Pick your colours!
Polyanthus, also called primroses, come in super bright primary colours. Choose yellow, red, blue, pink, and orange, white and more.
Pansies are loved for their funny little ‘faces’ with interesting blotches and ‘whiskers’. They come in nearly every colour your could think of! The smallest pansies are called violas.
TIP: If your pansies get tatty over winter, trim them back and feed them with liquid fertiliser. A fresh crop of flowers will soon appear.
Calendulas are the flowers for you if you love sunny colours in winter - yellow, orange and gold. They grow easily from seeds, which are nice and big so easy to sow.
FUN FACT: Calendulas contain pigments that give them their beautiful strong colours. If you feed calendula flowers to your chickens they will lay eggs with brighter yellow yolks.
INTERESTING: Calendulas belong to the daisy family which means they are ‘compound’ flowers. In other words, what looks like one single daisy flower is actually a whole lot of little flowers (florets) together on one stem. The ‘disc florets' are in the middle with the colourful ‘ray florets’ around the outside.
Make a good strong dye using food colouring and water. Pick some white or pale coloured flowers. Cut your flower stems on the diagonal and place them in a tall glass with coloured dye in the bottom. Wait and watch. The longer you keep your flowers in the dye the stronger the colour.
When we cut a flower off the plant it can’t get water from its roots any more but its stem can still drink! Inside a stem there are bundles of tiny drinking straws (called xylem). This water moving up the straws is called capillary action. Why does this happen?
Grow them differently
Start with two similar flowers in the same sized pot with the same potting mix. What happens when you don’t feed one of them? Do they grow differently when you put one in the shade and one in the sun. What happens?
Questions to ponder…
Did you know?
Some flowers are edible. Some are herbs for healing. And some flowers are poisonous - always check!
Gather some pots of different sizes and some small flower seedlings. Half fill the biggest pot with planting mix. Take the next biggest pot and sit on top. Add more potting mix and plant flower seedlings (or seeds) around the edge. Continue in this way as you build your tower. Make it double decker, triple decker or higher!
Mixed colours of polyanthus
Pansies come in an array of colours and faces
Calendula Pacific Beauty can be grown from seed
Calendula seeds are big and curly
A pansy flower tower