I love this flower almost as much as the bees do and I have seen plenty of them this year plundering the pollen. I love the variety of colours that these steadfast perennials come in and most of all I love the cone that slowly reveals itself during later summer and stays right through till winter.
I love nothing more that sitting at my table collecting the seeds from the driest seed heads and opening them up to reveal the seeds all tightly packed together. I remember last year my darling niece coming to visit me and making up paper envelopes out of grease proof paper to share the seeds with friends and clients.
Everything is now well into fruiting and seeding and so I am thinking again about the bounty that awaits me in the garden soon to be picked. It’s nearly time to get out your paper bags, kitchen roll or old biscuit tin and go collect some seeds. Remember that the best time to collect seed is on a dry day and store them away from direct sunlight and damp. The last thing you want is to go to your seeds store next spring and find them full of mould and unable to use them. Another method of seed collection is to tie a paper bag down over the heads of your beloved plants in readiness for those seeds to drop. Which ever method of seed collection you use remember to label them especially if your memory is fading like mine!
I won’t be harvesting my Echinacea for at least a couple of months yet but I am already thinking about them and knowing they are on their way is thrilling enough as I plan out my new garden. This is a bee loving perennial must have for any sunny border. To find out more about all the different Echinacea visit www.shootgardening.co.uk