Sow seeds of optimism for the future

Sowing wildflower seeds - any seeds - is the gift of optimism for everyone - not just the bees but for us as well.

Before the current awful situation, I was able to go to a gardening press event but missed seeing Emily Lambert (left) and Mika Underwood (right), founders of the non-profit company, Seedball. Here they are receiving their New Product of the Year award last year in 2019 - little balls of seeds in a matchbox.

This spring, although we are all having to be really aware of 'social distancing', it doesn't mean we should forget about improving the world we live in. In fact, I am finding seed sowing very therapeutic - maybe it's my gardener's optimism?

We can still buy things online and indeed must support businesses as much as possible - and keep sowing seeds for the future wherever possible. Which is why Seedball seeds are just what is needed.

Seedball's founders, Emily and Mika, met when they were both doing PhDs in conservation topics. Why were wildflower seeds so hard to get to grow? Was it to do with the density of the seed distribution? Fired up to find more, they studied the work of Japanese natural farming innovator, Masanobu Fukuoka, and then spent two years developing their own ideas until the 'Seedball' was born.

While last year's prize was for the seed matchboxes - perfect for wedding favours - this year, the girls are concentrating on introducing new ranges of seed mixtures for those gardeners who don't have a field to sow, just a patch but still want to attract as many beneficial bees as possible.

The Artist's Meadow has been created in collaboration with Yvonne Coomber, a contemporary artist who paints wildflower scenes on canvas with oils and glitters. 'After working on her stand together in a sweltering field at the Port Eliot festival in the summer,' says Emily, 'we couldn't resist creating a mix together - based on the wildflowers growing outside of Yvonne's studio in Devon. She's painted a canvas for us inspired by these wildflowers from which we used a little snapshot of the painting for the design on the front of the tin. We're delighted with it! Instead of a royalty paid to Yvonne she wanted to instead have a donation from each tin to the Wildlife Trusts conservation charity.'

I plan to keep some in my pocket so when I go for a walk, if I'm lucky enough to be able to, I can scatter a few on any bare space for the future like the late Margery Fish, pioneer of the cottage garden style of gardening. She always kept seeds in her skirt pockets, which dropped through small holes to randomly pop up across her garden.

#wildflowers #seedball #emilylambert #mikaunderwood #YvonneCoomber #porteliot #margeryfish #cottagegardening

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