When talking about edible and garden most of us see this:
Here in Stockholm winter has it´s grip and the gardening season seems far away. Now is the time for pruning apple trees and other non-bleeders. Today the sun is shining and the snow is glistening. These days are lovely. I am sitting in my nook writing and came to think of all the amazing gardens I have seen on other blogs. Some of you never get snow or the winter season is still mild. Others already have witnessed the first signs of Spring. Maybe your bulbs and tubers are in their prime. At first I thought it was a little bit early to tell you about the edible flower garden. But after considering the varieties in climate and plant zones I changed my mind.
Once I made an edible flower composition for a public square in a suburb to Stockholm. I was given the task to decorate three large containers. I knew that during summer it used to be market stands selling fruit and vegetables on the square. So I came up with the idea to use edible plants in the containers to suit the theme. Unfortunately I did not get the chance to photograph them. So sadly I have no pictures to show you. Well the employer was very pleased so it have to have been a success. But I got the plants written down so I can try to give you a picture.
Before I continue I would like to tell you the story of being a gardener in Sweden and similar plant zones. First of all you have to order the annual Summer plants in the Winter often already in November. And the annual Spring plants is ordered during the prior summer. The nursery takes your order and start their work. So your plants is ready for delivery in the beginning of summer, often in June. Spring plants is commonly delivered in April. It takes a skilled planer and an established or at least good relation with the nursery.
This procedure makes gardening a bit more interesting and advanced. You are not able to choose the plants on the nursery and you cannot see your chosen plants live. So you depend on your experience and gut feeling. Viewing plants online or in a catalog seldom shows the correct colors. So you have to be careful and make your composition flexible. A second thing to take into account is that accidents happen. Even the best of nurseries may fail for many different reasons. This is why I always order some extra plants to be sure, about 10% of the total order is insurance plants. If you don´t need them while planting you can keep them as a reserve. Plants are living material and may die or deteriorate for some reason. Make sure you have a back up plan. Speak with your nursery and solve it together. Maybe you don´t have to have a particular variety or sort but rather a specific color, structure or habitus.
To cut to the chase… This is my pick of flowers for the composition I told you about earlier in this post. I named the theme Citrus and made two different compositions, Orange and Lemon.
- Tagetes tenuifolia ‘Orange Gem’ – Marigold
- Pelargonium ‘Orange Fizz’ – Scented Geranium
- Beta vulgaris ‘Orange Fantasia’ – Swiss chard
- Cynara cardunculus ‘Green Globe’ – Artichoke
- Tagetes tenuifolia ‘Lemon Gem’ – Marigold
- Pelargonium ‘Citronella’ – Scented Geranium
- Beta vulgaris ‘Bright Yellow’ – Swiss chard
- Helianthus annuus ‘Teddy bear’ – Sunflower
To keep the two compositions together I used Perilla frutescens (Red Shiso) as a pop-up plant in both containers.
I also found some recipes including edible flowers. I think it is a fun idea and actually tasty too. I once had Geranium cake and it was delicious. Have you ever tried to use flowers in your cooking?
- Geranium cake
- Candied Violets
- Rose petal ice cream
- Salad with flowers
- Ice cubes with Borago officinalis flowers
Do you want to read more about edible flowers?
Caution: Never eat anything you do not recognize or know for sure it is edible. There are a lot of poisonous flowers so be wise. For Geraniums it is only the scented once you can eat including, Pelargonium graveolens. And I advise you to only use organic grown flowers. You do not want any pesticides or other chemicals in your food.
Source pictures – photo attributes:
- Huerta Orgázmika Red Shiso
- Kjeannette Orange Gem
- Melody Lemon Gem
- Mary´s heirloom seeds Green Globe
- Bosque Village Yellow Swiss chard
- Kenny Point Orange Swiss chard
- Three Gardens in Quebec Borage flower in ice-cube
- Oyvind Holmstad Flower salad
- Jonathan Lovekin – Rose petal ice cream
- Kort om gott – Candied Violets