There are hundreds of edible flowers you can grow in your garden. However, you must be 110% sure they’re edible before you eat them!
Some garden flowers such as crocus, foxglove, clematis, azalea, mistletoe are HIGHLY POISONOUS and should never be taken internally.
If you’re allergy-prone, introduce very small amounts of flowers into your diet – one at a time.
Most herbs produce flowers you can eat. They are usually slightly milder in flavour than the leaves and stem. Herb flowers can be used to garnish salads.
Many flowers and flowering herbs can be infused in boiling water and drunk as tisane. Regular lawn daisies help relieve stress and a few young bramble ( blackberry ) leaves will give your immune system a boost. Thyme and lemon balm will help prevent colds and relieve cold symptoms. Lavender flowers and oil have been used medicinally as well as in the kitchen for generations.
Do you have edible flowers lurking in the back garden right now?
Carnations – add to wine, sweets, and use as cake decorations
Elderflower – make elderflower champagne from the flowers – make it non-alcoholic for a refreshing summer drink (and full of vitamins!)
Honeysuckle – flowers taste of honey and can be eaten raw and added to wines and desserts. Please note honeysuckle berries are highly poisonous – DO NOT EAT
Jasmine – jasmine flowers are normally used to make tea. Simply steep the flowers in boiling water and strain.
Marigolds are another antiseptic herb and the flowers are a great culinary asset. Again, children love the bright orange petals and can be easily persuaded to eat their veggies.
*Mix a few petals into a plain rice dish to add colour and taste, as well as a few extra vitamins.
*Sprinkle over dishes to garnish
*Stir into a green salad.
*Make a soothing tisane by steeping petals in boiled water for a few minutes, strain and serve.
Marigold petals can also be used to soothe aching feet! Pour hot water over petals, allow to cool a little and soak your feet.. bliss!
Nasturtiums are wonderful garnish flowers. Scatter a few over a large bowl of green salad. The colours are stunning and you can mix in a few chive flowers for a purple touch. Nasturtium flowers will only stay fresh for a couple of hours so should be picked as close to dinner time as possible. The leaves will stay fresh for a day or two in the fridge.
Roses – Rose petals can be used to garnish desserts, flavour ice cream or add to jams. Rose hips (a great source of vitamin C) can be made into rose hip syrup or wine. Rose Petals can be crystallised and used to decorate chocolate cakes, cup cakes, or use them for celebration cakes for weddings or Thanksgiving. Roses are always a pleasure and being able to actually eat them is divine 🙂
Thyme is an antispetic herb and a soothing remedy for the symptoms of colds and flu. Pick off a sprig of thyme, flowering or not, and put into a jug with a spoonful of honey and a little lemon juice. Pour boiling water over and stir to dissolve the honey. Cover the jug to keep the heat in and leave to steep for a few minutes. Strain through a small sieve or tea strainer and drink as soon as it’s cool enough. This tisane recipe gives you an instant feeling of good health.
Violets – Sprinkle a few violet flowers into a salad. They have a slightly perfumed taste. Violet flowers are traditionally crystalized and used as cake decorations.
Zucchini flowers have been served in the finest restaurants for many years and are a delicacy, apparantly! They can be simply used as a garnish or dipped in a fine batter and deep fried for a minute or two.
Edible flowers are a stylish addition to any meal. The Romans used them to garnish their banquets 2000 years ago! Many restaurants will have a variety of edible flowers to garnish their more elegant meals. You can grow them at home in your garden, backyard or window box.
N.B. Never use pesticides or chemicals on plants you intend to eat.
This little kit seems to have everything you need to grow your own gourmet flowers.