Edi­ble flow­ers bring flavour and tex­ture too

Country Smallholding - - Ask The Experts -

QI have seen some amaz­ing wed­ding cakes dec­o­rated with edi­ble flow­ers. Do you have any tips for grow­ing them.

A Sally Mor­gan says: Edi­ble flow­ers don’t just look good on cakes, in cock­tails and in sal­ads, they bring flavour and tex­ture too. Some are an­nu­als, oth­ers peren­nial and many are com­pan­ion plants. Their nec­tar at­tracts pol­li­na­tors as well, so there are lots of good rea­sons to grow them. But re­mem­ber that not all flow­ers are edi­ble, and just be­cause the roots or leaves of a plant are edi­ble does not mean that the flower can be eaten and vice versa. Be 100% cer­tain of the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion be­fore eat­ing.

Many pro­duc­ers of edi­ble flow­ers grow them un­der cover as they don’t want them splashed with mud or pecked by birds as they are not washed be­fore eat­ing and, of course, they are grown com­pletely pes­ti­cide free.

Bor­age, corn­flower, nas­tur­tium and pot marigold look great in sal­ads and bring a savoury flavour, while the flow­ers of laven­der, gar­lic, chives and basil can be used to make a flavoured vine­gar. Other easy flow­ers to grow in­clude pansy, vi­ola and tagetes. And one fi­nal op­tion for the poly­tun­nel or con­ser­va­tory that is a lit­tle more un­usual is the Mex­i­can marigold or sweet mace ( Tagetes lu­cida) — a yel­low flow­er­ing half hardy peren­nial with culi­nary and medic­i­nal uses.

Nas­tur­tium flow­ers look great in sal­ads and bring a savoury flavour

Char­lotte Mouland

Charles Dowd­ing

Tim Tyne

Kevin Alviti

Sally Mor­gan

Liz Shank­land

Jack Smel­lie

Wendy Find­lay

Kim Stod­dart

Deb­bie Kings­ley

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