This year has ended. Father Time has lived his life and is old, wrinkled, and ready for a long sleep. Similar to Father Time, a seed pod like the one above appears in your garden as a brown, wrinkled thing of death, yet this seed pod – yawning it’s beak as if it is a primordial bird – is actually the giver of life. Seeds drop from these ugly husks and often in the Spring I see baby seedlings sprouting below the pod head.
I stopped using excessive fertilizers and chemicals in the garden, which many modern day garden centers would have me believe is the curse of death, and I started layering composted products on top of the soil. If the plant is fertile, I leave the old stems and seed pods up through the winter, reserving clean-up for early spring. By then the pods have been tossed by nature. Seeds have exploded out of them and been frozen and thawed dozens of times in winters strong hands. My garden thrives naturally now – more dependent on the ebb and flow of nature and less dependent on artificial means.
When spring’s warmth finally arrives, I am surprised at the tiny plant baby’s being born all over my garden ready to celebrate their new life and the year of their birth. Something that never happened when I cleaned my garden in every season, vacuuming the litter to keep up appearances for others. Now I let things go a little more naturally and have discovered the garden rewards me tenfold. I faithfully dig up the seedlings and give them to my garden friends or maybe leave a seedling right where it is – in middle of a path, growing in a sidewalk crack, or sprouting some where completely unexpected. Because it was meant to be.
Happy New Year!