Potty Gardening Club: Flowers
Hello again Potty Gardeners,
Spring is well and truly with us! The plants are growing and flowers are beginning to bloom. People love growing flowers. We plant flowers in our gardens for colour and scent. But there is more to a flower than that. Flowers are a special part of the plant. They contain the reproductive parts that produce pollen and seeds. Insects are attracted to flowers to drink nectar, a sugary fluid secreted within flowers to encourage pollination by insects and other animals. There are two types of garden plants, annuals and perennials.
Annual plants grow, bloom, and die all in one year. Perennial plants survive for many years flowering many times. They bloom at about the same time each year, which helps when planning your garden.
We do not only grow flowers for colour and scent, we also eat some. Broccoli, cauliflower and artichoke are all flower vegetables. Flowers from chrysanthemums, nasturtiums and carnations can also be added to food. Crocus flowers that grow in the garden produce the most expensive spice called saffron. Other spices such as cloves and capers come from flowers. Beer has hops flowers added into the brewing to add flavor and dandelions can be made into wine or pop. Bees collect nectar from flowers and turn it into honey. Flowers can also be made into different teas using dried flowers of chrysanthemum, roses, jasmine and chamomile. All of these flowers and many more can be grown in your garden. If you have not got a garden some can be grown in pots on a window sill or in hanging baskets.
Here are some pictures of flowers growing in my garden. Why not grow some yourself?
Some of the easiest flowers to grow in pots are the nasturtium and the sunflower. Just follow the instructions on the packet, plant just one seed into a small pot. Water and put them on a saucer in the window and keep them warm. Check them every few days.
Flowers encourage insects and animals into your garden. Can you find them in this picture? [PDF Link]. You can also colour in the flowers making your garden as bright as you like.
If you are feeling adventurous you can have a go at making an origami flower, following these instructions [PDF Link].
Happy gardening Potty Gardeners!
Written by Rob Gagliano, Casual Learning Development Leader and Natural Science Collections Volunteer