How to create an edible flower 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.”