In a previous blog I talked about gardening on the cheap. This is a kind of carry-on from that.
So today I was talking to one of the Senior Gardeners in my team and we were discussing about plants and how to get some without paying. None of us are thieves, so digging them up and walking away with them was out instantly. We were at a site and saw some Fritillaries that had just opened and we both missed them last year. This is the problem with only visiting a site once every 2 weeks – you sometimes miss those fast flowering plants. Anyway, we were discussing how he would love to get some of these plants for his garden. He wasn’t up for digging up a clump or splitting one, but he did suggest we come back the next time and check for seed heads. Genius! No theft, no twisted conscience… All good.
So here it is.
If you want to get some kinds of plants on the cheap… Look for the plants you like in and around your local area, learn about when they flower, and from then watch for when they set seed. When they are ripe you can help yourself to a degree.
Before I go any further… A note… PLEASE DO NOT TAKE FROM PRIVATE GARDENS OR FORMAL PARKS!
You could always politely ask the owners or the gardeners, maybe they will be nice enough to let you take some for free. If it’s an open space or a bit of recreational or scrap land, and you are careful about how you do it, I can’t see anyone complaining. But PLEASE make sure you make good clean cuts, don’t damage any plants and please make sure some seeds are left on the plant for the wildlife and next years seeding. Don’t be greedy.
There are many plants that you can gather seeds from without damaging a plant or otherwise ruining the look of the area. It was Fritillaries that initially started the conversation, Teasel does well, so do a few other plants like Lupins, Poppies, Aquilegia, Foxgloves and Cosmos.
This site and this one are a good place to read about how to gather seeds. I cannot stress enough to take a little care when gathering seeds and collect them in the right manner to ensure your seeds grow next year.