With the UK currently in lockdown, you may be thinking of getting out in your garden and creating a space for you to relax in.
Or perhaps given the shortage of fresh fruit and vegetables available in the supermarkets you fancy growing your own.
Many beautiful flowers and vegetables can be grown easily from seed.
So heres a round up of my top 20 flowers and vegetables to grow mindfully from seed.
Flowers for kids
1. Sunflower- there are big ones, colourful ones, multi headed ones- your options are endless. Sow them in to individual pots ready for planting out once the weather warms up.
2. Zinnias- these daisy shaped flowers come in all sorts of bright colours, my favourite are the zinderella series that have a fluffy collar. Great for arrangements and fun for the kids too. These are heat lovers so they're sown in pots indoors in April to be planted out once the frosts are over around mid May.
3. Calendula- brightly coloured edible petals that look great sprinkled on salads, as well as being a great shot of colour in an arrangement. Strange looking seeds that kids love and can be sprinkled directly on to the soil. These will self-seed in your borders so once you grow them you'll always have them.
4. Bunny tails grass- fluffy pom poms on the end of thin stems. Really soft and look (as their name suggests) just like bunny tails. A fun addition to a little ones garden.
5. Briza maxima- the noisy grass. Tear drop shaped seed pods that knock together gently in the breeze creating a rustling sound that is fun yet relaxing. Easily self seeds, so plant them someone you are sure you want them to be!
Flowers for adults
6. Cosmos- quick to germinate, produces tonnes of beautiful daisy shaped flowers with lovely feathery foliage. Look great en-masse in a vase or in a mixed arrangement. Sow these beauties in pots to start with as they are sensitive to frosts.
7. Sweet peas- the must have flower for the mindful gardener. The sight of sweet peas clambering up their frame from afar draws you in and then their scent truly captivates your heart. Sow in pots to ensure germination occurs before planting out to get climbing.
8. Amaranthus- These long trailing grains come in a variety of colours, my favourites are the dark pink ones. Can be sown in pots or direct, whichever takes your fancy.
9. Cup and saucer vine (cobea scandens)- start these big flat seeds off in pots to stop them from rotting. A vigorous climber, their delicate cup shaped flowers are a real sight to behold.
10. Scabious- the seeds of these colourful pincushions can be direct sown straight into the soil. The flowers add height and their lovely disc shaped heads to any arrangement.
Veggies for kids
11. Tomatoes- One of my little girls favourite things to do in summer is to pick a ripe tomato from the plant and bite straight into it, its sweet juice dribbling down her chin. Perfect for little fingers to sow into pots in March/ April.
12. Radish- It's the speedy germination of these beauties that make them so perfect for kids to grow. Little seedlings appear within days of them being sown direct into the soil which keeps your child's interest whilst you wait for the other seeds to germinate. Plus you can make a really cute mouse out of a radish (honestly, once ours have grown i'll show you on my Instagram)
13. Pumpkins- Who doesn't love carving a pumpkin at halloween? And trust me the feelings even better when your grown it yourself. Such a huge thing to have come from a tiny seed in a pot of compost.
14. Cucumber- there are lots of snack varieties of cucumber perfect for little hands to grab straight off the plant. The seeds are sown initially into pots before being planted out into the ground in very a sunny spot. They are thirsty plants though, so perfect if you're little one would enjoy a spot of mindful watering every evening before bed.
15. Peas- Suitable for sowing straight into the ground. The plants will need something to clamber up. A wigwam made from bamboo canes or some trellis will do the trick.
Veggies for adults
16. Beetroot- The funniest shaped seeds you ever did see. Can be sprinkled straight into the ground. The leaves can be used in early season salads and the roots boiled, pickled, or roasted- yum!
17. Lettuce- I like to sow my lettuce straight into the containers its going to grow in. I keep them on the decking close to the house to allow for easy snipping for salads.
18. Carrots- another one for direct sowing. A word of warning if you have stoney soil like I do, its better to grow carrots in containers if you want straight ones. There are loads of funky coloured varieties of carrots available if you fancy something a bit different.
19. Dwarf green beans- These are a new one for me, but i'm excited to sow them in pots to be planted out into an edible container for the decking.
20. Courgette- Notoriously prolific, you probably need two plants to feed a family of four for the whole summer. Sow a few extra seeds into their own pots and gift them away to friends and family (if it is safe to do so).
Below are a few of my favourite seed suppliers. Due to high demand, they are intermittently pausing orders on their websites so they can keep up with the orders! So you may have to try a few different suppliers if you want to buy online. Alternatively you can often pick up seeds at the supermarket or your local garden centre may deliver. Just give them a call and ask.
DT Brown seeds