Eat Your Flowers!

2 May 2020

Now is time to be sowing many vegetables and flowers. In the coming months we may need some cheering up and perhaps some livening up of our meals.

Edible flowers not only brighten up our gardens but can be tasty additions to our food. Grow some of these plants to look forward to using over the summer months and beyond.

Here are a few to start you off but do a bit of research and many more options are out there to use flowers in your food preparation.

Top five common edible flowers:

Nasturtiums The petals have a peppery taste and are very colourful in salads or as garnishes.

Lavender Great for cooking with. For example, biscuits, scones and shortbread, or infusing sugar to use later as flavouring.

Roses Good in syrups and jellies, also make rose water to use in sweet or savoury dishes later.

Violets and Violas Very pretty addition for an edible decoration for salads and cakes.

Calendula/Marigold Good all-rounder, great in cakes, pasta and rice dishes.

Other common edible petals include: Carnations, Cornflowers, Borage, Chives, Courgettes, Day Lily, Geranium, Hibiscus, Sunflower, Rocket, Thyme, Primroses.

The RHS website has a good list to try, as well as Plants for a Future which includes very detailed information about each flower available including an edible rating, growing conditions etc.

Do check before trying something new. Not all parts of a flower may be edible. Best not to pick wildflowers or forage from roadside where dogs may have been walked or be covered in traffic fumes or pesticides. Ideally use organically grown plants to ensure no pesticides have been used. Some plants of course are poisonous so do check. People with pollen or other allergies may need to be very careful.