BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘seeding’

#365daysofbiking By my own hand

April 13th – Easter Monday was colder. Quite bitter, in fact, so I did essential maintenance on the bikes and pottered at home, before shooting out for a late spin up the canal to test the bike out.

At Clayhanger Common the cowslips are fully in bloom now and the sight of them fill me with pride – as I scattered the seeds that formed these colonies a fair few years ago now. I collected the seed heads from a patch in Stonnall and spread the seed at various spots on Clayhanger Common, not expecting them to take hold.

But they did.

I then used seeds from those patches to expand and create new ones elsewhere on the common.

And now, they’re all over it.

Something I will always be proud of.

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#365daysofbiking Until next year, my springtime companions


May 20th – On the subject of things yellow, a seasonal sadness.

I guess it’s coming on summer now, and the first flush of flowering is well and truly over: the daffodils and tulips are long behind us, and late spring flowers like bluebells are dying off – as is my personal favourite, the cowslip.

Cowslips for me epitomise spring and the optimism of a new growing year; bright yellow, delicate and prolific now, they were once rare and I cherish seeing them as I ride around the area.

The ones I set on by guerrilla seeding at Clayhanger are going to seed now and I’ll have to wait 11 months to see these jolly characters again. But it’s be oh so worth the wait.

In the meantime I’ll carefully watch the seed heads develop and dry until the precious seed within is ready to collect, and I’ll gather a fair amount and sprinkle it in places where I think we need more springtime joy.

Until next year, my springtime companions. Until next year.

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#365daysofbiking Yellow favourite

April 9th – Another welcome sight indicating the ever-rolling season’s wheel are cowslips, my favourite flower in the whole world.

Cowslips were very, very unusual when I was a kid. These days they grow everywhere like weeds – and I collect the seeds when they go over and spread them anywhere I think needs a bit of yellow in the spring. And there are very few places that don’t benefit from a bit of yellow.

These hardy but delicate looking members of the primrose family are scattered over Clayhanger common – many from the result of my guerrilla seeding – and are truly divine. I love them.

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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.

July 13th – A vitally important mission begins.

These are the seed heads of my favourite flowers, cowslips, and the wee dots the seeds themselves. For the next few weeks, I’ll potter around anywhere I saw cowslips in spring, looking for the seeding plant. I’ll gently collect a little pot of seeds, and then spread them on land where it would be nice to see some in spring (praying I don’t get pulled by the coppers in the meantime).

It’s how most of the cowslips got on Clayhanger Common in the first place. I’m rather proud of that.

Guerilla planting is a random act of natural kindness. Do it now.

June 25th – As the summer winds on, the next stage of the season begins; moving from the flowering, to the fruiting and seeding. In Walsall Wood’s Green Lane, there’s a patch of comfrey that’s going to seed, and I was intrigued by the way it forms from the flowers, another almost prehistoric-looking plant. Intertwined with it, the white bloom of mid and late summer, bindweed.

Soon, blackberries will be forming on the brambles, and there will be hips, haws and berries ripening aplenty, and time for a new palette of colours; but at the moment we’re passing from the purple into the white for a while.

The advancing summer makes me a little sad, but the weather is fine ad warm, and everything looks splendid. I’m in my element, to be honest.

September 14th – It usually takes a while for me to become comfortable with the presence of autumn, and this year it seems worse than ever. One of my favourite things that cheers me about this cruel season is collecting seeds of the deciduous trees – acorns, sycamore helicopters, conkers, rowan berries, beech mast and so on – by the pocketful, which I then randomly scatter on the margins I find; the commons, heaths, verges as I cycle past. This kind of guerrilla seeding is something I believe in, and lots of my friends have joined in with the practice. I’m sure I’m responsible for lots of the oak saplings on Clayhanger and Brownhills Commons.

This year, there is a huge, healthy crop of fat acorns. Grab some and spread the love.

I like to help the trees, because well, the trees need support.