Tuesday, October 14, 2014

BETTER 'N BLOOMS: SEEDPODS AND SAMARAS

I've been gardening seriously for almost 20 years now. When you first start out, you are always drawn to the flashy blooms. Over time, however, you come to realize that those rarely last for long. Then you are left with a scrawny, scraggly plant taking up space in your garden for the other 50 weeks of the year. So you start looking for plants that offer more bang for your buck, including multiple seasons of interest. What is even more irresistible to me than beautiful blooms? Outrageous seedpods and samaras!


For years I've been seeing the amazing seedpods of the Chinese Lantern Plant in decorating and gardening magazines, but could never find the plant for sale in any of our nurseries. I assumed that meant they wouldn't grow hereabouts, and finally bought myself these twinkle lights instead.  Soooo, imagine my surprise when I was out walking one day, and discovered this growing wild near the entrance to my neighborhood!



It came back on its own several years in a row but, sadly, I did not see it this year. It must have been removed when they repaired the stonework there. Guess I should have grabbed some seeds while I had the chance, huh?

Another melon-like seedpod I love are the ones that appear on the red yucca bloom stalks.


Beans are seedpods, ya know. Check out these Purple Hyacinth Bean Vines that I plant each year, wherever there is a spot the deer can't reach.


Love their shiny purple pods!


I let them dry out on the vine, then gather them up and pop them open to save these precious little oreo-cookie-seeds for next year!


I have no idea what plant this little booger belongs too -- another I spotted out walking the 'hood -- but is it gorgeous, or what?


These are Castor Bean seedpods, and I live for their appearance in my garden each year.


I planted a single plant down in the Cantina Garden once, about five years ago, yet somehow it has managed to reseed itself every year, each time in a different spot. That is another thing that fascinates me -- the many ways that plants have developed in order to increase their chances of survival. Take samaras for instance, winged seedpods designed for flight! These below are from my Cedar Elm tree.



But these guys here? My absolute favorite in the world -- Butterfly Vine!


Best of all, they're self-preserving! I picked a few of those dried brown ones off the vine last year and set them on my curio shelf, thinking I'd ditch them when they began to decay. Well, they are still up there, looking just as gorgeous as the day I picked them!

Seedpods and samaras -- keeping things ever-interesting in the Cantina Garden!

1 comment:

Corrine at sparkledaysstudio.com said...

Lovely. We have some hops vine at the house in Maine and I can't wait to plant more. The seed pods are a glorious burgundy now. xox