While we await the arrival of spring's harvest, many of us are busy creating and tending to flower gardens BUT did you know that these garden can be more than just floral eye candy? There's a long list of beautiful flowers that are also delicious (see below for a list!) - AND don't forget about the many herbs that can provide beautiful greenery to your garden, as well as delicious flavour to your favourite recipes!
These plants do great in a garden, but can do equally well in container gardens. Living in an apartment, we're lacking garden space, so I opted to plant my edible garden in two hanging rectangular planting containers (I got these ones at Canadian Tire for around $10 each and they came with the metal hanging apparatus).
You'll find great quality topsoil and a wonderful selection of flowers and herbs at Lester's Farm Market.
I chose to plant: white and purple violas (which have edible flowers); rosemary, thyme, chives, mojito mint, and sweet basil.
All of these can tolerate a bit of cold except for the basil. Since I was tempting fate by leaving them outside overnight before Father's Day Weekend (the unofficial start of annual gardening in our province), I've had to transplant my basil into a pot inside on my kitchen windowsill. Everything else is doing great - especially the mint. It loves the chilly weather, but be careful if planting it in a garden - it will spread!
Other edible flowers include:
- Squash blossoms (said to taste mildly of squash - great for stuffing with sweet or savoury fillings)
- Begonias (said to have a citrus sour taste)
- Carnation Petals (said to have a peppery and spicy taste)
- Dandelions (said to be sweetest picked young, have honey like flavour. Mature flowers can be bitter. Young leaves can be tossed in salads)
The edible flowers can be frozen in ice and added to drinks and cocktails, added to salads for a pop of colour, or used as garnish or decoration on baked goods!