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Cultivated News
Eating flowers for breakfast

Jo McCarroll was recently on the television show, Breakfast, talking to viewers about how to get kids interested in gardening.

Jo recommends planting things kids can eat. Seems simple enough, but Jo's not talking about regular fruit and vege - she's talking about flowers! Just like we are in our main article this month!

Click here to find out more about what flowers you can eat and what you can do with them.

Ladybugs rock!

Although holidays are over and kids are back at school, it's never too early to start thinking about activities for the next lot of holidays.

On your next free weekend, why not teach the little tykes how to make a ladybug rock for the garden?

They're fun, easy to make and the best part is they can't fly away! Once firmly planted in your garden you can rest assured these ladybugs will stick around.

Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to make ladybug rocks.
Flowers in your food: more than just a pretty plate

If you're looking for an interesting way to liven up yet another bowl of salad, jar of jam, or bowl of ice-cream then look no further than your favourite flowers.

Sound a bit strange? Well… did you know most of us probably eat flowers on a regular basis whether we realise it or not. Cauliflower and broccoli are both types of flowers, as are capers and artichokes.

As long as you choose wisely, flowers from your own garden can be a fantastic addition to lots of dishes. So this month I'll give you tips on how to plant a flower that's easy to grow and popular in kitchens the world over – lavender!

Lavender can be used in jam, desserts such as crème brulee, ice cream, biscuits and cakes.

Click here to read more.
Gardens and their old wives tales

Many gardening tips have been passed down through the generations, but are they simply myths or do they hold any scientific weight?

Click here to see what happened when some of these old tales were put to the test.
February is a good time to…

Plant celery and leeks for hearty soups and casseroles when the cooler weather arrives. Plant celery in rows, and mound the soil up around them, as they don't like to sit in water.

For leeks, dig a ditch eight centimetres deep and plant the seedlings in the bottom of the trench. As the leaks grow, mound the soil up around them. The more soil around the leek, the more bulb you're going to get. Yum!

Celery and leeks will take around six to eight weeks to mature and be ready for harvest.
Burning questions

Can you recommend any shade loving plants?

Because the soil will be dry and hard I would recommend conditioning your soil. Dig a soil conditioner, peat, compost and gypsum (all available from garden centres) through your soil to improve its structure. The plants will grow a lot better if they have a kick start of nutrients.

Plants that love the shade include clivias, acanthus, ligularias, day lilies and stachys. Another bonus of these shade loving plants is that they all have a great range of contrasting leaves.

What sort of conditions do polyanthuses like?

Like rhododendrons, camellias and ferns, polyanthuses like to grow in cool, moist conditions - they grow well around ponds.

Polyanthuses also enjoy organic, well-drained soil but they are not fussy about the PH level.
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