Winter wonderland

TASTY: Edible flowers can be added to a salad, cake or dessert for a different taste sensation. NZME picture

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you have to hibernate through July. There are plenty of tasks to do in the garden and you can reap the rewards of that hard work with fresh flowers and winter produce.

Edible flowers
It’s a complete package when a meal is both visually appealing and delicious. You can take your cooking to the gourmet level by adding edible flowers to a whole range of dishes, including salads, cakes and desserts.
Cool season edible flowers include viola, dianthus, chamomile, pink English daisies (Bellis perennis), pansies and bright orange calendula.
At other times of the year you can make the most of blooms of nasturtium, beautiful blue borage and cornflower.
Storage tip: extra edible flowers can be dried for future use. Ensure they are completely dry before storing in an air tight container.
To keep your edible flowers looking fantastic and producing lots of decorative and tasty blooms, feed them each week with Yates Thrive Roses & Flowers Liquid Plant Food, which is boosted with extra potassium to encourage lots of flowers. Dilute 1-2 capfuls into a 9-litre watering can and apply over the plants and surrounding soil. Harvesting flowers regularly will also help to promote more flowers and keep the plants looking tidy. When growing flowers for eating, it’s important to treat them as an edible plant rather than an ornamental plant when keeping insect pests under control. Use insect control sprays that are suitable for use on vegies and fruit.
Yates Nature’s Way Organic Citrus, Vegie & Ornamental Spray is certified for use in organic gardening and will control the most common insect pests that may attack edible flowers, including aphids, caterpillars, mites, thrips and whitefly.

Garden colour trends
Dulux has an exciting palette of on-trend colours for this year.
Their range of colours for 2019 help create a happy place and enable us to focus on what matters. These colour trends can be extended from the house and out into the garden, courtyard or balcony and help link indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as coordinating indoor plant displays with interior design.
The four Dulux 2019 themes created by their colour experts are Repair, Wholeself, Legacy and Identity.
Repair helps revive our relationship with nature and includes soft greens and earthy hues with pops of yellow.
Incorporate the Repair theme in your garden, outdoor and indoor spaces with some of the following plants and design elements:
• Terracotta pots filled with autumnal toned pansies and violas.
• A patch or pot of bright yellow flowers like rudbeckia or a yellow pot filled with your favourite foliage plant or seasonal flowers.

PRETTY ALYSSUM
When you’re looking for a flowering, low growing filler plant for garden beds and pots, pretty little alyssum is a common choice. It may not usually take centre stage and is often taken for granted, however alyssum is a very worthy plant to grow and makes a gorgeous border plant even when grown on its own.
Yates Alyssum Carpet of Snow is a long lasting and hardy annual that is smothered in masses of tiny honey scented white flowers. It grows to a petite 10cm tall and will start flowering from two months after sowing.
In temperate zones during June it is as easy as scattering Alyssum Carpet of Snow seed direct where they are to grow and only just covering with 2mm of loose soil or Yates Black Magic Seed Raising Mix.
Firm down and keep the soil moist while the seeds germinate (which takes around two weeks) and the seedlings establish. In cool zones look for seedlings of alyssum in your local garden centre or delay sowing seed until spring.

Here are some beautiful flower combinations using alyssum:
• Plant mauve, white and pink violas together with alyssum in a trough or window box to create a compact and lovely pastel display.
• Combine lemon yellow trailing pansies with alyssum in a hanging basket. The pansies will spill beautifully over the basket edge and the alyssum adds a soft fullness.
• In a garden bed or large pot, plant purple salvias at the rear and a swathe of alyssum at the front. Too pretty!
• Plant white, purple and pink alyssum varieties together for a mass of colour.
Protect seedlings from damaging snails and slugs with a light sprinkling of Yates Blitzem Snail & Slug Pellets and then feed the alyssum plants every week with Yates Thrive Roses & Flowers Liquid Plant Food. It will encourage strong healthy plants and lots of beautiful little flowers. Trim the plants back regularly to help keep them tidy and encourage new growth and flowers.
Did you know? Alyssum attracts bees and other beneficial insects into the garden, so it’s pretty and clever too.

Frost protection
Winter frosts can damage tender growth, particularly if the plants have not had a chance to acclimatise to the colder weather.
There are a few strategies that can be used to help protect vulnerable plants from frost damage.
• Move potted plants to a more protected area such as on a veranda or patio or close to a wall.
• Cover sensitive plants with frost or shade cloth. You may need to construct a supporting frame out of wooden stakes or wire to hang the cloth over and ensure that the cloth reaches the ground. Bricks or pavers are a handy way to weigh down the edges of the cloth on the ground.
• Protect small seedlings on frosty nights by creating cloches out of plastic softdrink bottles which have been cut in half.
• Keep the soil moist, as moist soil is better able to absorb and store heat during the day. Dry soil can exacerabate frost damage.
• Apply Yates Thrive Natural Seaweed Tonic over and around plants to help improve plant resistance to stressful events like cold and frost. — Courtesy of Yates

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you have to hibernate through July. There are plenty of tasks to do in the garden and you can reap the rewards of that hard work with fresh flowers and winter produce.

Edible flowers
It’s a complete package when a meal is both visually appealing and delicious. You can take your cooking to the gourmet level by adding edible flowers to a whole range of dishes, including salads, cakes and desserts.
Cool season edible flowers include viola, dianthus, chamomile, pink English daisies (Bellis perennis), pansies and bright orange calendula.
At other times of the year you can make the most of blooms of nasturtium, beautiful blue borage and cornflower.
Storage tip: extra edible flowers can be dried for future use. Ensure they are completely dry before storing in an air tight container.
To keep your edible flowers looking fantastic and producing lots of decorative and tasty blooms, feed them each week with Yates Thrive Roses & Flowers Liquid Plant Food, which is boosted with extra potassium to encourage lots of flowers. Dilute 1-2 capfuls into a 9-litre watering can and apply over the plants and surrounding soil. Harvesting flowers regularly will also help to promote more flowers and keep the plants looking tidy. When growing flowers for eating, it’s important to treat them as an edible plant rather than an ornamental plant when keeping insect pests under control. Use insect control sprays that are suitable for use on vegies and fruit.
Yates Nature’s Way Organic Citrus, Vegie & Ornamental Spray is certified for use in organic gardening and will control the most common insect pests that may attack edible flowers, including aphids, caterpillars, mites, thrips and whitefly.

Garden colour trends
Dulux has an exciting palette of on-trend colours for this year.
Their range of colours for 2019 help create a happy place and enable us to focus on what matters. These colour trends can be extended from the house and out into the garden, courtyard or balcony and help link indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as coordinating indoor plant displays with interior design.
The four Dulux 2019 themes created by their colour experts are Repair, Wholeself, Legacy and Identity.
Repair helps revive our relationship with nature and includes soft greens and earthy hues with pops of yellow.
Incorporate the Repair theme in your garden, outdoor and indoor spaces with some of the following plants and design elements:
• Terracotta pots filled with autumnal toned pansies and violas.
• A patch or pot of bright yellow flowers like rudbeckia or a yellow pot filled with your favourite foliage plant or seasonal flowers.

PRETTY ALYSSUM
When you’re looking for a flowering, low growing filler plant for garden beds and pots, pretty little alyssum is a common choice. It may not usually take centre stage and is often taken for granted, however alyssum is a very worthy plant to grow and makes a gorgeous border plant even when grown on its own.
Yates Alyssum Carpet of Snow is a long lasting and hardy annual that is smothered in masses of tiny honey scented white flowers. It grows to a petite 10cm tall and will start flowering from two months after sowing.
In temperate zones during June it is as easy as scattering Alyssum Carpet of Snow seed direct where they are to grow and only just covering with 2mm of loose soil or Yates Black Magic Seed Raising Mix.
Firm down and keep the soil moist while the seeds germinate (which takes around two weeks) and the seedlings establish. In cool zones look for seedlings of alyssum in your local garden centre or delay sowing seed until spring.

Here are some beautiful flower combinations using alyssum:
• Plant mauve, white and pink violas together with alyssum in a trough or window box to create a compact and lovely pastel display.
• Combine lemon yellow trailing pansies with alyssum in a hanging basket. The pansies will spill beautifully over the basket edge and the alyssum adds a soft fullness.
• In a garden bed or large pot, plant purple salvias at the rear and a swathe of alyssum at the front. Too pretty!
• Plant white, purple and pink alyssum varieties together for a mass of colour.
Protect seedlings from damaging snails and slugs with a light sprinkling of Yates Blitzem Snail & Slug Pellets and then feed the alyssum plants every week with Yates Thrive Roses & Flowers Liquid Plant Food. It will encourage strong healthy plants and lots of beautiful little flowers. Trim the plants back regularly to help keep them tidy and encourage new growth and flowers.
Did you know? Alyssum attracts bees and other beneficial insects into the garden, so it’s pretty and clever too.

Frost protection
Winter frosts can damage tender growth, particularly if the plants have not had a chance to acclimatise to the colder weather.
There are a few strategies that can be used to help protect vulnerable plants from frost damage.
• Move potted plants to a more protected area such as on a veranda or patio or close to a wall.
• Cover sensitive plants with frost or shade cloth. You may need to construct a supporting frame out of wooden stakes or wire to hang the cloth over and ensure that the cloth reaches the ground. Bricks or pavers are a handy way to weigh down the edges of the cloth on the ground.
• Protect small seedlings on frosty nights by creating cloches out of plastic softdrink bottles which have been cut in half.
• Keep the soil moist, as moist soil is better able to absorb and store heat during the day. Dry soil can exacerabate frost damage.
• Apply Yates Thrive Natural Seaweed Tonic over and around plants to help improve plant resistance to stressful events like cold and frost. — Courtesy of Yates

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