A strange thing happens to you when you become a keen gardener or a botanist – you start to wander round stuffing bits of plants into your pocket. It might be a cutting you’re hoping will take root in your own garden, or some seeds that just happen to be ripe when you’re walking past, and so prove to be irresistible. I’m sure there are some people who are organized enough to have suitable receptacles handy, but all of the ones I’ve spoken to who own up to this acquisitive behaviour* fall into the other camp, and have to improvise with what they have to hand. Just think of the forgotten wonders that would sprout out of our pockets if we left our clothes outside in the damp!

This is what has made it into my pockets over the last week or so 🙂


New Zealand Flax
Phormium tenax seedpods

These seedpods are from one of the New Zealand flax plants that thrive on the campus where I work. They’re magnificent plants, and their flower stalks reach for the sky.


Fat Hen
Chenopodium album

And these are the seeds of a common weed, Fat Hen. It springs up all over my allotment site (and some people harvest it as a salad crop), but these seeds came from a plant that I pass by on my way to work in the morning. I wouldn’t harvest the leaves, they’re in prime dog-walking territory….

Which plants have you carried home in your pockets?


*I am not condoning the theft of plant material from gardens that are open to the public – a perennial problem it seems, and a worrying one. If you fancy something you’ve seen growing in someone else’s garden, then ask nicely what it is. Gardeners are usually more than happy to share information; you may be given propagation material to take home, or be directed to the plant sales table to purchase your own specimen.