“What more enjoyable way is there to spend a Winter Saturday than meeting a lot of people as keen as us to talk about our favourite subject of growing flowers for insects. Five volunteers was not too many to answer the constant stream of questions! For example; how to plant a coastal garden? Or what nectar rich flower to put in a pot with a shrub (Marjoram), or how to sow wildflower seeds without burying them – or looking at our mini front garden in a bucket for the benefit of bees.”


As Rose says, Greenhavens were delighted to be at Seedy Saturday in Lewes, in front of our fantastic new banners. The event was a wonderful opportunity to meet visitors interested in our “Bee Corridor” project and other activities, and also to meet other groups running stalls and activities. In all we gave away 80 envelopes of seeds to grow plants for butterflies (donated?) from Emorsgate Seeds. We also gave out snowdrops wrapped in moss to children, for their front gardens. A planting box kindly donated by the Monday Group, with butterfly friendly plants went to the delighted winner of our SEEDY quiz! The plants in the box were; Marjoram, Greater Knapweed, Scabious, Betony and Thyme – all wonderful for wildflower lawns. If you collected some, let us know how they do!

Seed swaps are a great idea. It’s a cheap and easy way for gardeners and allotment-holders to replenish their seed stock. You can buy seeds or swap with ones you have to spare. Such events also help maintain local biodiversity and preserve the heritage varieties of fruit and vegetables. This can be a way round laws which dictate that unless you register a particular strain of plant, you cannot buy or sell the seeds. You can find out more about how to collect your own seeds here

We asked organiser Topsy to tell us more about the Lewes event.

“It was one of the best Seedy Saturday Lewes events (which has been going since 2007). We had a great team organising the event and were able to do more publicity than usual in the local area. We had more visitors than in previous years which I think was due to better publicity, a high profile speaker in Kate Bradbury, a renewed rise in environmental awareness and consistent great organising of the event each year.” Topsy Jewell, Common Cause

There were 34 stalls, around 1070 visitors counted on the door, plus around 100 others volunteers, stallholders, children etc. Activities included the seed swap, willow weaving workshop, tool sharpening workshop, and activities for children.

There was also a fantastic programme of speakers and if you missed them, you can find videos of some of the talks, and a full write up of the event on the Common Cause website!

Thanks so much for the organisers and volunteers for putting together such a great event, also to all the visitors that came to talk to us. Thanks too to Team Greenhavens, who did a great job manning the busy stall! There are lots of events coming up and we would love to have some more volunteers to help with events. You don’t need specialist knowledge, just a friendly manner, enthusiasm and interest in improving our green spaces for people and wildlife. We also have volunteer vacancies for administration tasks. Please get in touch if you can help in any way.