Posts Tagged ‘ edible flowers ’

Hero your harvest this holiday Holiday Gardening

Posted on: December 1st, 2020 by Shahnee Stockigt No Comments

The holiday season is a gardener’s time to shine, an opportunity to show off the goods, and the perfect occasion to “uithaal en wys”, as they say in Afrikaans. This month, you’ve got full bragging rights, so make sure you’re ready to be the gardening host with the most! It’s time to let those home-grown veggies and herbs take the spotlight.

Braai buddies

With the family on their way and the charcoal ready – it’s braai time with some buddies from the garden to bring out the flavour of your food. Highlight your hard work by making veggies and herbs the hero of your dish. Here are some tantalising ideas to please every pallet:

  1. Brazilian braai broodjies: Put an exotic twist on our local favourite by adding these herbs to your broodjies with a little olive oil – oregano, rosemary, bay leaf, basil, and thyme.
  2. Sweet and sticky pumpkin pockets: Make little parcels from foil to pop straight onto the grill, filling them with ginger, marjoram, tarragon, and a little honey or sugar. Kids will love this one!
  3. Creamy black mushrooms: A delicious sauce to baste on as you braai, using melted butter, garlic, dill, and lemon balm. Garnish with fresh chives.
  4. Watermelon wanderlust: Explore your tastebuds and impress everyone with groovy grilled watermelon! Cut your watermelon into wedges, season both sides with a mixture of salt, sugar, and a hint of chilli. Season well to get that charred look and flame-grilled taste, garnish with lots of fresh mint.
  5. Tomato hot pot: Hollow out the inside of your big tomatoes, mix the pulp with the following herbs, put it all back inside and then pop them over a gentle flame: parsley, fennel, coriander, sage, with a little salt and black pepper.

*Match your meat: Pair the flavour profile of your veggie dishes with your chosen meat for a well-balanced, complimentary dish.

Leaves are lekker

Time to ditch store-bought lettuce heads and go for leaves that say “festive and fabulous”.

Your garden centre has ready-to-go packs of mixed gourmet lettuce with gorgeous leaves to make the fanciest of salads.

Personalised salad jars are a grand gesture and a sophisticated way to hero your harvest. Find out which greens your fussy eaters enjoy, then layer a medium-sized glass jar with the chosen ingredients. Your guests will not only be impressed by your effort and presentation but will also enjoy tuning over their special salad onto their plate.

*Tip: Make your own salad dressing by blending up mixed herbs, olive oil, lemon juice and love!

Cocktails and mocktails

  1. Basil smash with gin: A shot of gin, a can of cucumber-favoured soft drink, and a handful of basil.
  2. Mint soda float: A can of cream soda, a scoop of ice cream, and a handful of mint.

*Tip: Bruise your herbs to release their full flavour!

Celebrating Summer with Edible Floral Popsicles Edible popsicles

Posted on: December 31st, 2019 by Shahnee Stockigt No Comments

These floral popsicles fresh from the freezer treats are almost too pretty to eat. Keep your sweet tooth cool this summer with this easy to make popsicle recipe.

Edible flowers

Edible flowers will turn your popsicles into a tropical conversation with their beautiful reflection in the ice. It is important to note that not all flowers are edible so please be careful when selecting the flowers.

A few popular options to consider are:

Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum coronarium) – these bright coloured flowers have a tangy, slightly bitter flavour. Wash thoroughly and best only to use the petals.

Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) - these brilliant coloured flowers will add pops of colour to your icy pop. These flowers will also look delightful when garnishing platters and sandwiches.

Fuchsia (Fuchsia X hybrida) – the vivid colours and unusual shape of this flower make it an eye-catching garnish.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) – the therapeutic benefits of lavender are no secret, but did you know you can use the soft, coloured lavender flowers to brighten up your popsicle.

What you will need:

  • Popsicle mould
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Any juice or sweet tea. Coconut water is yummy too.
  • Rinsed edible flowers

Directions:

  1. Pour your chosen liquid into the mould
  2. Add flowers to each mould
  3. Add one stick to each mould
  4. Place in the freezer for 2 hours
  5. Remove from the freezer and place on the counter for 2 minutes
  6. Remove from the mould
  7. Enjoy

So as you celebrate the New Year, join the conversation on our Facebook page for some inspiration for improving your garden and your health in 2020.

Therapeutic gardening for good health

Posted on: December 9th, 2019 by Shahnee Stockigt No Comments

In a fast-paced world dictated by technology we have a tendency to turn to the natural world for solace. The calming character of nature has been known to humans for centuries and has recently developed into a new area of study – therapeutic horticulture. Although horticulture was used as far back as 2000BC to promote calmness, official studies into the mental benefits of gardening began in the 19th century. Since then, greater research has begun to suggest gardens are not just good-looking, they can be beneficial to our physical and mental wellbeing.

What is therapeutic horticulture?

The Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association (CHTA) defines Horticultural Therapy as a formal practice that uses plants, horticultural activities and the garden landscape to promote well-being for its participants. Some studies suggest that mental health and wellbeing can be greatly improved through the use of horticultural therapy as views of nature have positive, psychological responses, physiological impacts (lower blood pressure, reduced muscle tension), and a reduced need for medical treatment occurs. Even garden soil alone has been shown to be beneficial to wellbeing just by breathing in, playing in or digging in dirt.

Physically, gardening is a great way to stay fit and active. Whether you have a large lawn to mow or a small herb garden to tend, every activity can improve fine motor skills, balance and endurance. Along with physical benefits, studies have demonstrated countless mental benefits that stem from the peaceful nature of gardening and the purpose of facilitating the growth of plants.

What makes a therapeutic garden?

Therapeutic gardens are designed with the visitor in mind. Each area is created to facilitate interaction and engage the senses to allow for a more complete immersion into nature. Accessibility is therefore a priority, encouraging easy gardening or physical interaction with the plants. A visitor or the gardener themselves should be able to see or study, touch, smell and even taste the plants while hearing the sounds of nature around them. It’s important to consider universal accessibility for all ages and simplicity in design, providing a comfortable environment for convenience and enjoyment. This includes the avoidance of hazardous chemicals (especially in cases where taste is included in the sensory experience), as well as providing shade and protective structures for both people and plants. The purpose is as much focused on the plants and their positions as how one can experience them.

How can your garden help you?

Creating your own therapeutic garden has incredible benefits for you and can bring your family closer to nature. By designing, building and maintaining a therapeutic garden in your outdoor space, your garden can transform from an artwork to an experience for visitors of all ages.

Design: The first step towards a therapeutic garden is the design. Consider each of the five senses and how you can combine plants and features to include sensory stimulation. Bright colours and a variety of shapes and heights in plants, as well as unique shapes and objects in focal points, can make the garden visually stimulating. For touch, textures are important (soft leaves, crunchy bark, running water), as are pathways and raised beds so that all the plants and features are easy to reach. Smell and taste can often go hand in hand by using fragrant herbs and fruits or edible flowers. Sound is slightly more difficult to incorporate through plants, so objects can be used to bring sound into your garden. A water feature as a focal point can include the soothing sounds of running water, a bird feeder can attract beautiful chirping birds, and a variety of flowers invites the buzz of bees. It is important to combine various senses with each design choice and aim to make the garden an activity in itself.

The experts at your local Garden Centre GCA can assist you with ideas to create your perfect  garden space.

Click here for more gardening tips and trends or join the conversation on our Facebook page.

A2 Edible Flowers (with no marks – for printing at a print shop)

Posted on: November 11th, 2019 by Shahnee Stockigt No Comments

A2 Edible Flowers poster for your Garden Centre – with no marks (for printing at a print shop)

Read more about Edible Flowers in South Africa: http://bit.ly/2Nr87pl

Preview

Dress up your dinner with edible flowers Edible flowers

Posted on: November 8th, 2019 by Shahnee Stockigt No Comments

Edible flowers can be used to dress up your dinners and add extra flavour to meals. The practice of eating flowers dates as far back as 3000BC, and we are so glad to see it growing in popularity again in households around the globe.

You can also enjoy this trend. Head into your garden and grab some gorgeous, edible flowers to garnish your plates and add flavour to meals. It is important to note that not all flowers are edible so please be careful when selecting the flowers you’ll be using for your meals.

A few popular options to consider are:

  • Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum coronarium) – these bright coloured flowers will add a tangy, slightly bitter flavour to meals. Wash well and scatter a few petals over salads. The flower base is very bitter so best to only use the petals.
  • Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) - these brilliant coloured flowers will add pops of colour to any salad and add a peppery flavour to the dish. These flowers will also look delightful when garnishing platters and sandwiches.
  • Fuchsia (Fuchsia X hybrida) – the vivid colours and unusual shape of this flower make it an eye-catching garnish while the mild acidic flavour is the ideal partner for a variety of salads.
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) – the therapeutic benefits of lavender are no secret, but did you know you can use the soft, coloured lavender flowers as a garnish for an array of baked goods or even dress up your champagne?

When growing edible flowers, here are a few precautions to take note off:

  • It is key that you pay close attention to the usage instructions on the pesticides to avoid possible toxicity.
  • All pesticides have a waiting period between spraying and consuming so be sure to take note of how long you’ll need to wait to enjoy your edible flowers.
  • Remember to rinse them well once picked and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • For maximum moisture and flavour, pick your edible flowers early in the morning.

Visit your nearest GCA Garden Centre to view the range of edible flower options and how best to grow them to delight your senses at every meal. Dont forget to join the conversation on our Facebook page.

A3 Edible Flowers (with no marks – for printing at a print shop)

Posted on: November 7th, 2019 by Shahnee Stockigt No Comments

A3 Edible Flowers poster for your Garden Centre – with no marks (for printing at a print shop)

Read more about Edible Flowers in South Africa: http://bit.ly/2Nr87pl

Preview

A3 Edible Flowers (with marks – for printing at a print shop)

Posted on: November 7th, 2019 by Shahnee Stockigt No Comments

A3 Edible Flower poster for your Garden Centre – with marks (for printing at a print shop)

Read more about Edible Flowers in South Africa: http://bit.ly/2Nr87pl

Preview

A2 Edible Flowers (with marks – for printing at a print shop)

Posted on: November 7th, 2019 by Shahnee Stockigt No Comments

A2 Edible Flowers poster for your Garden Centre – with marks (for printing at a print shop)

Read more about Edible Flowers in South Africa: http://bit.ly/2Nr87pl

Preview