In the garden with Eden
Ivy geranium, zonal geraniums and pelargoniums are garden workhorses and are all technically in the genus pelargonium. They flower for many months, relish the hot, dry times in summer and respond with vibrant flowers.
Reward their perseverance with regular pruning. In spring, tip-prune from time to time to encourage a bushy shape. After the initial flush of flowers in spring, cut back lightly to encourage growth and flowers. Prune heavily in late summer or autumn. Use the best of these prunings for cuttings.
Beetroot: thrives on light soil but will also grow successfully in most fertile, well cultivated garden beds. Sow the seeds thinly in rows that are 30 cm apart. Barely cover the seeds with soil and water them in well. Grow baby beetroot for winter months.
Carrots: for best results possible, grow carrots in light or sandy soils. The soil needs to be carefully prepared before you can sow the seeds. Fork the soil over and rake out all stones and debris/weeds that you can find. My favourites include short-rooted carrots Paris Market and Early Chantenay; long-rooted varieties such as Majestic Red or Manchester Table.
Some notes on aromatic and decorative herbs:
Sage – needs warm sun to develop the oils that provide its distinctive flavour.
Lemon Verbena – their scented leaves and tiny flowers make these old-fashioned shrubs a real delight.
Borage – bees love the blue flowers of borage, whose young leaves emit a delicate cucumber fragrance.
Chamomile – you can make tea with the flowers of this mat-forming evergreen perennial which prefers a cool climate.
Peppermint – no garden should be without mint and I recommend Mentha Piperita as it has particularly good flavour.
Purple Basil – grow as an annual. Basil is the quintessential Mediterranean herb.