Seeds of a great idea to entertain the kids

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GARDENING: Readers' questions and a whole host of horticultural jobs from Brian Kidd

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The children are on holiday and we have to decide what to do and what we can afford. What about a trip to Portsmouth? Hang on are any of the toilets open?

What about a trip to a theme park? Its only about £100 for the family but we can take a picnic to save a bit of cash.

Come now, there must be something really affordable to keep them happy.

YES, a trip to Staunton at Leigh Park is one of the best experiences. Have you taken your grandchildren?

Simply wonderful, take some apples for the deer because they will eat out of your hand. Save some animal food purchased at the till at a non-Dick Turpin price for the guinea pigs and rabbits and enjoy the kitchen garden and giant water lily.

The News printed some good ideas on how to entertain the children during the school holidays and as I was reading, I wondered how to entertain them if there was very little cash available.

When we were children we went blackberrying. Sugar was rationed and the family went without sugar so that Mum and Grandma could make bramble jelly.

My grandma used to get the pips out by pouring the scolding mix through a pillow case held in place on an airing frame.

The smell was wonderful. Go blackberrying, it’s fun and blackberry and apple pie tastes great.

In the garden children can be introduced to seed saving. Show them where the seeds are and when the pods are a light brown colour the seeds can be collected.

Seeds of foxglove are ripe now. If you love them, look for them in the woods.

Nasturtiums produce an attractive seed case and behind the dead blooms, the seeds are very large.

Petunias produce rounded pods with loads of seeds too, but you may have other herbaceous plants with seed heads.

Use a seed tray or a dry former food tray and line it with newspaper and put a couple of stones over the top of the paper to stop the wind scattering the seeds.

Collect the seed pods and pop in a label. Leave the tray on a sunny windowsill.

A couple of weeks later the seed pods will have dried and the next job can be fun.

Pour out the seeds, remove all the debris and pour the seeds into little packets.

A seed catalogue is full of pictures of plants. The children can cut out the pictures and label up the envelopes.

I promise you, your children or grandchildren have never been so quiet. We are just off blackberrying!