Flowers for lunch
Anybody who has followed the cookery progammes on the TV in recent years, will know that using flowers to flavour and garnish dishes is a key ingredient of cutting-edge contemporary cuisine. There is no doubt that a well-chosen and skilfully applied sprinkling of petals can transform an ordinary serving into something rather special. But it’s nothing new. In the Far East, traditional Chinese and Japanese dishes dating back thousands of years include chrysanthemums and daylilies, while in Europe, the Romans were doing it with rosemary, lavender, rose and mallow flowers. Even the Victorians were partial to adding flowers to liven up their fare, with violets, borage, primroses and nasturtiums being popular culinary choices.
Ways to introduce flowers into meals
- Garnish salads
- Flavour dishes
- Add to oils and vinegars
- Decorate drinks
- Use in jellies, syrups and candies
If eating flowers still seems a bit odd, bear in mind that you’ve probably eaten a flower or two without even realising it. In fact, flowers, in the form of broccoli and cauliflower have been a British staple for generations, but it’s the eating of ornamental blooms that some find rather alarming. And rightly so. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing when comes to consuming ornamental garden plants. That’s why it is important not to experiment, but to stick to the flowers known to be safe to eat.
- August is a good time to starting planning any changes you want to make to your planted borders. Take photos of your garden now, so you can plan to make it better next year.
- Split and divide the perennials whilst the growing pace slows down.
- Perennials in Flower; If you want to enhance your borders with late flowering perennials try Helennium and Rudbeckia.
- Late autumn flowering bulbs such as Crocus and Colchium can add some delicate interest.
- Sow winter flowering seeds such as Primrose, Pansies, Violas, Snap Dragons and Forget Me Nots.
- Pick up any fallen fruit. Decaying fruit can harbor insects and diseases, so don’t put them in your compost bin as it may get infected.
- Add mulch to borders to hold in the moisture and reduce weeds.
- Herbs still look good, they can be picked and used in your cooking.
- Continue deadheading to get the best from your plants.