Now that the tulips are long gone in Virginia I have been putting all sorts of other things in these vases including bolting lettuce. I don't know what my assistant would have thought if I said, "please pass me the fattest lettuce vase." I often let some lettuce go to seed. They grow into three or four foot towers of color and sculptural blossoms that, in turn, self-seed for next year's salads.
"It began in the cold light of the A&P by a rotating seed display that had been placed beside the lettuce bin. There, side by each, the lettuce and the lettuce seed. I stood dumbstruck. This lettuce and this seed had something to do with each other. I knew, of course, that the seed made the lettuce. But I had never once wondered how the lettuce made the seed. I suddenly needed to know. I decided to buy a packet of seeds, plant a few, and watch very carefully."
--Mary Anne Mclean, Mary Anne's Garden, page 7.