Saturday, June 15, 2013

Reseeding Flowers - Why Did I Do That?

Years ago, when I decided to garden with native and perennial flowers, my sister, Sissy, said I needed some Queen Anne's Lace (QAL) since it grew so abundantly along the roads here in the piney woods of east Texas. And, hubby's grandmother had said "you always need something white in your garden." So my fate was sealed.
Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota L. )

Running the back roads out here one summer day, Sissy said, "pull over and I am going to get you some seeds." Well, maybe it was more like me saying, "get out and get me some seeds." 

Anyway I ended up with a treasure trove of QAL seeds to plant and I did. And, they came up, looked glorious that first year and re-seeded. I need not go on. . . .

My good friend, herbalist Lee Ann, convinced me to dry the QAL flowers and use them as snowflakes on the Christmas tree. 

I found this easiest to do by snipping off the stem really, really close to the flower. Then press the flowers in a heavy book or flower press, by laying the flowers between two pieces of paper towel. Press the flowers for a week or until completely flat.  

When dry, place flattened flower heads on newspaper and lightly spray with hairspray and air dry (here is a chance to get rid of that hair spray that gives you a bad hair day). 

Store the flowers, flat, in a plastic bag until you are ready to use your 'snowflake.' You can spray these with fake snow, glitter or just leave them natural. There are a myriad of ways to use creations. I think next year I will try to use them for Mother's day.

But I have more QAL blooms than decorations I want to make. So doing the research, I found a recipe for Queen Anne's Lace Jelly at but it said,  "WARNING - Please do not attempt to use this recipe if you cannot positively identify and distinguish Queen Anne's Lace from poison Hemlock, as Hemlock is extremely poisonous and looks very similar."

So, I have decided it is in everybody's best interest NOT to make this jelly. If you do, let me know how it comes out.

Click on this link if you want to know the The Difference between Queen Anne's Lace and Poison Hemlock

I love the ethereal look of these flowers and because their height is about 2-3' they make a wonderful backdrop in the garden. Downside - they reseed. Upside - you can make decorations from the blooms. Upside - you can make jelly from the blooms. Downside - you could die.