A Tasty & Fun Garden Project – Edible Flowers!
I think the best first garden project for Spring should always be a fun small side project that you can successfully complete in a short period of time that will yield quick results. It’s such a confidence booster to have a great success under your belt as you prepare to undertake larger garden projects over the next three seasons. An edible garden is a great small project to think about for Spring that will become a favorite gift that keeps on giving.
It can be difficult to find edible flowers to purchase, but they’re easy to grow yourself. And there’s no greater personal touch when cooking for family and friends than adding edible flowers grown right in your backyard. Lavender, Marigolds, Thyme — they’re all edible! For the freshest tasting goodies, your edible flowers should ideally be harvested in the cool, morning hours. If you’re not going to use the flowers immediately, cut them with the stems intact and keep them in water. You can also store them in damp paper towels in the refrigerator.
Some tasty edible garden delights:
Lavender has a sweet floral flavor, with a hint of lemon and citrus. Use as a garnish for sorbets or ice cream. Lavender also goes well with savory dishes.
Violas give a sweet perfumed flavor. The tender leaves and flowers can be eaten in a salad. Or the flowers can beautifully embellish desserts and iced drinks.
Sage flowers have a more delicate taste than the leaves, so be sure to be careful when pruning. Sage can be used in salads or as a garnish.
Lemon balm is indigenous to Southern Europe but is now cultivated worldwide. Lemon balm flowers have a gentle lemon scent and can be used as garnish.
Oregano can be found growing wild on mountainsides of Greece and other Mediterranean countries where it is an herb of choice. Oregano flowers can be used as you would the herb; it’s a milder version of plant’s leaf.
Marigold flavors range from spicy to tangy. Their sharp taste resembles saffron and the plant is sometimes referred to as poor man’s saffron. Their pretty petals can be sprinkled on soups, pasta or rice dishes, and salads.
Nasturtium blossoms have a sweet, spicy flavor similar to watercress. Their leaves add a peppery tang to salads. Use the entire flower to garnish platters, salads, and savory appetizers. Nasturtium seeds are edible as well when they are young and green and have been likened to capers when pickled.
Like sage, thyme flowers have a milder taste than the leaves. Use as you would the herb — the flowers also make a beautiful garnish.