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.