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Tropaeolum majos

As well as producing brightly coloured, cheerful flowers, nasturtiums are ideal plants for a child’s first garden. The seeds are large and easily handled by little fingers, and the plants are easy to grow. Toddlers who tire of admiring the flowers and decide to eat them instead are in no danger: both flowers and leaves are edible.

Don showed Isabella the fascinating way water balls on the rounded leaves, resembling globules of quicksilver.

A fast-growing annual from Peru, which has pale green, umbrella-shaped leaves with long stems. Flowers are produced in summer and autumn and come in shades of orange, red and yellow. There are trailing and bushy types, with single, semi-double or double flowers. Variegated varieties are also available.

Nasturtiums cost around $6 for 100mm pots. However packet seed is readily available at nurseries and supermarkets and is a much cheaper way to go.