Most anyone who owns a cat can tell you that felines go crazy for flowers. But did you realize that humans also like to nibble on them?
In the popular TV show The Great British Bake Off, contestants have used edible flowers for several seasons.
They look great on cakes, but can be delicious in other ways, too. Perhaps you remember your grandfather sauteing some dandelion leaves in a little olive oil and garlic and serving them with fried eggs, long before it was trendy.
The website The English Garden gave edible flowers a shout-out in an article about new flowering plants for 2019. The post was highlighted by a radiant photo featuring a mix from Thompson and Moran that included calendulas, nasturtiums, dianthus, and violas.
Southern Living Magazine published an article listing the 10 best edible flowers. The list included a bunch of blossoms which taste like cucumbers (and work equally well in salads as in cocktails); hibiscus, whose cranberry-like flavor is great in teas and, again, cocktails; nasturtiums, with a slightly peppery taste much like watercress; and pansies, roses, and violets.
Beware of picking flowers that have been treated with pesticides. If in doubt, wash them in cold water and let dry on a paper towel. And if you are thinking about trying it out, do your research and make sure the flowers you choose are edible — not all of them are.
How to involve your kids in back-to-school preparations
Preparing for the school year can cause a fair amount of tension and upheaval for kids. A great way to mitigate this stress is to involve them in the process of getting ready. Here’s how to include them.
Buying and labeling school supplies
Bring your kids along with you when you go shopping for school supplies. Let them choose some of the items and ask for help with labeling them. Going out to buy school supplies could become a fun activity that your child looks forward to every year.
Preparing backpacks and lunchboxes
Planning the weekly routine
Let your kids have a say in the planning of your family’s weekly schedule. For instance, ask them where in the house they’d like to do their homework and study.
To ensure a smooth transition between the summer holidays and the return to school, start the new routine a few days before classes begin, especially with regards to bedtime.
Involving your child in the necessary back-to-school preparations is a great way to transform a stressful time into a fun experience that’ll make them feel more independent.
Step away from the grass clippings
Good news: you have permission to leave grass clippings on your lawn after you mow.
This can save you oodles of time if you rake them by hand, and a few stoppages if you collect them as you go.
In fact, this is more than permission — it’s actually better for your lawn when you leave the clippings alone, as they help return nitrogen to the soil. So says the National Association of Landscape Professionals, which adds that clippings do not contribute to thatch buildup if you mow regularly and properly.
Some other tidbits from the organization:
*A lawn of 1,000 square feet can produce 500 pounds of clippings in one growing season, and these clippings contribute very little to thatch (the roots, stems, and lower portions of leaves that are
below the mower blade).
*Fertilizer use can be reduced by 20 to 30 percent when clippings are left on the lawn, as they quickly decompose and release valuable nutrients such as nitrogen.
*If mowing is delayed by prolonged periods of rain or other reasons, the clippings can be long enough to shade or smother grass. In that case, you should rake, bag, and remove them.
*As for mowing in general, you should change direction often so as not to cause ruts in your lawn from the weight of the mower; and you should overlap each mowing pass to ensure a clean cut.
How to introduce your kids to fishing
If you’re an avid angler and you’re ready to introduce your kids to the joys of fishing, here’s how to get them hooked.
Get the right equipment
Chances are, your fishing tackles will be too big for small kids. Equip them with child-sized rods and reels that are easy to use and fit comfortably in their hands. Be prepared to do most of the work for them.
Find the right location
Don’t stay too long
The first time fishing with young kids won’t be the relaxing experience you’re used to. Plan to stay only half an hour and leave once they start to get bored.
Keep them comfortable
Pack snacks, drinks and safety equipment for all fishers. Dress them in layers so they can remove clothes if they get hot, and bring an extra sweater in case they get cold. Don’t forget the bug spray and sunscreen.
With the right introduction, you can impart a lifelong love of fishing to your kids, guaranteeing you a fishing partner for years to come.
Catching a fish for the first time is a great achievement. Make sure you commemorate the occasion with photos and high fives.
How to organize your bookshelves
If you’re an avid reader, you might have more books than you know what to do with. Here are a few ways you can organize your bookshelves.
• Alphabetically. In bookstores and libraries, books are organized alphabetically by author. You can use this system at home or instead alphabetize your volumes by title. Choose whichever method makes it easiest for you to find the book you’re looking for.
• By genre. Another common way to organize books is by category. Some genres you’re probably familiar with are fiction, biography, history, poetry and travel. But don’t be shy to use more atypical classifications such as urban fantasy, true crime or French cooking.
• By cover. If you want bookshelves that are visually striking, try grouping all your books by color. Similarly, you can wrap all your books in one type of paper, or place the spines towards the back so that the pages are facing you.
Style your shelves
In addition to classifying your books, use these ideas to make your bookshelves a key part of your decor.
• Place items like photographs, houseplants and knick-knacks around your books to show off your personal style.
• Paint the insides of your bookshelves an interesting color or cover them with wallpaper. Combining this with books organized by their covers would really make a statement.
• Stack a few books on their side. This adds visual interest and the stacks can function as bookends for the other volumes.
There’s no one right way to organize your bookshelves, as long as you like the effect. Just don’t forget to leave some space for new volumes.
4 health care professionals kids should see before school starts
One of the best ways to ensure your children have a productive school year is to make certain they’re in good health. Here are four types of health care professionals your kids should see before the school year begins.
It’s important to consult an audiologist to make sure your children’s hearing is in good shape. Undiagnosed hearing impairments make it difficult to follow in class and may be mistaken for ADHD. In particular, kids who frequently get ear infections are susceptible to hearing loss.
It’s a good idea for children to get a thorough checkup before classes begin. You should also make sure their vaccinations are up to date. Kids come in contact with a host of pathogens while at school and vaccines remain the most effective method of prevention.
The American Dental Association recommends that children regularly visit their dentist (one to two times a year) for a checkup and cleaning. This is the best way to foster healthy tooth development and to ensure optimal oral health. Scheduling checkups during the summer will ensure kids don’t miss more school than is necessary to visit the dentist.
Booking appointments with these health care professionals will ensure your child can focus on their education and get the most out of the school year.
How to reserve the perfect campsite
Looking to snag a great campsite for the summer? Then consider pinning down the perfect place to pitch your tent by browsing online. Most campgrounds post all the information you need to select your campsite on their website. Here’s how to do it.
Study the map
Typically, campgrounds post a map of their grounds on their website. Use it to identify the campsites that are suited to your needs. For example, you may require a site with electric outlets or that can accommodate a motorhome.
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, further refine your choices by seeing where amenities such as the bathrooms, showers and recreational facilities are located. How close or far away you want them to be from where you sleep is up to you.
Finally, think about accessibility. Can the campsite be reached by car or will you have to park elsewhere and carry your camping equipment?
Look at the photos
Some campgrounds provide photos of all the campsites they have, whereas others only share pictures of the different types of sites offered. Take the time to go through these photographs. In particular, you may want to study the condition of the terrain, especially if you’re going to be sleeping in a tent.
Read the comments
Do some more digging online to see if you can find comments from campers recommending particular campsites. There may be a comment section on the campground’s website. Alternatively, refer to what people are saying elsewhere on the web including blogs, social media sites and rating sites.
In most cases, you can reserve your campsite online. Just make sure to do so sooner rather than later — the best campsites will likely get booked quickly.