated pod, like marigolds, or peas, or pinks, the seeds will be inside the pod. However, because you deadheaded them, the seeds may not have had enough time to mature. If I am saving seeds I leave the dead flowers on and watch for the seed pod to mature. Generally, the flower petals will drop from the bloom and you will see the base of the pod begin to swell. It will eventually turn brown, the stem beneath the pod will turn brown too. This browing is a sign of maturity--the seeds are developed to the point where the plant, which is a very efficient life form, will no longer send water and nutrients to the seeds because they're ripe. This drying action does turn the pods brown and will also shrink back the pod surface, in effect causing an opening at the top of the pod. From here, from this opening, the seeds can be released. A good example would be poppies or columbines where the opening is large enough that the seeds can simply tumble out of the opening. Dianthus will create an opening at the top of the pod. When you see this opening it's safe to cut the stems and bring them into the house where they can further dry in a safe place. Give them a few weeks and then put the pods all into a brown paper bag, roll down the top and give a good shake to release the seeds from the pods. Strain them off with a colander or sifter, plate the seeds to dry a bit more for a few days and then package them for storage.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 11:43AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Trudi, you seem like you might be interested enough for some further info. While checking to see if I was spelling things right, I came upon this Wiki blurb, which says it better anyway...

Dehiscence is the opening, at maturity, of a plant structure, such as a fruit, anther, or sporangium, to release its contents. Sometimes this involves the complete detachment of a part. Structures that open in this way are said to be dehiscent. Structures, such as fruit, that do not open are called indehiscent.

Besides sharing the term, I wanted to mention explosive dehiscence because if one waits for all seed pods to show dehiscence, they may lose all of the seeds. Anyone who has toyed with the pods on impatiens or ordinary yellow sorrel is probably familiar with this phenomenon. Cleome also do this.

pippi, here is info about seeds from buddleia davidii. They are so easy to grow from cuttings, though, I've never bothered with seeds.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 12:04PM
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Thanks Purple, I already the words, but it's not always needed to use them. And I appreciate you linking to the seed saving info on buttefly bushes from my website, WinterSown.Org.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 12:45PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Hey, Trudi, very nice job on the website! After reading your note, I re-read pippi's question again to see why you didn't include the link yourself. I interpreted the ambiguous term "butterfly weed" as referring to buddleia but it could be referring to asclepias, which was probably your assumption. I've linked to your pages for both of those plants by now so it's covered either way.

After visiting your site, I can believe that you probably know a lot of technical terms that I don't but hope others who might read this will find it interesting. It's so much easier to digest this kind of info from a discussion than a textbook.

If you have an interest, I would love to hear your thoughts on the GMO issue in another discussion on this forum.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 11:08AM
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GMOs are a neccesary evil. It's all about feeding a global population.

Butterfly Weed is always Ascepias, Butterfly Bush is always Buddleia. I'm glad to hear you like the site, it's an AgNIC site--I was trained by ARS and extension folk on how to build it well.

Here is a link that might be useful: AgNIC. Org

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 1:12PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Feeding a global population is a good idea. I don't know if you are aware of some of the proprietary aspects being researched. If feeding the population was the real result these companies are trying to achieve, then why are they trying to produce seeds that make sterile crops? Because they want to make sure the starving people can't save the seeds (there are none) and to ensure they will have to buy more seeds every year. They are investigating using GMO's to cause sterility to control populations. Another of their big ideas is to make seeds that will not germinate unless and until a proprietary chemical treatment is (purchased and) applied. The ramifications go way beyond breeding a little roundup into the genes of commercially grown produce, if that was the necessary evil to which you were referring. If so, I disagree. I don't want to eat roundup.

Butterfly Weed is always Ascepias, Butterfly Bush is always Buddleia. If this were true, the latin names would never be needed. The old lady who used to live next to me told me I needed to "keep after those butterfly weeds" so they wouldn't get too big. She was referring to the lantana growing along the fence.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 9:32AM
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I am well aware of many things, including proprietary aspects of several types of plants, lol. Some hybrids are sterile and some are not, this has been happening naturally for millenia before some businesses began using it as a 'desirable' trait.

Starving people can and will save seeds. Not all seeds which are sown overseas, here in America and well, around the world are GMO or sterile. As the owner of an agricultural non-profit which shares seeds overseas, here in America and well, around the world too, I can assure you there are global programs focused on local farming systems which indeed save, resow and share their seeds. And, as an arrangement to get those seeds, the aided community must save seeds to resow and share.

Don't be such a doomsayer!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 4:25PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Doomsayer? Just trying to spread information and elicit other's input. I don't think it's necessary or constructive to put this label on me, my desire to learn more about it, or mine or anyone else's attempt to let people know about it.

It seems that I may have unintentionally offended you somehow. If so, I apologize.

I never said all seeds were GMO or sterile. If this is a topic that doesn't interest you, or you feel like you know everything about it that's important to you, that's fine. It's my opinion that it's much too complicated to simply be dismissed as "a necessary evil" and I hope people will share my interest in learning more about it - both positive and negative aspects - by discussing it.

I invited you to participate in a discussion about GMO's on another thread because this thread is about something else. Although, of course, you don't need an invitation.

I respect and applaud your work and wish you continued success.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 10:45AM
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In all aspects of life, people must find balance.

A few days ago I noticed the pods of my columbines were beginning to brown and open, though it was just a small percentage that were actually open. So, I cut the stems, keeping them long, and placed them all to dry in a large open tub. Today, I walked by the tub and heard the delicious rattle of dried seeds in their pods. It's so nice to be able to pick at the right time, to be able to give the stems and pods a warm open area to dry and then to be rewarded for the hard work with at least a cup of shiny black seeds. Columbines are among the easiest and most rewarding of seeds to save. In my garden they seem to readily cross with any other columbine and the progeny are always eye-candy gorgeous.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 2:43PM
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Question. How do u know the names of the seeds u r taking. I'm really getting tired of labeling things pink a&p, etc. I have a lot of seeds and I have no clue what I will get Is there a site that I can go to and describe by color etc and find shat treasure I have. Lol.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 10:07PM
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There are numerous books available to help you ID the plants in your garden. For wildflower reference I can recommend Kansas State Wildflowers which is a great website with wonderful photos.

Here is a link that might be useful: KSU Wildflowers, listed by color.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 11:14PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

urmymom, if you have a cell phone it probably has a camera in it, and you probably have it with you about all the time. Snap a couple pics along with your seeds. If you post the (not too small or blurry) pics to "name that plant" forum, you should get an ID. Even if you don't find out the name, you'll have the picture to remind you. At this point, you could try posting pics of some of the seeds and see if people know what they are that way. I've found that it's best to investigate right away, while your memory is fresh.

You could also check these places:
The seed site
seed information

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 3:16PM
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Margie Crawford(6A)

Trudi, the KSU website is great. Thanks for posting!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 6:48PM
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KSU Wildflowers is by Mike Haddock, who is a very talented photographer. It's an AgNIC site too ;-)

Here is a link that might be useful: AgNIC.Org

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 8:57AM
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I love this thread, the stories are great. I bought a house last summer and have spent a lot of time trying to dress up the place with flower beds, the problem is i'm a young school teacher with a family of 3, so there hasn't been a lot of money to do much with. However, what success i had this summer led me to collecting seeds from my 4oclocks and a spider flower i was determined to have more of next year and then the flood gates opened!! I pick my son up from day care and spend the evening driving around parking lots and parks snatching seeds here and there(labeling them " red thing from bank parking lot" and such thus far I have started an obsession that is occupying my kitchen counter and workshop!!! Its great and I love the fact that next year the amount i'll be getting from my home gardens will be huge!!! More for me to trade next year!!!! I love it, now to just get my son trained to pick the right things....

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 11:19PM
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I read this whole thread about a week ago, and honestly, I had never thought of getting seeds off flowers in public places before! Since then, I've been getting all KINDS of seeds! I usually ask permission if there's someone to ask, like a clerk at the front desk, or a shop owner if the seeds I want are out front. But, there are many places in my area where no one knows who to ask, so I just get a few seed pods/flower heads and be done with it. So far I've collected Balloon flower seeds, Siberian Iris, Daylily, dianthus, morning glory, oriental lily, and numerous others. I'm officially addicted now! Thanks a lot! lol

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 8:48PM
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bookjunky4life(5 Central IL)

I've just recently snatched ornamental grass seed at the golf course and a daylilly seed from a restaurant which apparently fell out of its baggie and is lost in my gigantic purse.

*paused to look through purse* Found it! I was with my sister and her friend who are both about 20 and they were mortified by my theft and subsequent celebration.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 12:38PM
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jessewo(5 PA)

EXTREME COLLECTING! A few years ago I visited an aboretum connected to my alma mater and was stunned by a huge stand of bamboo, not a common plant in the area. I met the groundsman and commented on it. He agreed to share some with me...as long as I dug it under his supervision. (more than fair!) We showed up with our shovels, buckets, trowels, and axes! And we needed them!

The "cuttings" are thriving, but after using everything short of heavy equipment to harvest shared plants, I'm going to pay more attention to snatching easy little seeds!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 11:16PM
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If a clerk or security guard at Home Depot asks what you're doing, tell him you're pulling "bug nests" off the plants before they hatch.

Then try to pour the seed pods into HIS hands, so he'll tell YOU to keep them!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 7:15PM
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