How to cre­ate an ed­i­ble flower gar­den

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - HOME AND GARDEN -

WHILE ed­i­ble flow­ers are far from a main course, any foodie will tell you they make for great dec­o­ra­tion on sal­ads, desserts and side dishes.

Ed­i­ble flo­rals – from nas­tur­tiums to zuc­chini flow­ers – are not only beau­ti­ful, but also add a range of vi­ta­mins and min­er­als to the dish.

Head to the restau­rant of any top chef and you’re bound to see some of th­ese beau­ties on the menu.

We had a chat to Bun­nings Green Life buyer, Kate Eggel­ton, about some of the best op­tions and ways to use ed­i­ble flow­ers.

Vi­ola/Heart­sease (Johnny Jumps Up)

The vi­ola flower is of­ten a com­mon sight in neigh­bour­hood gar­dens.

The lit­tle yel­low-tinted faces are sur­rounded by beau­ti­ful, deep pur­ple petals.

Kate says: “Also known as Johnny Jumps Up, the Heart­sease/Vi­ola is an an­nual plant that looks like a minia­ture pansy, with petite petals in pur­ple, yel­low and white.

“It dis­perses seeds around its grow­ing area, prompt­ing seedlings to pop up all around.

You’ll of­ten find th­ese del­i­cate blooms sprin­kled on top of a stack of pan­cakes as an ed­i­ble dec­o­ra­tion that brings a pop of colour to the plate.”

Tip: Po­si­tion your pot of Johnny Jumps Up in part to full sun and pick the flow­ers reg­u­larly to pro­mote con­tin­ual growth.

Cal­en­dula of­fic­i­nalis (Marigold flow­ers)

Like a lit­tle ray of sun­shine in your gar­den, marigolds can work in the kitchen too.

The marigold flower is fa­mous for its full, boun­ti­ful bloom in a plethora of colours.

But did you know they can taste as good as they look?

Kate ex­plains: “Widely recog­nised as the marigold flower, Cal­en­dula of­fic­i­nalis flow­ers all year round and is highly adapt­able to a wide range of soils… and meals!

“The golden petals look great as a salad gar­nish, or on top of scones, cheese­cakes and even stir fries.”

Nas­tur­tium ‘Alaska’ flow­ers

The favourite of many an Aussie mas­ter chef, nas­tur­tium flow­ers are easy to grow and are great for dress­ing a range of dishes.

Nas­tur­tiums have a strong pep­pery taste sim­i­lar to radishes.

Kate says: “Add an at­trac­tive el­e­ment to your gar­den and plate with this vi­brant flower.

It boasts green and white fo­liage along­side colour­ful flow­ers.”

“Plant your Alaska flow­ers in a sunny spot with well-drained soil, like a win­dowsill box.”

Tip: Young nas­tur­tium leaves are ed­i­ble too!

Zuc­chini flow­ers (Squash blos­som)

Th­ese beau­ties are next-level tasty when stuffed and fried along with some Ital­ian herbs.

Bright and sweet – just like baby zuc­chi­nis – th­ese are soft and sub­tle tast­ing with a melt-in-your-mouth tex­ture.

Kate says: “Zuc­chini flow­ers pro­duce suc­cu­lent, small rounded fruit that ap­pears with masses of stun­ning yel­low flow­ers.

“The plant prefers airy, open po­si­tion­ing with plenty of sun and min­i­mal to no over­head wa­ter­ing.

“Part­ner with tomato plants, egg­plant and cap­sicum for a vi­brant and ed­i­ble veg­gie patch that is sure to make a tasty meal.”

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

PHOTO: ANJOKANFOTOGRAFIE

PHOTO: IGUMAN

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