There's no denying it, summer's doing her swan song and autumn's on the way. While I do love the mellow season of crunchy, gold leaves, bonfires and misty mornings I'm extra sorry to see the end of summer.
It's been a good one this year: maybe not weather-wise but in the garden and up the allotment. Both have excelled themselves in producing amazing veggies and flowers.
In a bid to hold on to this, and because I'm trying to practise gardening on a shoestring, I have enlisted the help of my young under gardener.
Together we have been collecting flower seeds both from the three raised beds at home and from the allotment (I've been a bit greedy and not let any vegetables set seed yet).
Even if you haven't managed to grow any flowers this year you may know someone who has and, gardeners being generous souls, they would probably be delighted to let you and your little ones collect a few seeds from their garden.
So far we have saved calendula and sweet peas and something indeterminate that was sown from a mixed packet and called our "bee bar" grown especially to attract bees.
I love calendula seeds with their strange bobbly semi circle that grow into the most beautiful orange flower and that are so easy to collect.
Sweet peas, in their furry pods, need to fatten up on the plant until they burst open (hopefully only after you've collected them). You do have to be careful because they look like peas before they dry to a dark brown colour. I pick most of the sweet pea flowers and have only let a few run to seed but I'm hoping a few is all I'll need.
Once our little plastic tub was full I put them somewhere warm for them to dry out and then we cut down envelopes and taped up the edges.
My little artist then decorated the packets beautifully with flowers before I named and dated them and we sorted out the seeds which are now stored in the fridge.
In the next few weeks we will plant the sweet pea seeds in saved loo roll inners and the calendula in empty, clean yoghurt pots. Hopefully we will have early flowers next May and a wonderful reminder of a fun summer gone and the one to come.
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