How to Use Beautiful Edible Flowers from Your Garden
Posted on: Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Edible flowers make flavorful and nutritious additions to meals, and are one of the many types of blooms you can grow in your raised garden beds. Which ones should you plant this year?
Here are our recommended edible flowers to grow in your container garden and how to eat them from What’s Cooking America.
Edible Flowers for Your Garden:
- Violas: These beautiful flowers range from deep purple to pastel hues and make for a beautiful pop of color. These can be added to drinks and cakes, and can even be cooked like spinach.
- Pansies: These edible flowers can have a strong grass flavor and are often used as garnishes in salads (fruit or green) and soups.
- Dandelions: When these plants are young they have a sweeter flavor, and turn bitter as they age. Young leaves are tasty steamed or mixed into salads.
- Nasturtium (pictured above): According to What America’s Cooking, “[Nasturtium] blossoms have a sweet, spicy flavor similar to watercress.” You can stuff whole flowers with savory mousse or add leaves for a peppery tang to salads. Also, “Pickled seed pods are less expensive substitute for capers.” You can also “Use entire flowers to garnish platters, salads, cheese tortas, open-faced sandwiches, and savory appetizers.”
- Dianthus: These edible flowers are perfect for sweet treats. They can be placed in wine, candy or used as cake decorations.
- Bachelor’s Button: These blooms are mostly used as a garnish; however, they have a nice clove-like flavor.
Why Grow Edible Flowers in a Raised Bed?
Raised beds are a great alternative to gardening straight into the ground – including for plants like edible flowers. They are a useful alternative if you have an area where the ground is difficult to dig or if you have a problem back or knees; many gardeners even choose them because prefer how they look.
The practical benefits of raised beds include controlling soil conditions and depth, providing better drainage and limiting soil compaction. They also serve as a pest barrier and get warm faster in the spring.
Although you can make your own raised garden beds from rock, straw bales, old pallets cut down and lined with burlap, and more, we recommend building raised beds with cedar or redwood since they do not rot or break down like other woods. Or, if you’d prefer, pre-made boxes are available for purchase and come in a number of sizes for your convenience. Some are wood and others are made from recycled materials.
We also suggest picking a location that will allow for six to eight hours of daily sun - more sun in the winter and less sun in the summer. Consider the placement in terms of easy access for you, too. If you will only be able to reach one side of your raised beds, a depth of no more than two feet is ideal.
Edible flowers are just one of the incredible wonders that can be grown in a container garden and they’re delicious to eat! You can add edible flowers to salads, sweets and use them as beautiful decorations.
Do you still have questions about raised gardens or edible flowers? We’ve got your answers! Stop by your local SummerWinds Nursery and speak with one of our Trusted Garden Advisors.