October 2015: Notes from the garden shed

Autumn - Season of mists and ripening fruit, hips, haws, burrs, teasels, cobs, pods and berries of all sorts, containing those passports to immortality – seeds!

There are some many good reasons to save seeds apart from saving money, writes Paul Richens, our Gardens Manager. For me it’s developing crops that grow well in my patch.  Of course to do that you have to forgo the joy of eating some of your best vegetables but rather leaving them to bear seeds.  

Many of our vegetables (like leeks and carrots) that we eat within the year we sow them actually don’t produce seeds until the following year so it can be a bit of a long wait – but worth it.

Over the last couple of years I’ve been trying to develop a line of Skip Garden Leeks (and not just because I like the ‘dad joke’ of a leek in every skip!) but also because their amazing pom-pom like flower that not many people see give plenty of nectar for our Bees.

But it’s not all about vegetables!  Many of our beloved flowers are annuals so we can sow them in the spring and harvest their seeds in the autumn.  Recently, we’ve been working with pupils from St Aloysius School collecting flower seeds to save from the banks around the natural swimming pond, next to the Skip garden.  

This has been a lot of fun collecting a range of seed head types from the amazingly tightly packaged Sunflower seed heads to the large spider-like seed heads of the Nigella – which certainly cause much comment!


Happy seed saving  - don’t forget to dry them thoroughly before storing.