A few weeks ago my daughter sent me a message to say that she was taking part in a project to grow the Nottingham Catchfly plant. This plant is so-named as it was first found growing in the walls of Nottingham Castle. A castle I know very well and was a constant point on my horizon for the majority of my life to date. The project is for Nottinghamshire people to grow the plant so that it can be returned to the castle environs.
I thought this sounded a good project and signed up to join in. Of course I had to explain that despite my Leicester address I am from Nottingham and still have strong links with the city. A little package, a coir plug and the seeds arrived promptly. It is an important project: our wildflowers matter and returning them to this site restores a part of our Nottingham heritage. It also is an opportunity for me to do something for my home city. Furthermore, in these lockdown days, being able to grow something and be part of a community growing this plant all for one purpose means a lot to me personally. It is a connection that we are all sharing and one that anyone with a windowsill could take part in.
As the seeds were precious I decided to not sow them all into the coir plug (something around eggs and the same basket sprang to mind). I split the seeds between the coir and into a separate pot with compost.
and with little tiny 'plink' noises, within a week or so the tiny seedlings appeared.
I this made me very happy. There were a couple in the plug and a few in the compost. This does not mean the ones in the plug failed, I make no claims to doing an even split.
Another couple of weeks and they are large enough to be thinned out a bit.
Once thinned out they have started to really romp along. This is making me really happy. The actual success of the project will be when I hand over the plants so that they can be planted at Nottingham Castle. I shall then make sure I go and visit them. Until then, I shall continue to report back on progress.
More information on Nottingham Castle can be found here.