Flowering Broccolini at 4am

Currently it is 4am in the morning.  I have been awake since 2.30am. Getting out of bed to do something productive is not my preferred option – it is just too cold and may wake the sleeping family.

So now I am hiding under the covers so the illuminated light from my mobile phone doesn’t awake my husband.

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Sharing a photograph of flowering broccolini at 4am just feels appropriate (not sure why).

I have allowed one full bed of brocollini to flower this season because it attracts the bees and because it also attracts me to the garden too – as very little is currently flowering.  Don’t worry there is plenty of brocollini to eat.

I’m feeling a little sleepy now….

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Flowering Mini Succulents in Winter

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Snow is predicted to fall today and over the next few days (which is nuts for our location).  Yesterday I had my jumper off while working in the garden – what a difference a day makes.  Today I doubt we will leave the house.

Thought I would share an updated photograph of my upcycled security door screen.  The tiny planted succulents are flowering.  Not sure if flowering in Winter is normal for these succulents or if they were confused with the stint of warm weather we have had.  Poor flowers are in for a rude shock today.

Flower Seed Collecting in a Rainy Season

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Marigold and Zinnia flowers drying out

Locals who have lived in the area for 40 plus years, tell me that these last 12 months have been the wettest.

With collecting flower seeds, I prefer to allow the flowers to dry completely on the plant, before removing the dead flowers to collect the seeds.

This of course is difficult when it rains all the time.  So this year, I have been removing partly dead / dry flowers at a time when it isn’t raining.  Then placing flowers of the same type together in a cane basket, to allow to completely dry within the basket.  Keeping an eye that the flowers have good ventilation so they dry out and not get mouldy.  Once completely dry the flower can be pulled apart to collect the seeds.

The above flowers are marigolds and zinnias, which will self seed (pop up next season by themselves from seed blown around but not manually planted by me).  However I like to still collect lots of flower seeds, so I can manually plant them.  This ensures flower plants grow where I want and need them.

For the Love of Bee and Ladybug Attracting Flowers

Ohhh how it feels timely to create a post about flowers – good for the spirit (mine and hopefully yours).

When planting flowers from seed I tend to favour varieties that attract beneficial insects to the garden – love those bumble bees and lady bird bugs.

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Zinnia California Giants

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Marigold Naughty Marietta

Here are some of my favourite bee & ladybug attracting flowers:

* Marigolds
* Zinnia California Giants
* Cosmos
* Sunflowers

Some bee only attracting flowers I love:

* Poppies
* Salvia
* Roses
* Cornflower
* Lawn chamomile
* Alyssum
* Chives

Flowers are a gift.  Now don’t you feel refreshed and uplifted?

Have You Ever Seen Blood Red Nasturtium Flowers?

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Over the weekend I saw nasturtium flowers that were blood red. Most people, like myself have only seen yellow or orange nasturtium flowers – hence why I was excited to see such a rare variety.

With permission from the property’s owners, I took a handful of seeds home.

Why grow nasturtium? 

*  They are the easiest flowers to grow
*  Flowers, leaves and seeds are edible
*  Nasturtium will bring in beneficial insects into your garden

These new nasturtium seeds are now planted around our raised garden beds.

Fingers crossed.

Pesto Pasta Using Nasturtium Leaves?

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Most people would recognise the plant above even if they are not familiar with it’s name.

Nasturtium plants grow in most edible gardens – growing abundantly to take over the garden.  But a weed they are not!

Nasturtium is considered by most gardeners to be a companion plant – acting like a magnet, drawing bad insects away from veggies.

Yes the flowers are edible but many people don’t realise the leaves of a nasturtium plant are also edible – they have a peppery taste.

So I’ve been thinking “what would nasturtium leaves be like in a pesto and would our toddler eat it”?

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Nasturtium Leaves Pesto Pasta

2 cups of nasturtium leaves
1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 cup of coconut cream
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
1 cup of almonds (or any nut)
Cooked pasta

* Place everything into a food processor (except pasta) and mix until it becomes a coarse paste.
* Add pesto paste to hot freshly cooked pasta and stir gentle until pasta has an even coating of the pesto.

I selected coconut cream instead of a dairy free cheese as I wanted the pesto to have a sweet pepper taste – more palatable for a toddler.

I have to admit I was surprised that our Little One ate the nasturtium pesto pasta however the Carnivore Male wasn’t overaly impressed (he actually uploaded a photo to Facebook and shared that ‘dinner tonight is flowers’).

So to confirm this recipe is dairy free, vegetarian, vegan and gluten free (if you use gluten free pasta).

Hope this inspires you to try using nasturtium leaves in your cooking.  Let your imagination go!

P.S. I have not given up on Carnivore Male. I’ll have him enjoying a nasturtium recipe – I’ll just keep experimenting.

Photograph Sunday – Marigold Naughty Marietta

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The Marigolds are currently flowering abundantly in the garden.   I just love the name of these marigolds – ‘Naughty Marietta’.

Plant them to attract many beneficial insects to your garden, including the delightful Lady Bugs.  They are also known to deter harmful whiteflies,  which make them a wonderful companion plant for tomatoes.

Have a wonderful weekend.  🙂