Jewels of Opar Self-Sows

I love this ‘Limon’ Jewels of Opar for many reasons.

Jewels of Opar ‘Limon’

The tiny pink blooms are lovely.

The seed pods really do look like glistening jewels in wiry stems.

The leaves have a bright hue that stands out among other greens.

Lastly, it self sows which is a plus if it grows where you want it.

Jewels of Opar

Seedlings do not like to be moved, so I usually pull up plants that are growing where I do not want them.

I am glad ‘Limon’ planted itself because I did not manage to sow most of my seeds this year. The Flower’s garden is in self-service mode most of the time.

Jewels of Opar ‘Limon’ is loved by tiny bees

The stems of flowers and pods/jewels are a beautiful addition in flower arrangements.

Flower loves the Jewels

Seeds that Fly

I study plants from start to finish. I have learned to do this.

They are not just flowers and leaves.

They are seeds in the beginning and humus at the end.

The cycle is a circle. The whole picture is important.

I refer to seeds as future flowers, but they are also food.

Seeds need to spread to reduce competition with the mother plant.

Butterfly weed seeds fly. I think this is appropriate.

Seeds are also beautiful.

As this Asclepias tuberosa pod splits open it exposes the lovely arrangement of the seeds enclosed.

As the wind blows, these seeds will separate.

The fluffy fibers will serve as a hang glider so the seeds can float to a new location.

The fibers open like an umbrella as they emerge from the pod.

It is a beautiful thing to witness.

Flying seeds on a journey to make future flowers in a new niche.

I love nature!


Not a Flying Saucer

I should have known better than to order seeds on the internet,

but I had my heart set on Flying Saucers entwining on my new circles trellis.

The seeds came in a plain sealed envelope. There was a little paper about morning glories included.

These seeds have been carefully planted and pampered.

I was excited to see the first buds. I was looking forward to those giant blue and white blooms mixing with the red blooms of the Red Cypress vine. But instead of Lovely blue blooms, purple appeared.

REAL Flying Saucer morning glories

The purple bloom came over like a lead balloon. Maybe a stray wild seed got mixed in?

NOT Flying Saucer morning glories

More and more purple flowers have appeared. Just that small common variety that grows by the side of the road.

I fear the Flower has imported an expensive weed!

Now that I’m thinking about it, the Lablab purpureus I ordered does look a little like Kudzu.

Lablab purpureus… I HOPE


Seed Sorting

Maybe a better title would be “Seed Hoarding.”


January is the time to sort seeds. We start sowing in February here in North Carolina.

I must say that sorting would be easier if Flower had done a better job of storing them. Note the envelopes with 2015 on them. (Sigh)

It seems as though any old bag will do.


Accurate labels are not important either.


Thankfully I took an Economic Botany class in college.

Our final was identifying hundreds of seeds by sight.

Moonflower : Ipomoea noctiflora

I do throw in a few pods with  the seeds.

Red Double poppy

If I did not, I am afraid that Columbine seeds could be mistaken for a bag of mouse poop.


I found these unidentified seeds in a tiny bucket. (Anybody recognize them?)


Seeds do have their own character.

Love-in-a-Puff: Cardiosperma halicacabum

Here are some Hibiscus seeds that were husked today.


Jack-o-Lantern has never grown here. I’ll try again.

Jack-o-lantern , Chinese Lantern: Physalis alkekengi

I seem to have sown a seed in my coffee.



3 4 Pots

I have three plants that I do not intentionally let out of their pots.

All three have a reputation for going rogue if let loose.

I LOVE all three or I would never chance a release of a new “Kudzu” into my gardens.

I have not had the least bit of trouble with this first one,

Bleeding Heart vine/ Clerodendrum speciosum, thomsonia. 

I have taken cuttings and produced new plants, but it has never escaped on its own.

The second one is also a vine.

Love-in-a- Puff/ Cardiospermum halicacabum  produces puffy pods which contain round black seeds with a white heart on each.

After three years of having this plant, I have only found two escapees near to where the mama plant was the previous summer.

The last one however, Jewels of Opar/Talinum paniculatum has escaped many times.

I always dig up the seedlings and transplant them into pots.

This plant has a long root that may prove impossible to remove.

The beauty of its blooms and pods is what I find irresistible.

The “limon” leaves are edible, but I have yet to eat one.

(My husband has still not forgiven me for bringing some Crownvetch on the property nearly thirty years ago. We are still finding it.)

So these three are for pots, but worth the risk.



My Many Mysteries

I have a bad habit of sticking seeds and plant pieces in the pots of other plants.


I tell myself I will remember this.  I will know what it is when it grows up.

I have done this too many times to keep track of what was stuck where.

So along with the designated plants in the pots, there are mystery plants.


I find a pieces of a plant broken off.   Which plant?  What color?


No matter.  Stick it here in this empty spot.

I have a habit of purloining seeds.

I spent a whole day with this piece of picked-off-the-tree citrus fruit in my bra.

I did not remember it until that night while changing into my pajamas.

I did manage to label those particular seeds.

Not that I wouldn’t recognize the mean little seedlings with their lethal thorns.

I have moved a “mystery tree” around the yard for years. I knew I must have had  a reason for planting it in the kids’ sandbox.

It finally bloomed this year.

It is a peach.  I now realize it was the pit of a long-ago snack eaten by one of my now-grown children.  Mystery solved.

While clearing out a box this morning, I found this.

Could it be a seed from a Tuscan pear?  We shall see.



Seeds in Sand

I am ashamed to admit that I usually don’t mix my small seeds with sand.

It can be seen on my hand how this mix would better space the seeds.

Poppy seeds are also tiny and tend to blow while sown.


This leads to over-crowding and the need to thin seedlings.


Sometimes I wait too late to thin, which disrupts the roots of the plants left.

Last week I mixed my poppy seeds with sand before sowing them.


I liked that I could see where I had sown the seeds.


Hopefully, this year’s poppies will be less crowded than last year’s crop.

If I have given you my red, double “Bill Troutman” poppy seeds; you need to sow them soon.   They are early risers.



Seeds for Tomorrow

No matter how you feel today, you must plan for tomorrow.

Winter is coming.

Your plants know this.  They are setting seed.

Hibiscus seed pod

What are you going to do?  Let them fall to the ground to rot or be eaten?

No. You are going out there and collect those seeds to save and share.

Four O’clock seeds

There is no use buying the same type seeds next spring.  They may not be the exact hybrid.

Flying Saucer seeds

Flying Saucer Flower

It takes only minutes. Take envelopes with a marker.

Butterfly Weeds pod

Butterfly weed seeds

Write the name of the plant on an envelope and put a number of seeds in it.

Bind weed

Bind weed seeds

I take requests, so I save many seeds from some plants to share.

I even save weed seeds that I like to plant along my driveway.

Think forward, now that winter is coming.  Prepare for tomorrow.

FLOWER’s seed bank. I will share.

Get ready gardeners.  Think spring!

FLOWER in the fall.


Last month my family spent three days down in South Carolina desperately searching for a nice place for my son to live.

Although I was intently hunting down a suitable dwelling, I did manage to stumble upon the vine of my dreams and snag some seeds.

I have been known to return from trips with acorns in my pockets and seeds in my wallet, but I did get permission this time.

The lovely vine was in that charming little town, Cheraw.  When I mention this town’s name to my North Carolina neighbors they recall passing through there on the way to the beach. You may recognize this building at the main square.

rabbits,Cheraw, Portland, Blog 1139

You folks need to stop in this town to stretch your legs from now on. It is a southern delight of lovely flowers, tasty food and nice people. We felt like old friends everywhere we went. I am a happy mama that my son is surrounded by good folks.

I took a picture of the vine of my dreams with my phone and rushed to the nearest open business, which happened to be the aforementioned, “Charmed by Cheraw” Chamber of Commerce.  This is where we found all the help we all needed.

The nice woman there handled my vine emergency while the nice man assisted my son with his housing emergency. She picked up the phone and called the garden club that plants the planters around town.

A member of the Cheraw Garden Club shared the name of the vine and gave me permission to purloin a few ripened pods containing seeds. A card had actually been attached with plant  information to the trellis, but it had fallen down. These are my kind of people!

Card posted with information attached to the vine.
Card posted with information attached to the vine.

So here it is my fellow garden enthusiaists.  The vine of my dreams in the phloem.

New vine. I am in love!
Cardiospermum helicacabum

It looks like a party on a trellis doesn’t it? It’s the combination of tiny white flowers and pods of various colors that reminds me of confetti.  It’s hither and slither growth adds to the explosion effect. What a happy little plant!

The species name is Cardiosperma helicacabum.  My guess is that the genus name refers to the black seeds that have a tiny white heart on each one. They look like love beads.


The real punch in the line is the common name, Love in a Puff.  I am not making this up folks.

Before you rush to order it from Burpee,  I must alert my southern readers that my research warns that Cardiospermum  halicacabum may be an invasive, self-seeding annual in Southern zones of 6 and up.

I also read that this delightful plant has been around for two hundred years. Why am I just now finding out about it? Well the secret is out now!

I intend to handle my little seedlings with the same care as I have my other potential renegades… in a pot.

I’ll be sharing my progress with seed germination in April.  I do have quite a few seeds collected…legally of course.