Seed Snatching Mission

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Well, we had a few nice days last week, and I took advantage! I bought a big bag of those small bathroom cups, found a plug liner and a flat to stick them in, grabbed my scissors, and felt pen... and out the door I went. Bruno (my old Pickup) and I headed out the road in search of Clematis tangutica (Golden Clematis) seed at a friend's house.

I tried calling her, but she is out of town (Oh, boy!). If found the clematis seed heads (fluffy little fellers), then noticed a columbine full of ripe seed beside it... tipped a few seed heads over one of my cups and checked out the rest of her flower bed... Malva sylvestris, mixed bachelor button... what a haul! I must ask her (casually, mind you) what color that columbine is!

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Next, I drove out the road a bit more to another friend's place. Shucks, nobody home... ah, well. Might as well walk around the yard a bit. Wow! the sedum heads are dry now! ... and look at all those dianthus seeds, and Clustered bellflower, Maltese Cross... Spiral Bellflower!

Out come the cups. I don't take them all, mind you... just some from each. I don't want to seem greedy, and I don't want to get caught! When she sees those podless stems sticking up, she'll probably think the blue jays did it... right?

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Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

I've still got cups, and I've still got plenty of enthusiasm, so I head for downtown Seward. I stop in the harbor and check out the planters. I find two colors of Swan River Daisy by the Harbor Bakery. A garden friend who works next door comes out to give me a hard time. "I should have known it was you!" she exclaims. I graze around the harbor, picking up more of those lovely blue viola seeds and some trailing lobelia seed pods... not quite dry, so I'll have to let them finish out at home. By the Harbormaster office, I find that the nasturtium is pretty much played out, but the calendula have some nice seeds. Good thing I harvested those nasturtium last week!

Maben, MS(Zone 7b)

Sound like you made a good haul.

Huntington, IN(Zone 5b)

Oh man I am laughing my butt off. Wish i could really do that and it would work.
I do the exact thing, if i see someone outside trimming flowers or just outside i'll say hey can you share some seeds with me? no one has never said no, now i usually will give them some of mine. Sometimes I even make a freind.
I collect from my yard,my mils's my friends and pop them in ziploc bags and pull out my marker just like you.
Today I was out in the 42 degree weather with bitter wind......collecting seeds to trade-sase with all the Daves gardners soon.
And weez are you going to trade that Nasturium?If so what color?

Sand Springs, OK(Zone 7a)

they are so us-to me doing that at garden center 10 acres of flowers they just tell me if you don't get caught i like seeds from such and such . WE are just recycling .it won;t do anyone any good when they plow it all up first freeze and plant bulbs and put down herbicide . I'm just saving there life right ???

Deep South Texas, TX(Zone 9a)

Early, early this morning (as well as later this afternoon) I followed my roadmap of desirable plants and did some friendly, albeit judicious, pruning about town.

So as not to be burden to their limited parking I visited the businesses in the early morning hours stopping by the cleaners first for a double red hibscus. Then it was off to a local petroleum production company for a pretty pink hibiscus w/ red center. Next I went to a friend's apt building and got a few cuttings from her gorgeous duranta and picked up a couple deep coral double hibiscus cuttings, too.

They recently built a brand new Sonic Drive-In here and taunted me with some of the most beautiful hibiscus this town has seen. Since the plants are starting to grow and the people that work there haven't got a clue I did a little bit of 'shaping pruning' for them. Of course I couldn't waste such pretty cuttings so I put them in water, too. (I may have to go back in a few nights, I mean mornings, and give some of them a drink of copper...)

Next it was to the end of my street to get cuttings from two bouganvillias that I had gotten cutting from a couple weeks ago. (I hope I have better luck this time.) Then around the corner to a local elemantary for a third variety.

With the business half of my map traveled I decided the rest could wait till the afternoon and headed home for some much needed sleep.

~ Have Pruning Shears, Will Travel ~

Huntington, IN(Zone 5b)

He He He

Pocola, OK(Zone 7a)

hhhhhm, I just got an idea. I don't much care for garage saleing, but I might just have to take it up now...............and check out their gardens first. hehehe

You all crack me up. LOL

Deep South Texas, TX(Zone 9a)

Careful, cherish, one of the houses I went to this aftermoon the lady started breaking looong branches off 2 of her hibiscus telling me she was just getting ready to prune any way.

Heck, all I wanted was a couple little 6-8" green cuttings. I walked away from her house with a huge ARM LOAD of branches!

Kannapolis, NC(Zone 7b)

Wish I didn't have such NO gardenen'' neighbors!! I really hadn't thought so much about invading the town though! I work next to a quaint little town in SC! hmmm... might have to check it outttt...

Of course I still haven't cleaned all the seeds from my yard!
Guess that's what winters for huh?


Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

One of the great things about harvesting seeds from public beds is that they generally do mass plantings of one particular color or variety. For instance. At the Wells Fargo bank, they had these lovely wine colored pansies... only those. I harvested lots of nice seeds and will probably take another swipe at them before they pull them.

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Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Hey, Potofgold, I'll have lots of nasturtium seeds to trade. They are mixed colors, and even some of the variegated Alaskas.

Pocola, OK(Zone 7a)

dstartz, that puts new meaning to the words "be careful what you wish for".

Lincoln, NE(Zone 5b)

Now I don't feel so bad about all the great finds I come home with! Saturday I ate lunch out with a friend and pinched a couple cuttings off a golden sweet potato vine in front of the cafe. Figured it was going to freeze this week anyway. Then I went to the local nursery to buy some potting soil and pinched a couple coleus cuttings from an outdoor planting area and finished up my day by getting some zinnia seeds and a couple pieces of what I think is a form of Wandering Jew from in front of a downtown store. Good thing I saved them because I think the frost last night may have done in most of the tender things. I now have an excuse for not cooking since my kitchen counters are full of cuttings.


Flat Rock, NC(Zone 7b)

HA-HA! I am going to copy this whole darn thread and e-mail it to my DD. She thinks I'M the only plant/seed thief in the world. I've told her I've had some schoolin' from DG'ers. I nipped and pinched before; but since joining DG, I'm an all-out go-getter 8'D

Huntington, IN(Zone 5b)

Ah....... but we are not thiefs only professional propagators, we are preventing extinctions of plants/flowers. Sound good?
Oh my gosh you guys are giving me naughty ideas!!!!!!!

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Now, don't get me wrong, guys. I don't sneak into strangers' yards or anything... well, I did park behind the funeral home and dig up some lily of the valley and saxifraga once, but that was an isolated incident.

I don't feel guilty one bit for harvesting seeds from commercial businesses and municipal beds, but I pushed my luck at the bank. They have some garden plots there that are offered to folks in town who don't have home gardens. It's a nice thing to do. As you can see, it is within a fenced, gated area... nice, protected, and at the end of the season.

For a month or so, I've been eyeing one bed that had Velour Blue Bronze violas, Deep Red Chinese Dianthus, and dwarf snapdragons in it. I happen to know that the violas come back pretty true from seed, and that particular bed had not been cleaned out yet, so I just had to get some!

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Deep South Texas, TX(Zone 9a)

I'm with you, weezingreens, no sneakin' into strangers yards! (I have enought trouble without being visited by the police!)

When I'm out collecting cuttings I am constantly reminding myself of how I would feel if someone came into my yard and helped themselves like I am doing in their yard - business or otherwise. That means not only about asking, but also about what I'm taking. (I always look to the back and to the interior of a plant first for any cutting I'm hoping to get.)

potofgold - "we are not thiefs only professional propagators, we are preventing extinctions of plants/flowers."

I remember one of the first ag classes I ever attended in college. My advisor stated that since the beginning of the human species men were the hunters and women were the gathers; women were the original propagators of plant life.

To be honest, I thought it was kind of silly when I heard it, but as the years have gone by I see that it seems to be hardwired into us as a sex.... (Exhibit A: This thread. ; - > )

Hixson, TN(Zone 7a)

Now seeds are one thing but I have neighbors who come in my yard and help themselves to my plants. I had one lady who lived behind me would dig up stuff almost as soon as I bought it and planted it! This year I started buying Daylilies and some I only had one fan of and someone helped themselves to them and I was Over 150.00 in the whole! So I think seeds are one thing but plants are another! The funny thing is I would give someone some of anything if I have enough to share but to come in my yard and take all I have when I am at work rubbs me the wrong way! Sorry to get on a soap box but It is depressing when people take plants out of your garden at least it is to me. Now, if they are building a subdivision and are fixing to bulldoze a place I can see digging them up to save them but not out of a yard where they are being tended to.

Pocola, OK(Zone 7a)

hmmm, I'm thinkin' I would go over to her yard, dig it back up and take it back home. Then place red pepper around the area. She won't do it more than once more.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

This thread is in all good fun, and I have to admit, I often work on the theory that it is easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission. I don't take seeds from gardens unless I KNOW the owner and know it will be OK. In most cases, the seeds I get from them come from plants I gave them in the first place. I had an agreement with many of these folks to plant them where they won't cross-pollinate, then save me some seeds. Sometimes I just harvest before they do!

In the case of the Wells Fargo Bank, I have to admit, I should probably have asked. I'm sure it was no problem, I'm sure the landscaper doesn't care, but maybe I should have gotten permission. Wandering into the Community garden was a real 'stretch', since these are people's individual garden spaces. I was just afraid they'd pull up the plants and no one would get the seeds.

As a matter of interest, the bank manager pulled up at the stop sign next to the bed I was robbing and hollered to me, asking if I was stealing seeds. I hollered back that I was. She mentioned I was pretty visible there on the corner. I told her it was no problem if I just look like I'm supposed to be doing it. We both had a good laugh.

A couple days ago, my DH told me another Sewardite was down there pulling the carrots that somebody had missed in one of the garden plots... hope I don't get blamed for it! LOL!

I would never dig up anyone's plants without permission. I've put the word out that I'll trade plants for plants, so fellow gardeners will stop by with a box full of whatever they've thinned and go home with a couple plants from my tables. It's a good deal for both of us. OK, I've taken a pinch off sedum or houseleek, or stem cuttings from lamium, etc... but, as I tell my dogs..."No Diggin'!"

Hixson, TN(Zone 7a)

We got in a big fight which resulted in her moving because everyone knew she was in the wrong and she was doing it! The problem is she comes back and visits a neighbor across the road in fact the only neighbor she did not run over with her using ways.I think she really does it just to irritate me.I had given her almost everything in her yard and then she decided she would just help herself and told some neighbors that I didn't mind and she could have anything she wanted out of my yard because I have so much I wouldn't even notice so if they saw anything they liked to just let her know and she would get it for them! I knew she was doing it but she did it when I was at work. I am not a person who likes confrontation but her then best friend is the one who told me about she could have anything she wanted and that was the end of that!!!
I love sharing but some people take it as an open invitation sometimes and that's just wrong.
I don't see anything wrong with seeds.Well, I got that out of my system!

Hixson, TN(Zone 7a)

I know this thread is all in fun didn't mean to be a party pooper):! I snaged some seeds in Ocoee national forest off a clematis growing on a side of a cliff in july and it must of been a early bloomer!I can't wait to see what it looks like. I guess I am a professional propagator too.

Deep South Texas, TX(Zone 9a)

I live on a main thoroughfare and my house sits on a corner. Since we couldn't get any grass to grow at the corner proper (we later realized it was because of the snail infestation) my DH took up the weeds and put in a large flower bed.

The first spring I had it in full bloom I noticed a large area of the ageratum in the front were dying. And it wasn't just dying, it was being walked on and killed. Lamenting to my DH about my mysterious spot the culprit came to light - every morning a woman a couple streets over takes her pug nose for a walk and we're on her route.

With my DH standing in the driveway she let her dog come up in the yard and take his morning constitutional. They then headed to the corner where he walked up into my flowerbed, watered some of the plants, scratched his 4 paws in the dirt/plants and left. She walked off as if what had happened was the most normal thing in the world!

That kind of thinking, like your neighbor, cceamore, I do not understand.

Hixson, TN(Zone 7a)

I am right with you sister!

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Back to seed snatchin.... Next I headed down to the Alaska Railroad Train Depot and collected seeds from some lovely blue violas...

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Melvindale, MI(Zone 5a)

I am enjoying reading about all the sneed snatching antics here. LOL. The only seeds I have snatched were some marigold seeds this fall at a church whose Pastor I know very well and I do some financial business for them every Monday. They don't take very good care of their annuals so I felt I was doing them a favor by deadheading their marigolds to extend their bloom time. Needless to say, their marigolds look great now that the old spent blooms have been removed. Tomorrow I will probably do a little more deadheading for them. LOL

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Bless you, my child!

Deep South Texas, TX(Zone 9a)

Last month my DH and I took a trip up to Houston and we stopped at the rest area up by Victoria. (It's one of the RA that the state has rebuilt and put in some nice landscaping.) Since I didn't need to avail myself of the facilities I stayed outside and checked out the flower beds. OMG!! Why some organizations think all you have to do is stick them in the ground and the plant will take care of itself!?!?

So, doing my civic duty (really I couldn't stand the hearing the cries from the poor neglected babies), I start deadheading. There are zinnias and cosmos and snaps, you name it, and they are all in desparate need of being cleaned up.

About 4 minutes into my rescue mission (I only saved the deep red zinnia's seeds - it is, after all fall) this big, not overly bright guy comes out of the building wearing a hardhat and red vest and says, "You can't pick those flowers."

I'm thinking, flowers? What flowers? You mean these almost-dead-way-before- their-time plants?

So, I look up, holding a handfull of long-dried zinnia heads, and say, "I'm deadheading." and go back to cleaning. Apparently he doesn't know what to do with crazy women because without another word he went back inside.

Unfortunately my DH came back waaay before I was finished (he was sitting in the truck reving the engine and I'm still picking heads).

All those plants and so little time!!!

Melvindale, MI(Zone 5a)

Oh, that is hilarious.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

dstartz, that's what I meant about looking like you know what you are doing! People usually accept that... especially if you are an old gal like me!

By the time I got home the other day, I had collected many many kinds of seeds. I had such a good time! I am such a cheap date! I was so happy driving from spot to spot in my old blue pickup, my cups of seeds riding shotgun on the seat! So, now I've got most of them dried, cleaned, packaged and on my tradelist.... well, that is until I make another run! Here's a picture of the seeds I brought home that day.

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Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

For you professional snatchers, I have a question. I had some large seed pods pop open and I lost a good number of seeds. Question, how about using a hand vaccum to suck them up??? I don't have one of these but if you think it will work I will borrow one.

I can just see you guys carrying along a little sucking machine to do your deed. That way no one would get in a snit about you cutting dead flowers, you'd just be sucking their seeds out. You wouldn't get as many but would it work???? lol lol lol

As you can tell this is my first seed gathering attempt.


Deep South Texas, TX(Zone 9a)

A pot holder from the nursery to hold your cups! My DH suggested that just the other night for all my 20 oz coke bottles.

I guess what they say about great minds think alike is true.

Melvindale, MI(Zone 5a)

Wow, that's quite a haul of seeds Weez. Teriffic!!!

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

I don't need another addiction!!! I need to get off this thread. lol lol lol Bye!!

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Judy, some seeds are best gathered by just tipping the pods over a pan or wide container. This is true for those that open at the top. That way you just get the pure seed that is mature. As for pods that pop, I've found that I have to bring viola pods home and place them in a bowl with a paper napkin over them so the seeds don't pop out on the table. My husband gets a kick out of hearing them popping away in the morning while he drinks his breakfast coffee.

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

I very much admire you "seed snatchers", keep at it!! Judy

Deep South Texas, TX(Zone 9a)

Violas - does that mean Johnny Jump-ups as well as pansies?

I just put some 'Jolly Joker' pansies and Johnny Jump-ups in soil yesterday to sart them germinating. I would love to be able to save seeds from them!! (I know, 'Joker' is an F2 cross and won't be true....)

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Thanks, Judy... bet there's lots of seeds to snatch in TN!

dstartz, technically, they are all violas...violets, pansies, johnny jumpups. Generally, the little fellows are considered 'violas', but Baa would no doubt tell you the size of the flower is not necessarily the determining factor. You'd be surprised how many hybrid pansies and violas come back pretty true to the parent plant. Of course, you've got to allow for nearby plants of different colors. Violas cross pollinate easily.

These 'Eye of the Tiger' violas were grown from collected seed.

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