Call it beautiful, or call it lazy – I love to let plants set seed throughout the garden beds. The unruliness of seed and flower stalks flapping to and fro reassures me that life is beautiful even when I don’t have everything buttoned up and put away. They sorta scream “Just relax, it will be what it will be!” It’s good for me to hear this, especially in July, especially in July with a non-napping, teething baby.
When a cool-season plant bolts, it is harnessing its remaining energy to translate its genetics into a compact little capsule to start all over again. This display of self-preservation can be quite striking, adding texture and splashes of color amidst the sea of green vegetation.
Some of those seeds overwinter in the soil – yes, even in Minnesota! It’s such a welcomed site to see the volunteer plants sprouting around the garden in the early growing season.
Spicy red mustard greens peek out all around my vegetable patch from the year before. By July, they’re more than peeking. The small greens become spiny bushes, falling all over the plants surrounding it. But oh, I do love their spunk!
I remember watching a lettuce head bolt for the first time, and being amazed at the transformation. The entire plant grows tall and skinny, reaching for the sky and sending out a stalk full of flowers! Lettuces are usually pulled at this point, as their leaves become very bitter, but this year I’m quite smitten with the Red Romain’s purple-freckled buds and bright yellow flowers. I intend to keep it around to watch its unfolding.
What is setting seed in your garden right now?