What to sow and grow in February By Thompson & Morgan

flower purple crocus - Crocus 'Ruby Giant' by Thompson & Morgan - available now
With crocus’ flowering, it’s a sign that winter is coming to a close
Image: Crocus ‘Ruby Giant’ by Thompson & Morgan

February might be the cold, tail end of winter, but springtime is only around the corner. There are plenty of flowers, fruits and vegetables to sow and grow this month. Here are our top picks:

Flowers to sow and grow

begonia tubers before planting
Give your begonias a head start by planting them in a frost-free position
Image: Stanislav71

Here are the flowers that can be most successfully sown and grown in February:

In the greenhouse/indoors

    • • Sow lobelia in a heated propagator.


    • • Plant begonia tubers (hollow side up) in pots of moist compost and cover with a little more compost. Keep them in a bright, frost-free position.


    • • Sow antirrhinums (snapdragons) and laurentia now to ensure early flowering.


    • • Start dahlia tubers into growth by planting them in pots of compost, maintaining a minimum temperature of 10 degrees celsius.


    • • Sow sweet peas in a glasshouse, cold frame or a cool place indoors. Soak sweet pea seeds in tepid water overnight before planting them, to speed up germination.


    • • Grow your own chrysanthemum plants from seed – start them off now in the greenhouse for the earliest blooms.


    • • Sow geraniums (pelargoniums) indoors now for earlier flowers.


    • • Plant or pot on hardwood cuttings taken last year.


  • • Pot on rooted cuttings of tender perennial plants taken last summer.

Plant outdoors

    • • Plant lilies and allium bulbs. Although best done in autumn, you can get away with planting lilies and alliums until spring.


    • • Plant bare root roses in a sunny position for spectacular summer colour.


Vegetables and herbs to sow and grow

pot of basil growing on a windowframe
Grow your own herbs to adorn your dishes
Image: Fausta Lavagna

You can really get cracking in the vegetable garden this month. Here are the crops to focus on:

In the greenhouse/indoors

    • • Start growing (chitting) early potatoes on a windowsill indoors.


    • • Start sowing cucumber and tomato seeds for the greenhouse, in warm conditions.


    • • Sow peas – try sowing them in upcycled guttering with drainage holes drilled in the bottom.


    • • Start asparagus pea seeds under cover for planting out in late spring.


    • • Sow aubergine seeds now for indoor crops this summer.


    • • Grow your own basil on the windowsill to flavour your favourite Italian dishes and fill your kitchen with heady Mediterranean aromas.


    • • Start early sowings of brassicas under cover. Try Brussels sprouts, summer cabbage, cauliflower ‘All the Year Round’, and calabrese ‘Aquiles’.


    • • Start slow-growing celeriac seeds now under cover.



    • • Sow leeks under cover – these vegetables need a long growing season.


    • • Try growing really large onions this year – sow ‘Bunton’s Showstopper’ and ‘Ailsa Craig’ indoors now.


  • • Sow sweet peppers for growing on in a heated greenhouse. Always provide plenty of warmth.

In the cold frame/under cloches

hands holding carrot seeds
Varieties of early carrots can be sowed in February
Image: Audrius Merfeldas


    • • Sow beetroot under cover.


    • • Sow early carrot varieties, such as ‘Nantes 2’, under cloches or in greenhouse borders.


    • • Grow chicory under cloches, for early summer harvesting.


    • • Sow early peas under cloches for your first crop of the season. ‘Twinkle’ is a good variety for this.


    • • Sow radish seeds now under cloches or in greenhouse borders.


    • • Grow some salad leaves, lettuce or spinach indoors or under cloches for a tasty and nutritious start to the growing season.


  • • Sow seeds of spring onions under cloches, in greenhouse borders or in cold frames. ‘Ishikura’ and ‘Summer Isle’ are good early varieties.

Direct sow outdoors

  • • Direct sow hardy broad beans, such as ‘Aquadulce Claudia‘, if the soil isn’t frozen.

Plant outdoors

    • • Plant out garlic and shallots in light soils only; heavy soils still need longer to warm up.


Fruit to sow and grow

closeup of apricots on a tree - Apricot 'Flavourcot' by Thompson & Morgan - available now
Create your own orchard by planting stone fruit trees in February
Image: Apricot ‘Flavourcot’ by Thompson & Morgan

February is a good time for planting the following fruits:

    • • Plant raspberry canes and blackberries, provided the soil isn’t frozen or waterlogged.


    • • Plant redcurrants, whitecurrants, blackcurrants and gooseberries if soil conditions are right.


  • • Plant bare-root strawberry plants outside now. Replace

READ MORE HERE:  https://www.thompson-morgan.com/what-to-sow-and-grow-in-february

8 Makeup Hacks To Make Your Lips Look Bigger By HB Team

huda beauty

Let’s be real, there’s nothing sexier than a plump pout – just take a look at famous bombshells Angelina Jolie, Naomi Campbell, and Marilyn Monroe, they all have full AF lips. But just because we weren’t all blessed with a naturally voluptuous pout, doesn’t mean we can’t work our magic with makeup and a few quick DIYs to create the illusion of a fuller pout. You just need to know the right makeup tricks and hacks, and of course, we’re here to share all of them with you.

1. Prep your lips

The smoother, more hydrated your lips, the better your products will apply and look. Start by using an exfoliating scrub, and then follow with a hydrating lip balm. One of our fav hacks to exfoliate our lips is to use a toothbrush and sugar – all you need to do is wet the toothbrush slightly and dip it in sugar (we love coconut sugar), then brush your lips gently in circular motions. Wash off with warm water and follow with a hydrating lip balm, we like the Aquaphor Lip Repair + Protect, Broad Spectrum SPF 30, $6. 

2. Conceal

Before your lip color, prime your lips with a concealer or foundation like the Huda Beauty #FauxFilter, to create a base layer. This will give your lipstick a more even finish and will allow the true color to show through, while also making it last longer. It’ll also act as a blank canvas if you want to overline your lips for added volume. You can even apply concealer around the edges of your lips after lipstick to neaten the lines and make your lips pop.

3. Contour your lips

Contouring is one of our all-time favorite makeup hacks, as you can easily manipulate the dimensions of any area of your body; so you could make your forehead look smaller, make your cheekbones pop, and of course, make your lips look bigger. By adding either a dusting of ashy colored contour or a creme contour underneath the center of your bottom lip and above the tops of your lips, you’ll create a subtle shadow – just make sure you blend, blend, blend! This added dimension will immediately make you lips look fuller.

4. Highlight your Cupid’s bow

huda khattan

Highlighter isn’t just for your cheekbones – if you add a little shimmer to your Cupid’s bow, it will open up your lips, making them look more voluptuous. We normally opt for a champagne-toned highlighter as it’s the most natural match; either apply it with your finger along the Cupid’s bow or use a soft fluffy brush. If you’re feeling extra, you can even add a little to the center of your lower lip to make it appear fuller.

5. Overline your lips

One of the easiest ways to make your lips look bigger is to overline your lips – makeup

READ MORE HERE:  https://hudabeauty.com/8-makeup-hacks-to-make-your-lips-look-bigger/

What the Heck Happened to My Body During Reiki? By Arianna Rebolini

Photo-Illustration: Photos: Getty Images

If you know what I’m talking about when I talk about reiki, you likely feel strongly about it. Maybe you describe it as the life-changing saving grace to your chronic back pain, or maybe you’re certain it’s quackery capitalizing on people at their weakest. At least for those moved to write about it on the internet, there’s little middle ground.

For everyone else, a brief explainer: Reiki is a spiritual healing practice which originated in Japan in the early 20th century, and is built on the belief that the body is innately able to heal itself. The word “reiki” loosely translates to “universal life energy” — an energy which practitioners believe exists within, and surrounds, each body — and the practice involves transmitting or balancing that energy, through the specific placement of hands on or above a recipient’s (fully clothed) body. Most commonly, reiki is used to ease pain, anxiety, fatigue, and depression, but since at its core is the conviction that the body in its natural state can heal any ailment, the applications, theoretically, are endless. However, the few, small studies on the practice have yet to yield much evidence of its efficacy (though the research has also found that it doesn’t appear to be harmful).

Six months ago, when I walked into my first reiki appointment at a Santa Fe oxygen spa, I had only ever heard the word in passing, and I didn’t really know what to expect. The spa’s description spoke vaguely about healing and relaxation; I thought I’d paid for a massage. What I got was one of the strangest experiences of my life: an hour in which my practitioner waved his hands over me and blew smoke across my body, to which my body responded with warm tingling in my arms and hands, mysterious pressure on my chest, and uncontrollable tremors in my legs. It was unexpected, a little scary, and definitely not relaxing.

According to my practitioner, these sensations indicated an energy blockage being released; they were merely signs that the session was working. He told me my body was returning to its natural state, i.e. “nearly orgasmic” energy. But it didn’t feel orgasmic. It felt crazy. I tend to be a cautious believer, but even I couldn’t accept this as the cause and effect. I needed to know: what had happened to my body?

What complicates discussion of reiki is that, unlike alternative medicines which have become more integrated into Western medicine such as acupuncture and chiropractic, reiki is unregulated. The result of this is a proliferation of many and varied manifestations of the practice, influenced by different historical traditions and lineages, and often linked by little other than the practitioner’s calling it reiki. This dispersal of technique can be a source of frustration to those who’ve trained in the specific method as developed by the man generally accepted as the founder of modern reiki, Mikao Usui.

So far, the research cautions that reiki should be used in conjunction with, and never instead of, conventional treatments for conditions like pain, anxiety, or depression. But if reiki is to be used with conventional medicine, then there first needs to be clarity around what, precisely, reiki even is. Practitioners going rogue, blending multiple spiritual practices into something new and naming it reiki, muddies the already sparse data. One person who is working toward a singular definition of the practice for patients, practitioners, and medical professionals is Pamela Miles.

Miles, author of Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide, is the unofficial leader of the movement to legitimize reiki in the mainstream. Having practiced and researched reiki for over 31 years, Miles has published in multiple peer-reviewed medical journals, collaborated on NIH-funded medical research, taught reiki at medical schools, and spoken about reiki in the media. Though she doesn’t necessarily advocate for uniform regulation of the practice, she does emphasize the importance of continued research on its effectiveness, and for the education of those receiving it. When I described my experience to Miles over the phone, she wasn’t entirely convinced she’d call what happened “reiki” at all.

“I cannot speak to any particular experience, but the kinds of things you described sound more like an energy medicine, a shamanic approach, where the practitioner was moving the energy, clearing the obstacles.” I was confused. Isn’t that exactly what reiki is?

Ideally not, according to Miles. When practiced according to its origins,

READ MORE HERE:  https://www.thecut.com/2017/09/what-the-heck-happened-to-my-body-during-reiki.html

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