Grow your own Edible Flowers - National Gardening Week 2015

If you’re taking part in National Gardening Week 2015, you may be looking for some ideas and inspiration.

Growing edible flowers is certainly one way to get in the spirit! Not only will you have fun growing these plants, but you’ll also learn a whole lot about their potential along the way.

Edible flowers add flavour, colour and texture to lots of different dishes, and make a fantastic contribution towards oils, butters and cordials. Best of all, they can be grown from home, in your own back garden, using plant pots or raised vegetable beds.

Things to Consider

Before you embark on your exciting flower growing journey, you first need to check that the plants you are growing are in fact edible and safe to eat. If you’re concerned about eating your edible plants, contact the RHS for help with identification.

It's best to use flowers straight away when you pick them or keep them contained in a plastic bag in the fridge for a couple of days. Drying or freezing flowers is a good option when creating infusions however.

To keep colours and flavours intense, pick buds and young flowers on dry mornings. You will generally only need the petals so stamens can be removed. Keep your flowers pesticide free and don’t let your pets leave anything nasty near them!

Instead of using pesticides to deal with insects and diseases, cut your plants back to encourage regrowth.

Recommended Edible Flowers

Here are just a few examples of flowers you can tuck into…

  • Bergamot – this gives a strong spicy scent and is great in tea, rice, and pasta dishes.
  • Elderflower – this is well known for producing tasty wine and cordials, as well as flavouring things like jellies.
  • Lavender – a firm favourite; flavour sugar and honey with the plant or use the sprigs to compliment roast lamb and chicken.
  • Pot marigold – this plant gives a peppery taste to soups and stews.
  • Sunflower – use the petals in salads or blanch whole buds and serve with garlic butter.
  • Hibiscus – make a refreshing citrus tea with this tasty plant.
  • Rose – crystallise beautiful rose petals for decoration or flavour sugar and drinks.
  • Recommended Herbs

    The following herbs will make a tasty addition to your meals and snacks…

  • Dill – this plant gives an aniseed flavour that works well in salads and fish dishes.
  • Mint – use peppermint or spearmint flowers to make oil, butter and vinegar.
  • Clover – white and red clover flowers can be used to garnish fruit and salads.
  • Fennel – this tasty herb compliments salmon and pâtés.
  • Chives – these offer an onion like taste to salads and egg dishes.
  • Rosemary – this herb gives a sweet flavour that can be used to flavour butter or garnish tomato dishes.
  • We would love to see your plant growing in action during National Gardening Week 2015 so don’t forget to share your pictures and tips with us via social media or in the comment box below!

    Related articles:

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