A blue-tiful sight

Brandywine Wildflower Journal was slacking off again when we stumbled upon some garden volunteers hard at work collecting seeds. At first we thought they were sitting down on the job enjoying a bucket of blueberries.

John Buckley photo
Blue’s clues: These Cornus amomum seeds are collected by garden volunteers on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013.

We wanted to join in. Until we found out they were gathering and sorting the seeds of Cornus amomum, or Silky Dogwood. This is a shrub that loves wet areas, puts out white blooms in the spring, produces these blue seeds late summer, and provides all kinds of visual interest. These volunteers were providing visual interest, too. The dexterity on display this day–the coordination and concentration required in the gathering and sorting process of the seeds–shamed us into going back to “work,” if you can call it that.

John Buckley photo
Ripe for the picking: The Silky Dogwood’s seeds are blue by the end of August and its leaves are starting to turn.

For more about the Brandywine seed program go to http://www.brandywinemuseum.org/gardens.html

Brandywine Bloom Cam: 8/27/13 

John Buckley photo
Obey the display: Obedient Plant is putting on a show at the Brandywine River Museum.

Physostegia virginiana, False Dragonhead or Obedient Plant: No matter what you call it, these pinkish clusters are like snapdragons, but they’re not. They’re actually a mint. And they’re flexible. Meaning, if something pushes them in a new direction, they’ll hold that position for a while. You try doing that!

We asked them for a “selfie.” That didn’t work. We asked them if they’d heard about the flap over the word selfie in the Oxford English Dictionary (despite some reports, not true, sort of). They didn’t respond. At this point, we thought they were being downright disobedient. Then we asked them to hold still for a photo. And we just clicked.

–John O. Buckley

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