A good plant subject to press for making floral cards and pictures is the sweet little Viola tricolor, or as it has affectionately been known for generations, 'Johnny Jump Up'.
For best results pick the flowers early in the morning as soon as the dew has dried. The delicate petals retain their colour remarkably well and are easy to assemble.
NATURAL ESSENCE REPELS PESTS
Nasturtiums are greatly admired for their bounty of beautiful, bright, flowers in happy colours of orange, red, yellow and deep maroon, the sight of which, never fail to cheer you up. Left to romp freely in the garden they bloom for months on end with their flowers attracting bees and other friendly insects while below the ground they add an essence to the soil that repels pests. Nemesias also give a splash of colour with clusters of dramatic trumpet shaped flowers in pretty pink, lavender, lilac, mauve, blue, yellow and white. Although they tend to be short lived they make their appearance memorable. Great bedding plants for a sunny, well drained position.
JELLY-LIKE GROWTH ON LAWN
The black, jelly-like growth seen occasionally on lawns that gives the grass a dirty appearance is probably nostoc, a cyanobacterium that forms colonies on soggy, poorly drained soils. There are some 200 species of this organism which scientist believe have been around for over 3.5 billion years. To control apply sulphate of iron at the rate of 30gms per four litres of water applied with a watering can over each square metre of lawn. The lawn grass will appreciate the feed of iron and will quickly 'green' up.
MORE GARDEN TIPS
WARM SPOT NEEDED
Cycads are a group of plants with ancient origins belonging to the family Cycadaceae. They resemble tree ferns or palms and grow well in any reasonable soil that is well drained and in a warm spot.
AVOID CONCRETE FOOTINGS
Although mollis azaleas are deciduous plants they must be kept moist when they have lost their leaves in autumn but like other azaleas they prefer a well draining, compost enriched, slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5.5-6.5 in a position that gets plenty of light but not direct sun, except in the cooler areas. Don't plant at the base of the concrete footings of a house nor along the edges on new concrete paths. These compact, medium shrubs with bunches of large, funnel shaped flowers in colours of white, pink, yellow, orange and red do well planted in large containers.