Edible Flowers: Taste the Beauty

As spring approaches, it’s the perfect time to think about adding a touch of beauty and flavour to your garden and kitchen with edible flowers. Not only do these flowers brighten up your garden, but they also offer a delightful way to enhance your culinary creations. In this article, we’ll explore a variety of edible flowers that you can plant now and how you can use them to add a unique twist to your meals.

Nasturtiums 

  • Planting Tips: Nasturtiums are easy to grow from seed. They thrive in well-drained soil and full sun. Plant them in early spring for a vibrant summer display.
  • Culinary Uses: Both the leaves and flowers are edible, with a peppery flavour similar to arugula. Use nasturtiums to add a spicy kick to salads, garnish sandwiches, or decorate cakes and pastries.



Calendula

  • Planting Tips: Sow calendula seeds in early spring in well-drained soil and a sunny spot. These hardy annuals will bloom throughout the summer.
  • Culinary Uses: The petals have a slightly bitter, tangy taste and a beautiful golden colour. Sprinkle calendula petals over salads, soups, and stews for a pop of color and flavor. They can also be used to make a soothing herbal tea.



Violas and Pansies

  • Planting Tips: Violas and pansies thrive in cooler temperatures, making them perfect for early spring planting. They prefer partial shade and moist, well-drained soil.
  • Culinary Uses: These delicate flowers have a mild, slightly sweet flavor. Use them to garnish salads, desserts, and cocktails. Freeze them in ice cubes for a decorative touch in beverages or use them to top frosted cakes and pastries.



Borage 

  • Planting Tips: Borage is a hardy annual that grows well from seed. Plant it in full sun and well-drained soil. It will self-seed, providing flowers year after year.
  • Culinary Uses: Borage flowers have a cucumber-like taste, making them perfect for adding to salads, drinks, and cold soups. They also make a lovely garnish for summer cocktails and can be candied for use in desserts.



Lavender 

  • Planting Tips: Lavender prefers well-drained soil and full sun. Plant it in the spring after the last frost for best results.
  • Culinary Uses: Lavender has a sweet, floral flavor with hints of lemon and mint. Use it to flavor baked goods, desserts, and beverages. Lavender can also be added to savory dishes like roasted meats and vegetables for a unique twist.



Roses 

  • Planting Tips: Choose fragrant, pesticide-free rose varieties for the best flavor. Roses prefer well-drained soil and full sun. Plant them in early spring for a summer bloom.
  • Culinary Uses: Rose petals have a delicate, slightly sweet flavor. Use them to make rosewater, infuse syrups, or decorate cakes and desserts. They can also be added to salads or used as a garnish for beverages.


 


Chive Blossoms 

  • Planting Tips: Chives are hardy perennials that grow well in most soils with full sun to partial shade. Plant them in early spring for a summer bloom.
  • Culinary Uses: Chive blossoms have a mild onion flavor, perfect for adding to salads, herb butters, and creamy soups. Use the whole flower as a garnish or separate the florets for a more subtle touch.



Hibiscus

  • Planting Tips: Hibiscus prefers well-drained soil and full sun. Plant it in spring for beautiful blooms in late summer.
  • Culinary Uses: Hibiscus flowers have a tart, cranberry-like flavor. They are perfect for making refreshing beverages, syrups, and jellies. Use the petals to garnish salads and desserts.



Tips for Using Edible Flowers

  • Harvesting: Pick flowers in the morning when they are at their freshest. Choose flowers that are fully open but not yet wilting.
  • Cleaning: Rinse flowers gently in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Remove the stamens and pistils from larger flowers like roses.
  • Storage: Use flowers immediately after harvesting for the best flavor and appearance. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator in a damp paper towel.

Edible flowers are a delightful way to add color, flavor, and a touch of elegance to your garden and kitchen. With these versatile and beautiful options, you can create stunning dishes that are sure to impress. Happy gardening and happy cooking!