GASTRONOMIC GARDENER: Edible flowers | Anglo Celtic

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Calendula.

Plants and wildflowers have been recognized for their health benefits for centuries and are commonly considered part of many regional cuisines, especially Asian and Middle Eastern, but recently due to the reach of Instagram and other social media channels, it is quickly becoming a widely adopted trend elsewhere.

Amazing flavors no longer cut the mustard, and even at home our food plates now should be eye-catching and tasty!

Edible flowers are defined as flowers that can be safely consumed. This is important to note as some could be toxic and cause harm if ingested. Edible flowers can be eaten as a main part of a meal, for example, stuffed zucchini flowers or used to garnish a starter or decorate a dessert.

Edible flowers can be sown in spring and early summer, but any excess can be dried and stored in jars for use throughout the winter. The petals can also be used fresh to add bright and vibrant elements to your dish. There are popular and easy-to-grow varieties, all with unique benefits and flavors.

Calendula

Also known as potted marigold, calendula is extremely easy to grow at home and is a great choice for containers or summer borders. It blooms from summer to fall and provides an abundance of bright orange and yellow flowers that can be used for cutting, have edible petals, and are also used by herbalists to make skin care products.

Plants often self-seed from year to year. They can be sprinkled on salads, or even on pizzas or used to decorate cakes.

Nasturtium

Jewel-colored blossoms popping up through sprawling jungle-like green leaves, nasturtiums are easy-to-rear flowers. The seeds are quite large and can be pickled and used in place of capers. They don’t need special care, only water and are happy to self-seed each year. They are aromatic and can be used in savory and sweet dishes or in jams.

The leaves have a peppery flavor and can also be used in salads. Colors can range from bright orange to ruby ​​red and give great contrast to greens in a dish.

Borage

It’s my favorite herb. It is popular with bees and flowers all summer long. It is an annual herbaceous plant in the flowering plant family Boraginaceae. It comes in shades ranging from blue to pink. The whole plant can be used as a fresh vegetable (with a taste of cucumber) or as a dried herb.

The flower has a sweet honey flavor and is perfect for decorating desserts and cocktails. I also like to freeze them in ice cubes for a refined lemonade. Borage should be sown in the spring, but once you sow it, you will find it itself seeded year after year in different places. You can also harvest the seeds for the next year to sow in specific areas.

When thinking about an annual color in the garden, try to choose plants that you can also use in the kitchen. Edible flowers make eye-catching presentations and offer a unique way to brighten up any dull dish this summer.

Timely advice for the garden

● Dead head flowers regularly to encourage new flowers

● Check the weather before watering! If it gives showers, you can save water. It is also a good opportunity to collect rainwater in a container for reuse.

● Prune the lower leaves of tomato plants to reduce the chance of blight in this wet weather.

● Picking berries regularly to give energy to the newly formed fruits.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

• Tara Kate Linnane is passionate about sustainability and growing all things edible.

With her husband Barry, she embarked on a journey of designing edible spaces and starting others in their gardening adventures.

Follow their journey on Instagram @twopeas_inapolytunnel or visit thefoodscapedesignco.com for contact and information.

You can send your questions to [email protected]

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