Edible Flowers

Midsummer means lots of color in our veggie garden: cucumber and squash blossoms, tomatoes and peppers ripening to all sorts of shades. There are purple snap pea blossoms, white bean blossoms, and yellow mustard flowers, too.

While most of the flowers in the garden are just a precursor to the main event, others are edible in their own right. Here's what we have that looks good enough to eat:

These are nasturtiums. The raw petals are really pretty in salads and have a peppery taste. These will keep going strong all summer, or at least until the aphids find them. We had some tonight mixed in with sautéed Swiss chard:

As you can see, the petals kind of wilt and disappear in the heat. We added them late, but in the future it will be better to sprinkle them on top just before serving.

Our chamomile is tiny this year, and just starting to bloom. The obvious use for these flowers is dried and used for tea, but they can also decorate desserts.

Our borage has finally bloomed, and the blue blossoms are soooo pretty! These are also good in salads and add a cool, cucumber-y flavor (to tide us over until our cucumbers get big enough to eat). 

Here is some more of our lavender. Tiegan wants to sew some sachets or scented pillows with it, but it can also be used in desserts and teas. I'm a little leery of it in recipes because it is so strongly floral, but perhaps we'll give it a try if we have any leftover from the craft projects.

Roses are also edible. This one is the from the perennial border and will not be eaten, but if we wanted to we could use it for rosewater (for desserts or cosmetics), or wait until it forms hips in the fall. The hips can be used as fruit and are tangy like a cranberry. Our rosa mundi plants will be used for these things when it gets big enough to produce more than just one flower.

Finally, daylily petals are also edible. Kirk and the kids often eat these on neighborhood walks (not sure how those neighbors might feel about this). This white one is also in the perennial border and therefore not slated for the plate, but we have a mishmash of varieties at the bottom of the driveway available to eat. 


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