Nature may be going to bed, but she’s also sharing the seeds that will become next year’s flowers, trees, grasses…

It is easy to notice the burst of colors that signal winter is on its way, as leaves turn those hot hues of the color wheel: yellow, gold, orange, red, crimson, russet.

But in many cases, plants are literally going to seed — seeds that will become next year’s new plants. Some seeds need cold stratification to break their dormancy, meaning a cold, moist period — an over-wintering. These include some wildflower and perennial seeds and grasses. Other seeds need other types of conditions to germinate.

Seeds and their packaging (like pods) offer their own, less showy beauty than the fiery leaves vying for our attention at this time of year. Some will drop, some will blow away, and some will offer food to wildlife. All help complete nature’s cycle by carrying those seeds forward into the next generation of plants.

Yet another good reason to fight the urge to always overly tidy things up.