Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter
lies a miracle. . .a seed waiting to sprout,
a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl.
And the anticipation nurtures our dream.
A seedling is a young plant that develops out of a plant’s embryo which is the seed. During germination the young plant emerges from the seed’s protective coat and grows up through the soil attempting to reach the light while the roots on the other end push deep into the ground. Then when the seedling begins to photosynthesize, it no longer depends solely on the seed’s own stored energy reserves. The seed’s continued growth now depends on both external and internal conditions with the most important factors in the process being temperature, water, oxygen, and sometimes darkness or light. In our area not all seeds should be held until spring to be sown. Evidence of such can be seen in the photograph above. This is a larkspur seedling that was sown in early fall and subsequently germinated in late fall or early winter. As you can see, in spite of the two snowfalls and freezing temperatures we’ve already had, it’s holding its own. Our winters here are relatively short and mild, and if larkspur and poppies are not sown in the fall they will not have enough cool lead-in time to establish the strong, healthy roots needed to grow big enough to bloom as they should.
The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream.
The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg,
and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs.
Dreams are the seedlings of realities.
~James Allen, British author