November 11, 2016

Tomorrow's Big Picture

seeds1

I've been around long enough to know that today is tomorrow's past. The moment after the autumn leaves flame, they're "past peak." When a flower blooms, it starts to fade. When a human being reaches the pinnacle of his or her career (or health or vibrancy), that person begins a certain decline. When we're born, we begin to die (during this life, anyway).

This is not intended to be a downer post. On the contrary, it's to remind me there is more promise in a tiny seed than in a plant in full bloom.

This autumn, I've been collecting seeds--studying them, playing with them, photographing them, appreciating them. What follows is a simple vignette of a few seeds and seedpods that have captured my curiosity.

rudbeckia
Rudbeckia hirta

agastache
Agastache foeniculum

phaseolus
Phaseolus coccineus

chasmanthium
Chasmanthium latifolium

passiflora
Passiflora incarnata

lablab
Lablab purpureus

grasses
Mixed prairie grasses

echinacea
Echinacea purpurea

conoclinium
Conoclinium coelestinum

asclepias
Asclepias tuberosa

solidago
Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks'

All these plants are dormant. To some, they appear small ... insignificant ... boring. To the wise among us, they're stunningly beautiful ... full of promise ... worthy of great praise.

And lest we think of them as "little" things, we must remember that these tiny seeds, together ...

seeds2

... are tomorrow's "big picture."

They are beautiful and powerful alone, but together in all their diversity and flaws, they can change the world.

pile

Messy, yes ... but think of what they will become.

58 comments:

  1. Terrific post. Uplifting and fascinating and most of these views have as much drama as any flower.

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    1. Thanks, Linda. The seeds have been good therapy for me during the entire season--but especially during the past few days. Thinking not only about my own reflections, but also the world views of people I love and respect, and people I know will work to make "tomorrow's big picture" as bright as possible.

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  2. Beautiful and true words .... with beautiful photos.

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    1. Thank you, Carla. It's difficult to write a post about gardens and plants right now ... but then, again, there's no better time!

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  3. For me scarlet runner beans have always been magic, but all seeds are a miracle. It's the really tiny ones like arbutus or chamomile that blow me away. "Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there and I am prepared to expect wonders." Henry D. Thoreau

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    1. I agree: All seeds are miraculous. Thoreau, of course, was brilliant! So very many bright and wise folks have seen the truth, hope, and power in tiny seeds that so-called great and powerful minds dismissed as insignificant.

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  4. Great post, beautiful the dormant seeds with their promising content. When I think of it I cannot wait to see them germinate in spring. I also collect seeds for next year in the garden.

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    1. Thank you. I agree: The seeds are the promise of next year's growing season. I planted some of the seeds and saved others to start them indoors in small pots in late winter/early spring. Definitely something to look forward to!

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  5. Love seeing all of these seeds up close and personal. I see hope and beauty.

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    1. Yes, hope and beauty! They're so fascinating in their various forms and textures.

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  6. A great post, I am constantly fascinated by seeds and your photos show some of their amazing diversity. And each tiny one of them bursting with life and ready to start the whole cycle again.

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    1. Thank you, Chloris. I know: Just the idea of all the life and hope encased in their tiny vessels! Winter is long, but there's certainly promise that spring will come again. :)

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  7. Thanks for a lovely post Beth and intelligent guidance for tomorrow.

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    1. You are welcome! Thanks for your kind comment and your visit.

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  8. The start of winter is a great time for hope. Thanks Beth.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by! Yes, winter is on its way.

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  9. What a wonderful post, Beth! Since my gardening journey started, I've been fascinated by seeds, which is likely why most of what ends up in my garden starts with a packet of seeds. You have really captured their beauty and provided a unique perspective on these tiny wonders.

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    1. Thank you, Margaret! I have so much respect for people who grow most of their gardens from seed. I haven't had as much luck here. While I do grow some plants from seed, the plants that seem to perform best are ones I start from seed indoors late in the winter or that I plant as small seedlings. But I keep trying and at least I do plant some from seed. ;-)

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  10. Gorgeous photos... love seeing all the potential.

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    1. Thank you, Pat. Seeds of hope for the next season. :)

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  11. so much variety and interest when you take the time and effort to look.

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    1. Yes, it's amazing the variety among the different types of seeds. And they're all so beautiful!

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  12. Beautiful post, Beth, thanks. Seeds are indeed full of promise, and planting them feels like an act of faith and determination--that they will germinate, grow, bloom and that I will be around to enjoy it all!

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    1. Thanks, Hollis. Yes, I hope we will both be around for many more seasons to see the seeds take root and grow. :)

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  13. Wonderful post! I also am fascinated by seeds. They are truly amazing in their beauty and promise. You can hold an entire garden in your hand!

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    1. Thanks, Deb. Well said! You are right: A small pile of seeds can yield an entire garden!

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  14. What a wonderful post. I am collecting seeds....

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    1. Thank you, Michelle. I need to collect more before winter sets in. I like to look at them and imagine the joy of the next growing season.

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  15. Isn't it amazing how different the are? And yet all accomplish the same purpose.

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    1. Yes, the diversity is incredible. Based on the seeds, it seems like the plants should look even more different than they do when they emerge and grow.

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  16. Seed collecting - an excellent fall activity. You inspire me.

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    1. Yes, it's a noble endeavor. Happy seed collecting!

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  17. Interesting post. I was just looking at how pretty the seeds were from my milkweed plant. Nice that you captured their beauty.

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca. The seeds are indeed beautiful--studying them is like studying art.

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  18. What a beautiful post, Beth! As lovely as all your photos are, the broader message is just as inspiring. Seeds of change...

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    1. Thanks, Rose. Yes, we underestimate the seeds don't we? That is where the real power and promise reside.

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  19. I love this post, thoughts and photographs alike. Seeds hold the jungle of tomorrow, the wonder of next year's garden, the future itself in a tiny capsule. Beautiful!

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    1. Thanks, Peter. Your words are eloquent, as always. Indeed, they are tomorrow's promise!

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  20. Seeds are interesting and different, but they start to live after seeding them, then, what is even more beautiful blossom. Regards.

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    1. Yes, the bloom is beautiful. And the promise of the bloom is a great joy. :)

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  21. I really enjoyed this post Beth. Gardening is one place where youth is overlooked in favor of maturity!

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    1. Thank you, Loree. That's so true. I honestly think my favorite stage of the plant is the tiny bud, or just before the plant blooms. It's the combination of the beauty of it and its promise. But the seed ... yes, too often we overlook the beauty and the promise of the seed.

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    2. May i join in this thread, excuse me Loree. Your conversation made me think deeper, apparently i haven't realized what stage of a plant is my favorite because i am having a hard time thinking. I thought it is always the flower, but photography tells me more in deeper sense. Thanks for this post Beth, it expanded my thoughts and possibilities.

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    1. Yes, indeed. And the stage lasts a while, so we have some time to appreciate the promise before the plant grows!

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  23. What a beautiful post. Loved it. You really opened my eyes to the beauty of seeds

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    1. Thank you! Thanks for stopping by. I often have to remind myself to look closer for the little miracles and hopes of life.

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  24. I didn't know you grew Passiflora incarnata!

    I've thought about adding it to my garden, but heard it can run rampant.

    Still, LOVE those flowers and it is a butterfly host plant...

    How does it behave for you? And does it fruit in Wisconsin?

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    1. Hi Aaron: Karin at Southern Meadows gave me some Passiflora seeds and I also ordered some. I'm definitely pushing zones with this one, but I planted them in a warmish area between a rock wall and the south-facing part of the house--to grow up an arbor. They grew a bit this summer, although they got started late in the season. This far north, of course they'll die back to the ground and go dormant, but I hope they'll come back next year. If not, I saved some of the seeds to get an earlier start next year. I'll let you know how it goes next year. :)

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  25. Seeds are absolutely breathtaking; I was admiring a cocklebur the other day; what artistry in the seed; and what tenacity! The lablabs always remind me of Oreo cookies, ha. I received some Formosa lily bulbs and seeds in the mail from a gardening friend in North Carolina. I planted them yesterday; I hope they grow, but I'm not sure if WI is suitable to their survival. Always something to look forward to next year.

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    1. Yes, indeed. Just getting back to blogging and comments after a busy Thanksgiving. I agree: Each seed is so unique--almost more unique than the plants they become. How exciting to try a new bulb! I think it's fun to try to push the zones a little bit, as long as the plants aren't invasive. Sounds like Formosa lilies should be fine, and they're so beautiful.

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  26. You said it all, Beth, 'stunningly beautiful ... full of promise ... worthy of great praise.' Amazing seeds posting! P. x

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    1. Thank you, Pam. Seeds are the garden's (and our) future. :)

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  27. One of your most captivating posts Beth - especially like the way you have collaged the seeds on papery textures just like the glassine seed envelopes. Up close and personal we can see the beautiful structures of flowers in their suspended animation - look forward to following their sproutings and flowerings

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    1. Thank you, Laura. A part of me wants to take a bucket of seeds out on a windy day and throw it into an open field. It would be good therapy. We do have a property with a grassy meadow...

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  28. I love this post Beth, why didn't i think of that first! Plants are all very beautiful in all stages, and i love how you made that introduction. I even love and smiled at the "we begin to die (during this life anyway)". Next time i will take your lead.

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    1. Thanks. Life is short, but we're here to do our best. And there are always seeds for tomorrow. :)

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  29. Thanks for the post and the great pictures. Here in S. Florida the gardens never sleep.

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