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Winter GArden
Forward planning is all important in achieving the winter garden of your dreams and right now is the time to start.

Start off by topping up garden beds with plenty of old, well rotted, organic manure and/or organic compost, lightly mixing it in and breaking up any lumps before watering it thoroughly to encourage it to ‘settle’. Leave it to rest for a week or so and then get down to the enjoyable work of sowing seasonal seeds, remembering to pay careful attention to instructions on the packets.

Don’t restrict yourself to only one or two tried and tested varieties; let your imagination run riot and a spectacular garden can be the result!

On the flower front, keeping tall species to the back, you can plant tall, medium and dwarf antirrhinums, calendulas, corn cockle, coreopsis, larkspur, Queen Anne’s lace, pansies, petunias, statice, violas and a whole host of other glorious flowers, many of which are as easy as pie to grow directly from garden sown seeds.

If you are without an actual garden then lots of these beautiful blooms are also suitable for pot cultivation, but avoid selecting very tall varieties as these often require more root depth than a pot can provide. A mixture of 40% sweet earth, 30% manure/compost and 30% river sand is ideal for use in pots.

On the vegetable and herb front, let your taste buds run riot with a range of crunchy beetroot, borage, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, coriander, leaf beet, lettuce, lovage, mint, onions, radish, spinach, spring onions, tomatoes and lots of other mouth-watering goodies.

Flower seeds range from as little as Rs 40 per packet up to an average of Rs 200-300 for some specialist, imported seeds, with vegetable and herb seeds generally falling into a similar price bracket.

– Zahrah Nasir

First published in the Adbuzzzzz Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on October 2, 2011.