May 30th – A sign of the advancing season is the collection of seeds for a little guerrilla planting. Clayhanger Common has large patches of cowslips like these going to seed – the seeds are not ready yet. But when the heads dry and turn golden, I’ll be out shaking a few into a back for the precious black seeds within, which I’ll then spread to other areas that might benefit from a bit of cowslip love.
That’s how most of these delightful yellow flowers got onto Clayhanger Common in the first place…
April 26th – Clayhanger Common,early morning, not long after dawn.
Yellow army I surreptitiously helped establish here is massing around the grassland. Standing proud, in defiance of the land’s former history as a rubbish tip.
These flowers are a symbol of great progress, undercover as bright yellow, beautiful spring sentries.
May their invasion recur every year without resistance being encountered.
March 31st -Spotted on Clayhanger Common, a touch of optimism in the gloom: one of my guerrilla seeded patches of cowslips is just coming into flower.
My favourite flowers that I spread the seeds for ten years ago now have returned, and in the middle of a wet Saturday when it seemed the sun will never shine, they appeared to cheer me up.
Spring, right there.
July 17th – Time for my annual botanically subversive mission: spreading the cowslip love.
After the usual delightful display in the spring, my favourite flowers have finally started to seed. I carefully collect the seed heads in a bag, shaking the seeds into it.
When I have plenty, I carefully spread the seeds on hedgerows, verges and anywhere that would benefit from springtime cowslips.
Guerilla seeding. Do something pretty while you can.
July 27th – It’s the time of year when I dread getting stopped by the police.
The cowslips I loved so much in the spring are now seeding, and I have in my pocket a growing bag of little black seeds, like these. I pluck a seed head or two from each clump (careful to leave enough to seed next year), and collect the wee black dots that shake out.
When I have a decent quantity, I’ll spread a few new patches in barren spots or places that would benefit from a little cowslip love.
These flowers cheer me so much, it’s like repaying my debt to them. I invite you to do the same.
June 30th – Looking almost frosted on the warmest day of the year, this is a cowslip seed head. It’s not quite ready yet, and is ripening in the sun beneath the trees by the Pier Street Bridge at the edge of Clayhanger Common. I have my eye on it and it’s fellow plants: as soon as they’re ready, I’ll take a few seed heads and scatter the seeds elsewhere.
You can’t have too many cowslips. Spread the love, people.