Saturday, 5 September 2015

The Beauty and Bounty of Seed Heads

Gentle Reader ~~~ Autumn is the season of plenty, as we bring in the fruits from our harvest to see us through the slowing, darkening days of the fading year; with the joy of a bountiful harvest Autumn brings the promise of new beginnings, for what would Spring be without the seeds that scatter and sow in the months of Autumn?  Many a wutheringly wildly windy Winter's afternoon is spent, curled up in front of the fire, mug of tea and a plate of cake nearby, perusing the pages of the many seed catalogues that find their way on the west wind into my letter box ~~~

Larders, pantries, earth and sand clamps, and today modern freezers, are full to over flowing with the bounty of the harvest as we put up our shelves of jewelled jars of jams, pickles, and chutneys; vegetables and fruits to the freezer; racks of drying herbs; and beautifully braided plaits of garlic and onions to sustain and nurture us through the coming leaner days of Winter ~~~ a well stocked store cupboard is a delight to behold ~~~ but the cupboard would be bare, and the hedgerows sparse, with not a flower in the borders to cut for a vase if not for the seeds from which everything grows ~~~

Seed heads are some of the most beautiful, creative shapes and colours imaginable, if we only look at them.  Fibonacci abounds ~~~

I confess, I have somewhat of an addiction to seed heads, so today I am sharing with you some of my many images of seeds, seed heads, pods, and carriers that are now abundant in the garden and across the fields and hedgerows of The Shire ~~~

Here are a few of my favourites ~~~

Papery dry, long finger~like seed heads of Aquilegia aka Grannies Bonnet



From above such intriguing spirals ~~~



One of my favourite flowers and seed heads ~~~ the Opium Poppy ~~~

Poppy head just beginning to ripen

Drying and becoming golden, ready to shed their seeds

Golden and completely dry ~~~ seeds gone! 

The Arty Shots ~~~ macro images of skeletal poppy seed heads ~~~




The hard, prickly outer casing of a conker, or horse chestnut ~~~


and then, dried and split open ready to shed the seeds Under The Spreading Chestnut Tree


Not to be confused with the Sweet Chestnut ~~~




A single yew berry, a delicious looking {to a bird} shade of red ~~~



Three different compositions of Crocosmia Seed Heads

Covered in silken webs


Nigella Seed Pods looking fierce and alien ~~~



Haws ~ another favourite of birds ~~~

Hawthorn Berries of May Flower

Fantasy Feathery Rose Bay Willow Herb Seed Pods opening up ~~~







The Arty Shots of seed heads trapped on spider webs and kissed with raindrops ~~~





Another alien looking seed head ~ marigold ~~~




A long, spiky foxglove with many thousands of seeds long gone ~~~



Now, several images of one of my favourite seed heads ~~~ Pine cones ~~~
~~~I love Pine Cones ~~~








Oh! my goodness ~~~ what a collection of 'helicopters' just waiting to catch a lift on the breeze ~~~



More Arty Shots ~~~ the seeds of a sycamore {above} fallen and landed on a car bonnet ~~~ now, I'm sure the owner thought it made a mess and regrets parking underneath ~~~but I saw a joyful opportunity~~~


An amazing pattern ~~~


Grasses always have super seed heads and I love growing them for their photogenic looks ~~~
















Water droplets gathering on hairy, sticky Goose Grass seeds ~~~





No Autumn scene would be complete without rich, red, ruby rose hips ~~~ these are rugosa rose hips ~~~



or a golden, prickly teazle ~~~ a favourite food source for Goldfinches ~~~


another Arty shot ~~~ playing with an oleander seed and a skeletal poppy seed head ~~~


{I can't help myself, can I?}

Here is an Autumnal arrangement from a year or two ago, with gourds {the most gnarly and decorative of seed heads}, teazles, and a variety of gathered pine cones ~~~


These are just a few of the seed heads and pods that decorate the Garden and the countryside around my Cottage in The Shire ~~~ I hope you have enjoyed seeing them as much as I do ~~~ I never dead head my plants at the end of Autumn, I leave them to sow themselves, and I'm sure the Birds of the Garden will enjoy eating the many that do not germinate into new plants too ~~~ but more on the birds another day ~~~

Finally, here is the solution to the little poser I set for you on Bank Holiday Conundrum picture for fun.  Well, even I am not one hundred percent certain as to what it is.  It often happens, when I develop an image, something that I did not see at the time reveals itself like a special present. This image is a cropped section of a larger image of an Alchemilla mollis after a rain shower {one of my favourite subjects} and on closer viewing there is 'something' in the centre of the dew in the middle of the leaf. Exactly what that 'something' is I don't know. I have my own two theories ~ it is either a large grain of pollen, or more likely I think it is a butterfly egg that has fallen into the 'giant' lake of water in the middle of the leaf.  So well done to anyone who came close {especially if you hadn't seen it on my Facebook page first}.

Until next time
Sincerely yours
Deborah


30 comments:

  1. As always wonderful photos, It is certainly feeling autumnal, there is a chill in the air in the mornings, We have a huge conker tree out the front, they are all over our drive, I am out there every day sweeping up. I have been collecting seed catalogues for inspiration next year, can you recommend any?

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    1. Thank you! Today it feels more like Winter in the Shire! I wore a coat and gloves to walk into the village. Apparently, conkers make very good spider repellent, so if you don't mind conkers all over the house don't throw them out!
      I buy my seeds from several sources after reading up and deciding what to grow. I do use Franchi Seeds of Italy {they have brilliant service if you have questions} but there are so many good and reliable brands out there, such as Mr Fothergills and Sutton's Seeds. As long as it isn't an F1 hybrid, I sometimes save my own seed from year to year too.

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    2. Thankyou, best wishes Marlene, x

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  2. BEAUTIFUL!!!!! STUNNING!!! WONDERFUL!!!!
    XXX OOO Linnie

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  3. Your beautiful description of Autumn's bounty and beauty is just as lovely as your photos, dear Deb! I'm always in awe of seeds and what promises they hold. When I see your photographs I'm reminded of how much work I need to achieve better pictures! Your macro work is just amazing!
    The Shire is much cooler than us as we still have warm weather and humidity. Enjoy the refreshing coming of Autumn. ♥

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    1. Dear Martha Ellen, thank you! You know, your photography is great ~ I think we are much more critical of our own work than others are. You capture the moment of your visits to such interesting places just perfectly.
      As to the weather, it is decidedly wintery, but looking up for the coming week! Hurrah!

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  4. Extremely interesting. Amazing designs. We had horse chestnuts in Massachusetts growing up. We collected them and traded and played with them as children!

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    1. Yes! Playing "Conkers" was a school yard favourite here too. Sadly, health and safety gone mad and it is no longer permitted.

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  5. Oh, aren't seeds just wonderful?! I sure think so. So many different textures and styles. They are as interesting as tree bark, eh? You captured them well.

    We are in the 90's...I would love a cool down of any kind. Being outside is pure torture. I am so impatient for Autumn to come. Remind me of this when I start complaining of the cold. :-)

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    1. Oh, Darlene. I know how much you dislike the heat, so I will be sure to remind you in a few months when you are complaining of the cold! I was wearing gloves and a coat yesterday!

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  6. Pure Autumnal poetry ~ in words and images! Just lovely, Deb! It is wonderful to take time to stop and admire all of the seed heads this time of year. I also leave the stems and seed heads through our snowy winters. They are a lovely reminder of warm, summer days in the garden, as we shovel the snow! The birds depend on them for food when the snow covers the ground. You must have a chorus of birdsong in your garden, Deb! You have such a wide variety of seeds to keep our feathered friends happy! I admire your wonderful photography so much, my friend! Sending warm sunshine! ♡

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    1. Thank you Dawn. Yes, the birds are very happy and the borders get full of so many different ones at certain times of the day when they feed.

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  7. Well, you have amazed me once again, my sweet, creative photographer friend!!! These photos are just phenomenal! I would love to have so many seeds to harvest. I just received a catalog from a seed-saving company. I love the idea of sharing plant cuttings and seeds. Thank you for sharing your seed filled garden with us!! Hugs from me and waving across the sea ~ Donna E.

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    1. Thank you, I'm happy to hear you like the photographs. I am careful and don't harvest that many, only to sprinkle a few where I know I'd like the plants to be next year. I leave most of the seeds self sow and I enjoy seeing where they chose to grow ~~~ and the more seeds I leave, the more the birds have to eat!

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  8. Seed pods can be just as beautiful as their flowers and you've captured it exquisitely in your photos!

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    1. Thank you Cathy. I'm hoping to pluck up courage to sketch a couple of them ~ or at least do an impression!

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  9. What great photos! I'm putting in a new garden next year and will put in some flowers with interesting seed pods. Thanks for sharing and have a blessed day.

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    1. So many to chose from ~ you are going to have fun!

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  10. Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures! I love autumn and harvest.

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  11. You have been busy, some fascinating images, nature is a wonderful artist isn't it?

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    1. I am learning to accept that I will never be able to draw well, so my camera now does the work for me.

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  12. Your photographs are amazing, fabulous, beautiful! Seed heads are fascinating and your photos do them justice!

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    1. Thank you. Yes, they are fascinating and so often overlooked.

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  13. I love to see your posts and all the amazingly beautiful photo's you take. nature has such beauty and you capture it so well.
    Fondly Michelle

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    1. Thank you, Michelle, for your kind words. I do love photography and I'm pleased you like it.

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  14. How very lovely! What a rich harvest of seeds you have in your garden! I love this time of year, even though it the time of fading. Looks like your garden is all set to rejuvinate itself for next year! How wonderful!~

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    1. Thank you Heather. Yes, the garden is preparing both to rest and rejuvenate. Always wondering what new finds the Spring will bring with birds that have carried outside seeds in too!

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  15. Those photos were amazing. So many different contrasts and textures. My garden is pretty ordinary but I love looking at and appreciating the handiwork of a true gardener. All that beauty and bounty, you are indeed blessed.

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Thank you for stopping by today ~ I love reading your comments