Full growing instructions on seed packet. Sow your seeds in shallow trays of compost in a propagator early spring and leave on a warm windowsill to germinate. Pot them on into small pots when they get to about 5cm (2") high & finally transfer them into their final growing positions outdoors in late May (once any danger of frost has passed). They like rich, well-drained soil. Perfect for pots and tubs, these plants will grow quickly, producing 30-40cm (12-16") of bright green foliage and yellow button-like flowers right through the summer. To promote bushy growth keep the growing tips regularly pinched back. To avoid any slug & snail damage mulch the surface of the pots with sharp gravel; the rough, scratchy surface is a deterrent to these soft bellied critters! Although unlikely to survive a UK winter outdoors, the plant is extremely easy to start each year from seed. Alternatively, lift it in the late autumn, pot it up and treat it as a houseplant, or take several cuttings in pots of compost on a warm windowsill and plant these back out the following spring.
EATING: For a true Hestonesque twist to a simple watercress & grapefruit salad, slice up a flower or two with a little red onion & sprinkle over for an effervescent tang. In Brazil both the leaves and flowers are traditionally mixed with sliced chilli and garlic as a condiment for all sorts of dishes, from grilled fish to fried chicken. Be careful though a little does go a long way! Try using a pinch of the flowers instead of Tabasco on oysters or in place of wasabi on sushi, or better yet grind a few up, mix them with salt and use on the rim of a margarita glass. Their fresh, sparkly flavour, makes them the perfect ingredient in a palate cleansing sorbet, paired with fresh mangos and ripe red chillies. To temporarily soothe the symptoms of mild toothache, mouth ulcers or gum irritation simply pop a flower bud in your mouth and chew. Or to make a mouthwash to store right over winter, blitz a few flowers in a blender with a shot or two of vodka, strain and add the mix to an equal quantity of water and bottle up. RECIPE: Mango, chili & electric daisy sorbet - Whether it’s a tongue tingling dessert or the ultimate between course palate-cleanser, this curious ‘fizzy’ sorbet is guaranteed to bring a smile to your mates' faces. Serves 4. • 3 fresh mangos, peeled, seeded and sliced • Finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes • 250g icing sugar, sifted • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped, plus a little extra for garnishing • 9 small electric daisies, finely chopped, plus a little extra for garnishing • Flaky sea salt METHOD: Blitz the mangos, lime zest, lime juice and icing sugar in a food processor to produce a smooth purée. Pour into a Tupperware container and pop in the freezer for 1 hour. Give the mixture a quick stir once every hour until fully frozen (this will take about 4 hours). During your final stir, sprinkle in the chilli and electric daisies and mix well. Wipe the rim of a martini glass with a slice of lime to coat it in a thin layer of lime juice, flip it over