With the fragrant whiff of Valentine’s day in the air we’re thinking about adding some floral colour to our allotment. But we don’t sacrifice valuable veg growing space for any old blooms – ours must be edible too. And here are our five favourites…
The romantic’s flower of choice also has its uses in the kitchen. The petals, snipped just above their bitter white base, are often used to flavour drinks and desserts, while rose water is a regular ingredient in Moroccan tagines. Our boundary hedge features a large wild rose from which we snaffle the hips to make a vitamin C packed syrup, or ferment for some rose hip wine.
Van Gogh may have loved painting these bold beauties but did he know that the petals can be used to a splash of yellow to a garnish? The seeds can be collected for a healthy snack or added to breads and biscuits and we have even heard that the buds can be steamed like artichokes or pickled.
This herb self seeds easily and has bright blue flowers which have a delicate cucumber flavour. Add to salads or freeze in ice cubes for a colourful addition to a summer drink.
Lavender’s perfumed properties can pop up in all sorts of cuisine. On the booze front lavender ‘Champagne’ is an easy-to-make fizzy drink along the lines of the more familiar elderflower ‘Champagne’.
This vigorously growing annual is our floral favourite with the peppery flowers and leaves making their way into many salads. We also pickle the pods for a home grown alternative to capers.