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Bringing flowers to our streets

Seedballs make gardening easy

As a child, I spent summer Sundays inspecting my grandma's garden. In Spring, there were irises to admire (the bright purple bearded ones were my favourite). Summer would bring roses in every colour. Her purple clematis overtook the entrance way and I'd always gather clumps of wild Queen Anne's Lace (wild carrot) and buttercups from the paddock. She was the sort of gardener who'd bring in her geraniums in winter and treasure fragile plants for a full year only just to see its bloom for a fleeting hour on a summer night.

While achieving my grandma's level of gardening perfection would take gobs of time and dedication which I don't have to spare these days, I do really love seeing spots of colour and life along my path. 

So, we wanted to feature an easy way for families to nurture nature and have a hand at gardening within our April 2016 Bumble Box kit; our search led us to Seedballs.

Seedballs contain everything that a seed will need in order to have a healthy start in life: dry clay (to keep the seeds from blowing away), compost (for a healthy start), hot chilli powder (to keep insects from munching the seeds), a drink of water to bind it all together and seeds, of course. In our case, native wildflower seeds like Red Campion, and Ox-Eye Daisy. 

The great thing about seedballs is that after drying, they contain everything the little seeds need for a healthy start--and they're weighty enough to carry the seeds into hard to reach spaces. Provided we choose native species suited the local climate, the plants will need little to no maintenance to survive. 

So, given native wildflower seeds by Kew's Grow Wild initiative, we spent last Saturday making wildflower seedballs with Herne Hillians (our neighbours)--encouraging everyone to place their seedballs in urban tree pits along the pavements they most often walk. Together, we made over 500 seedballs! No doubt, they'll bring a healthy dose of colour to our streets this summer. 

Fancy making seedballs? Here are a few helpful resources to get you started: 

1. Guide.  Our favourite guide to seedball making is 'Seedbombs: Going Wild with Flowers' by Josie Jeffery . 

2. Clay. You'll need dry, terracotta clay. The best source I've found for it is Scarva. A little goes a long way...

3. Seeds. Kew provided the seeds for our seedball stall as part of their 'Grow Wild' campaign, but  I've had luck with purchasing from Boston seeds. 

4. Ready-made seedballs. If you fancy joining the guerrilla gardening movement, but don't fancy making your own seedballs--buy some and spread them around, instead. A product called 'Seedball' is available online and in garden centres around the country. 

Bumble Box's monthly quality-time kits contain everything families need for three activities and scale to include up to four participants aged 3-103. Learn more or sign up at Bumblebox.co.uk. 

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