Monday, February 11, 2019
Taking Apart a Zinnia
Our butter-colored crocuses are coming up in the flower bed by the back door, adding some color to the otherwise sere wintry landscape. Olga and I saw purple ones on our walks Saturday and yesterday. It's nice to see the world coming back to life!
Yesterday was busy -- I cleaned the house top to bottom in the morning, and then did a bit of organizing. I got Dave to help me thin out his sock drawer, which was stuffed so full of socks that it wouldn't close. (His students know that he loves colorful socks, so they -- as well as I and members of his family -- give him socks as a gift. Consequently, TOO MANY SOCKS! And some were pretty old, so we got rid of those.)
We also cleaned off our bookshelves, which were loaded down with stuff we are simply not going to read again. I've got two bags of books to go to the Oxfam shop.
I took Olga to the cemetery -- it was even lightly raining at the time and she still wanted to go, which shows how fired up she was for a walk. Of course this entailed lots of mud and, when we got home, a dog bath. (If we say "bath" she goes straight to the tub after a muddy walk. She doesn't like it, but she knows it's inevitable and I'm sure she feels better afterwards!)
I also harvested seeds from a zinnia that I saved from last year -- one of the weird, streaky flowers.
This is what I started with. It's been decorating our end table all autumn and winter (despite the fact that I have an absolute phobia about dried flowers). I pulled the blossom apart and was left with a crazy amount of material -- and no obvious seeds.
So then I had to Google "where are a zinnia's seeds?"
It turns out they're the small, dark arrow-shaped bits at the end of these petals. I suspected they might be seeds -- I remember from planting last year's seed pack that zinnia seeds are very funky-looking.
This is what I wound up with. I have no idea whether they'll grow. They seem very dry, even withered, and I'm not sure the flower was fertile. But I'll give it a go.
Overall, I have a ridiculous quantity of seeds to deal with this year -- things I collected last fall from our garden or in the wild. Besides the zinnia I have sweet pea, honesty, burdock, cow parsley, foxglove, field poppy and something I think is hollyhock but I'm not sure. I've ordered compartmented seed trays from Amazon so I can start them on the windowsill in a few weeks. We'll see what grows!