Colour & Fragrance articles will help you add some flowers and perfume into your garden and are perfect for Sensory Gardens.

13 Benefits of Growing Flowers in your Vegetable Garden

If you’re thinking you don’t need to bother with flowers in your vegetable garden, especially if you have a small space, you may be surprised with the many benefits they offer you.

13 benefits of growing flowers in your vegetable garden to improve pollination, reduce weeds + pests, get free fertiliser & plants

Flowers play multiple beneficial roles in EVERY garden, especially if you want an abundant harvest of fruit and vegetables. Did you know that with the right choices, you can increase your harvests, save money, reduce weeds and pests, get free fertiliser and plants, and much more? If not, dig in!

Powerful Reasons Why You Should Grow Flowers

Growing a food garden without flowers is an uphill battle. If you want fruit and vegetables, you need flowers too!

My compact kitchen garden has some flowering plants year round because I’ve designed it that way. So I’m going to share 13 compelling reasons why I think you should grow at least a few flowers in your vegetable garden.

1. Use as Companion Plants

Flowering companion plants are ‘friends’ with benefits! They offer neighbouring plants, or you as a gardener, some kind of useful ‘service.’ For example, tall flowering shrubs provide shade to sun-sensitive ground covers and strong smelling flowers may camouflage vulnerable crops nearby.

Flowering herbs are some of the best companions to grow in amongst your vegetables and fruit. Let’s just look at one example I mention in my Book, GUIDE TO USING KITCHEN HERBS FOR HEALTH:

“Chamomile has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, and this may be one of the reasons it benefits other plants in the garden. No serious diseases are known to affect this healthy flowering herb. While the fresh flowers are very aromatic, they have a very bitter flavour because they contain a volatile oil, a bitter extractive and some tannic acid. This could explain why pests don’t find them all that attractive to munch on!”

“Chamomile also has a reputation for behaving like a nurse plant, helping to encourage other plants to increase their essential oil content and thus their flavour and aroma. Ailing plants seem to revive. It reportedly helps improve growth, resistance to pests and disease and increase harvests.”

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Health Benefits of Eating and Growing Purple Foods

If you’re interested in good health, or are growing an edible garden, have you heard about how purple foods can benefit you? In this article, I share 50+ purple fruits and vegetables you can eat and grow, as well as their special protective health benefits, so let’s dig a little deeper.

Health Benefits of Eating and Growing Purple Foods

If you’re a food gardener, it’s likely you’re aware that eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is healthy. It’s also one of the easiest ways to prevent disease. That’s why I’m growing my own healing, nutrient-dense food garden.

I’ve intentionally planted a rainbow of foods including those with purple pigments like eggplant, sweet potatoes and mulberries. Why? Because edibles with diverse colours and in different plant families each provide us with unique nutrients. Every food crop (vegetables, fruits and herbs) have different nutrients, so expanding the variety of colourful foods you eat can help boost health. More on that in a moment.

“Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.” – Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine

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9 Reasons You Should Grow Cosmos Flowers

Cosmos flowers (Cosmos bipinnatus or Mexican aster) are showy annual flowers that offer you SO many benefits. If you’ve never grown these ornamental beauties, you may be surprised how useful these cheerful flowers can be.

9 Reasons You Should Grow Cosmos Flowers

Cosmos Flowers

Cosmos is a member of the Compositae or Asteraceae family, just like their ‘cousins’: sunflowers, marigolds, yarrow, daisies, zinnias, lettuce and dandelions.

These easy care flowers are perfect for a full sun position in your garden or a pot, growing through spring to autumn.

Not surprisingly, the name Cosmos comes from the Greek word ‘kosmos’ which means ‘beautiful’. Aww! These flowers come in many colours and grow tall with attractive feathery leaves. I encourage you to find a pot or tiny space to sow a few seeds.

“Texture and foliage keep a garden interesting through the season. Flowers are just moments of gratification.” – Kevin Doyle

So why grow these beautiful blooms?

 

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5 Reasons to Grow Sunflowers

Why grow sunflowers? There are many benefits to growing these beautiful blooms including their cut flowers and free edible seeds. They also attract pest-patrolling birds and bees to improve your harvest, and even help detox contaminated soil. These flowers are not just pretty faces!

5 Reasons to Grow Sunflowers

The botanical name for sunflowers is ‘Helianthus’ – ‘Helia’ meaning sun and ‘Anthus’ for flower. Sunflowers are called ‘tournesol’ in French (meaning ‘turns with the sun’). Curious to learn how to use these cheerful flowers to advantage in your garden? Read on…

 

5 Reasons to Grow Sunflowers

1. Feed your Pollinators

The showy large outer petals help attract many species of bees to your sunflowers including honey bees and bumble bees. The centre of the sunflower houses hundreds and thousands of tiny individual florets that contain nectar and pollen, a food source for bees.

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4 Steps to Improve Pollination and Your Harvests: Part 2

Do you want an abundant harvest? If so, you can improve pollination by making your garden more attractive to pollinators.

 

There are easy things you can do to improve pollination so you get lots more food on the table.

There are easy things you can do to improve pollination so you get lots more food on the table.

In Part 1 of this series, I discussed pollination problems in depth and the FIRST STEP you can take: Eliminate ALL chemicals from your garden. There’s some critically important information to be aware of in that article, so if you missed it, check out 4 Steps to Improve Pollination and Your Harvests: Part 1.

What other ways can you improve pollination and your harvests? Read on for 3 more practical steps you can take to work with nature for mutually beneficial outcomes:

  1. Learn to hand pollinate your crops
  2. Provide insect hotels for pollinators
  3. Plant bee-friendly flowers

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How to Grow & Use Nasturtiums

Have you heard the saying: “Be nasty to nasturtiums“?  There seems to be some truth to this, because these low-maintenance carefree herbs thrive in a poor, dry soil without a lot of water – or work.  This makes nasturtiums a plant of choice for many thrifty and busy gardeners!

 

How to Grow and Use Nasturtiums - Edible Flowers with Multiple Uses

How to Grow and Use Nasturtiums – Edible Flowers with Multiple Uses

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20 Reasons to Grow this Amazing Herb

Do you grow herbs? They can provide a whole heap of benefits from culinary to medicinal uses and even a splash of colour and fragrance. Some flowering herbs like nasturtiums really earn a special place in the garden because of the added value they provide. So check out these 20 uses for nasturtiums – they may surprise you!

20 reasons to grow nasturtiums

20 reasons to grow nasturtiums

 

Colourful nasturtiums are one herb that’s easy to fall in love with. This plant is an absolute winner in my book. Whilst many think of nasturtiums as just pretty flowers, these attractive herbs have an amazing array of benefits to offer you.

There are several types of nasturtium. The one I can never get enough of in our garden is ‘Tropaeolum majus’ (commonly known as Indian Cress).  Not ‘Nasturtium Officinale’ that grows in water and is often referred to as watercress!

Nasturtiums – More than just a pretty face!

Aside from stealing the limelight in any garden with their dazzling display of colour, nasturtiums are one of the most multi-functional plants you can grow.

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Inspiring Small Garden Spaces

Create a Relaxing Garden Sanctuary . . .

Having a garden is not all about doing. One of the most enjoyable things in life is finding a nook to sit and reflect. A garden sanctuary is vital to your health and wellbeing. A place to observe, sip a glass of wine, grab a mug of steaming coffee, a book … and just ‘be.’

A garden sanctuary provides many health benefits.

A garden sanctuary provides many health benefits.

 

“The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses.” – Hanna Rion

 

Whether you love formal, country charm, something modern, simple or rustic – in this busy life, a place to relax is essential. A spot to restore your soul, health, wellbeing and take time out.  (more…)

How to Grow Hydrangeas

Would you love to know how to grow hydrangeas to make them thrive? These stunning blooms are a favourite choice for many gardeners. With their fabulous flowers and foliage, these versatile, hardy plants are a great addition to any garden.

 

How to Grow Hydrangeas

“Flowers are the beautiful hieroglyphics of nature with which she indicates how much she loves us.” – Goethe

 

How to Grow Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas flower in spring and summer and can be cut back in winter or grown from cuttings. Hydrangea colour is an indication of the pH value of your soil. Pink flowers indicate it is alkaline (pH of between 8 and 12). Blue flowers mean the soil is more acidic (pH of between 1 and 6 with 7 being neutral). White hydrangea flowers may change colour as they mature. Don’t worry though – you can adjust the pH and the colour! Keep reading to learn how.

 

Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas - working with nature provides the technique.

Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas – working with nature provides the technique.

 

As a little bit of trivia, the name ‘hydrangea’ comes from two Greek words: ‘hydor’ which means water and ‘angeion’ meaning vessel. This is because the seedpods resemble drinking cups!  So let’s look at where, when and how to plant out a hydrangea, as well as their ongoing needs.

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Ten Tips for Creating Beautiful Gardens

Do you want to create a beautiful garden? No matter how small your space, there are design principles you can apply to beautify your balcony, porch or yard.

Ten Tips for Creating Beautiful Gardens

Beautiful gardens appeal to our senses. The colours and immense diversity of design combinations, fragrance, flavours, sounds from birds and insects attracted to the plants and variety of textures.

Go for a drive around your neighbourhood and take notice of the gardens that catch your eye or next time you visit a friend’s garden, be observant and tune in to what you love about it.  No doubt they will be applying some design principles and elements that apply whether they are used in art, graphics, building, interior or garden design.

“A garden is a thing of beauty and a job forever.”

Richard Briers

Simple concepts can make a HUGE difference to the enjoyment of your garden space and particularly so, when it is a micro garden.  Designers use these principles all over the world to make spaces really stand out and visually beautiful.  Less really can be more if you know how.

An elegant terracotta planter is used as a focal point with purple and white petunias. Understated beauty and a simple garden feature.

An elegant terracotta planter is used as a focal point with purple and white flower theme. Understated beauty and a simple garden feature.

10 Tips for Beautiful Gardens in Small Spaces

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