Spring is here and summer is on the way!
There is a wide range of edible flowers you can sow in April so start planning your delicious and beautiful edible flower garden now….
Broad Bean, Bunyards Exhibition has flowers which are simply delicious; they have a lovely sweet, fresh bean flavour and look beautiful on many savoury dishes. People often overlook their broad bean flowers in the vegetable garden and miss out on a real treat. To get the best from your crop, start planting now, and keep sowing every few weeks, so that you can enjoy a harvest of broad beans and broad bean flowers from May onwards.
Calendula are a well known edible flower and incredibly easy to grow, with bright yellow-orange flowers, similar in shape to daisies. They are easy to sow, fast growing and have many culinary uses, including salads, garnishes, cakes, desserts, savoury cooking, food colouring, hot & cold drinks, oils and butters. A must for any edible flower garden.
Chives are the smallest species of the edible onion family. The purple ‘pom-pom’ chive flowers look spectacular on a well-established plant and are popular with pollinating insects. The flowers are easy to use for decoration or adding flavour to any savoury dish, salads, for flavouring oils, vinegars and making Chive Flower Butter. A commonly used and enjoyed edible flower.
Cornflowers are delightful, easy to grow annuals which flower for much of the summer. They are traditionally blue in colour but are also available in a variety of colours, including red and “black” (actually dark burgandy). Cornflowers look beautiful in borders, particularly when planted in drifts, and provide a rich source of nectar for bees and butterflies. Cornflowers add vibrant colour to salads, sweet and savoury dishes, and to make natural food colouring.
Courgettes are an easy to grow summer crop which produce abundant fruits as well as brightly coloured and versatile yellow flowers. Courgette flowers are popular in restaurants, either on their own, or attached to young courgettes. They are most commonly stuffed with cheese filling or used to make fritters but there are many other ways to make use of these delightful flowers and the courgettes themselves including salads, savoury cooking and scrumptious desserts.
Dianthus, Arctic Fire produces a carpet of delightful white and red flowers which are well suited to any sized garden. This dwarf dianthus is great for providing ground cover in the garden, but will also grow well in a container. The delicate flowers are lovely when used to garnish any food, whether sweet or savoury. They make stunning additions to cake and biscuits, particularly when they have been sugared.
Dianthus, Flashing Light is a miniature dianthus, great for any size garden, with striking deep red flowers on a low lying bushy plant. Flashing Light is ideal for providing ground cover in the garden but will grow equally well in containers. The delicate flowers make lovely colourful additions to salads and when used to decorate cakes and sweet dishes. Seed sown in early spring should produce flowers in its first summer.
Dianthus, Parfait (Strawberry, Raspberry and Red Peppermint) is a selection of three extremely pretty dianthus with colourful white, pink and red petals. Dianthus are popular edible flowers which make lovely additions to salads, and are ideal for sugaring to add to cakes and desserts for unusual and colourful decorations. A compact plant which grows up to 15cm tall; they are perfect for containers and small gardens.
French Marigolds, such as Durango Bolero, Bee, Flame, Gold, Orange, and Yellow, with their distinctive flamboyant appearance make a striking contribution to any garden, big or small. These easy to grow annuals are perfect for borders, as bedding plants, in containers and in the vegetable garden. The fragrant flowers also have a number of culinary uses and their mild citrus taste makes them perfect for both sweet and savoury dishes.
Garlic chives are a hardy perennial with tiny white star-shaped flowers. The flat, grasslike leaves are most often used finely chopped to add to salads, or any savoury cooked meals, particularly sauces, soups and casseroles. The white flowers are attractive additions to the garden and can be added to any savoury dish for both flavour and visual interest including in salads, as a garnish, savoury cooking, and to flavour oils, vinegars and butters.
Kale is a delicious and striking leaf vegetable which adds strong colour and structure to many types of garden. In addition to the leaves,the flowers are highly nutritious and taste fantastic. The leaves have a sweet, slightly peppery, cabbage-like flavour and the flowers are beautifully sweet and tasty. Kale is easy to grow and will provide you with young leaves for salads, larger leaves for cooking and delicate bright yellow flowers for any savoury meal.
Lavenders Munstead and Hidcote are both culinary lavenders, which, with their striking violet-blue spikes and lovely green-grey, fragrant foliage are a must for any edible flower garden. These perennials are suitable for any size or type of garden, and have a wide range of culinary uses, both sweet and savoury. Lavender is also particularly well suited to drying, for use at any time of the year.
Mexican Tarragon is a beautiful herb which is often grown as a substitute for French Tarragon. The leaves have an anise-like flavour, with the plant also producing small flavoursome, bright yellow flowers. The plant is native to Mexico and Central America and, as such, is suitable for growing in warmer conditions and is particularly well suited to growing indoors on a sunny windowsill, or within a greenhouse or conservatory
Nasturtiums are a fast growing annual and incredibly easy to grow. They come in a wide variety of colours and types, with some being suited to containers, whilst others are useful for covering walls or trellis, providing ground cover or trailing from hanging baskets. Nasturtiums have a fantastic strong, peppery taste. An easy to use and versatile edible flower with edible leaves, flowers, stems and seeds.
Pea Flowers, including Carouby de Maussane, Oregon Sugar, Ambassador, Greenshaftand Early Onward are an easy to grow annual vegetable which produce two delicious crops; firstly the sweet tasting and delicate flowers and secondly the tasty mangetout or podded peas. Carouby de Maussane provides delicate pink and purple flowers, while Oregon Sugar, Ambassador, Greenshaft and Early Onward grow lovely, sweet, white flowers. Two crops for the price of one!
Radishes, including French Breakfast and Scarlet Globe, are most commonly grown only for their edible root but few know that the entire plant is edible. Radishes are probably one of the quickest, easiest vegetables and edible flowers to grow. Radish flowers make lovely tasty additions to salads and savoury dishes and allow you to make the most of radish root crops which have gone past their best. Enjoy radishes throughout the life of the plant and harvest three delicious crops: roots, flowers and seed pods.
Runner Beans are tall, vining plants which can grow over two metres high. The plants are most often grown for their green seed pods. However, many people do not realise that they may also eat the mature beans inside, which are delicious cooked in soups or stews, as well as the bright scarlet flowers which make a vibrant addition to many savoury dishes including salads and soups. Runner Beans are a popular plant for the vegetable garden but can also make an extremely attractive edible plant for the ornamental garden.
Viola Freckles is a small, hardy, clump-forming perennial, with dark-green, rounded leaves. Single white flowers with purple “freckles” which grow on upright stems above the foliage. Violas are popular edible flowers, with a wide range of culinary uses. They are most commonly used to decorate cakes and desserts, are ideal for sugaring and beautiful when scattered over salads or used as a garnish.
Viola Heartsease looks like a dainty, miniature pansy with five petals which are predominantly purple with some white and yellow. Viola tricolour is an easy to grow, hardy annual and a common wild flower of Europe. Violas are popular edible flowers, with a wide range of culinary uses. They are most commonly used to decorate cakes and desserts, are ideal for sugaring and beautiful when scattered over salads or used as a garnish.
Viola, Sorbet Raspberry is a brighly coloured Viola Cornuta with striking deep raspberry red/purple colour petals for most of the year, providing much needed colour and interest to the winter garden in mild conditions. Violas are popular edible flowers, with a wide range of culinary uses. They are most commonly used to decorate cakes and desserts, are ideal for sugaring and beautiful when scattered over salads or used as a garnish.