On our allotment, there are edibles and then there are flowers. But sometimes these categories overlap because some of the flowers are edible and some herbs double as foliage for bouquets.
Wading through the beds of our allotment and thinking about what to pick, I set myself a challenge to create a bouquet with edible plants only.
First the flowers:
The improbably blue cornflower (Centaurea cyanus) that I grow primarily as a cut flower but which is edible, too. The flowers do not have much taste but are believed to be a general tonic for the nervous system and a remedy for eye ailments.They are a nice addition to herbal teas when dried.
Pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) is a kitchen garden favorite for many good reasons: the cheerfully orange petals are edible and medicinal (indicated especially for any and all skin problems) and the plant is a good companion plant for vegetables. My favorite variety is „ Indian Prince“ with contrasting dark centers.
Borage (Borago officinalis) is as most blue flowers a great bee plant and it tastes nice to humans too: slightly cucumber-like.
And the green stuff:
Poppy seed heads (Papaver somniferum)– I have never sown poppy in my life but we have several kinds self-seeding happily on our allotment. There tend to be too many and I have to pull some out but always leave some plants for their nonchalant charm. The flowers are too short-lived to use in arrangements but the seed heads are great. As far as their use is concerned – no, we do not harvest the latex from unripe seed heads to manufacture opium at home, but we sometimes dry the seeds to use in baking.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is my son’s favorite herb to eat and he likes to munch on the young leaves enjoying their anise The seeds can be used both in cooking and medicinally, to aid digestion. And obviously, it is a great „filler“ for bouquets, edible or not.
For more on edible flowers check out my post „Edible flowers, how to grow them and how to eat them“
For recipes using edible flowers see: Edible flower canapés & Cucumber and borage canapés