The sky's been low and grey and spring seems a long way off. My lovely friend came to visit and brought me a tray of soil – nice! She assured me it was full of hibiscus seeds she’d sown. I put the tray on the window sill and each day I inspected it as I opened the kitchen blinds.
Finally, last week a tiny seedling appeared! Bright, zingy and green, it filled me with hope and excitement.
I didn’t know much about hibiscus plants so I looked them up. I discovered that the flowers are edible and that there are actually a whole lot of flowers you can eat.
Nasturtiums, primroses, marigolds, violas, pansies - all look lovely in salads and fruit dishes, in soups and rice, in sweets, yogurt, cakes, biscuits, jelly. And I see that hibiscus flowers look fab in the bottom of a flute filled with Champagne!
So, I'll be asking my Valentine to forget the bunch of flowers this year and buy me packet of Nasturtium seeds instead! And I’d rather have a bag of compost than a box of chocs - honest!
Planting seeds is a lovely, slow thing to do on a grey February day. Just push the seed into the compost, enjoy the smell of the damp earth and the anticipation of long summer days. Nature won't be hurried. But eventually, from that tiny seed a whole, flower-filled plant will grow and, in the case of nasturtiums, rampage all over your garden! But you'll get lovely peppery leaves and flowers for your salads and bees will bury themselves in the deep trumpets. I love the way the buzzing reverberates when a bee is deep inside a flower and they come out covered in yellow pollen and almost too drunk to fly.
http://www.nonowenherbalist.co.uk/ (Fabulous workshops if you live in North Wales)