Ali Lawrence has been gardening since she was five. She was born and raised in Alaska but now resides in Pennsylvania where her family grows a large garden every year. Her passions include writing haikus and finding new ways to use her essential oils! Read more articles from Ali at HomeyImprovements.com and connect with her on Pinterest.
 

 

5 Pretty Edibles for a Beautiful and Tasty Landscape
by Ali Lawrence - posted 06/01/17

Some plants are not only beautiful but edible. Edible flowers make a fun addition to the flower beds in the landscape. They add color to your flower gardens and zest to your favorite dishes.

Edible Flowers for Full Sun

Plants that thrive in full sun get 8 to 10 hours of sunlight per day. Some edible plants need full sun to bloom properly, so you can harvest and eat their blooms.

1. Sweet Cicely

Sweet cicely is a hardy perennial with lovely fern-like leaves and a flat dainty cluster of white flowers. Plants bloom in late spring through early summer and grow 2 to 3 feet tall.

Flowers aren’t difficult to grow. Sow sweet cicely seeds in a sunny area in autumn. Seeds germinate in spring after a period of cool weather. You can also divide plants in spring or autumn.

Sweet cicely is easy to care for— just water to keep the soil moist, about an inch per week. Plants readily self-seed, so it’s best to remove faded blooms before seeds fall if you don’t want plants to spread. Plants will spread and form dense patches if left to reseed.

You can eat the leaves and the seeds. Leaves taste like celery, while the seeds have an Anise flavor. All parts of the plant are safe to eat, even the roots. Toss unripe seeds in salads or sprinkle on ice cream. Seeds have a sweet nutty flavor. Use the leaves in soups and salads and to sweeten dishes made with tart fruits.

marigold edible plant

2. Pot Marigold

Pot marigold is a lovely annual that grows in all zones. The daisy-like double flowers are 2 to 4 inches across and provide bright orange and yellow mounds from spring through mid-summer. Plants grow 1 to 2 feet tall, and make a pretty addition to your vegetable garden.

Pot marigolds grow in full sun, but also tolerate partial shade. You can sow seeds directly outdoors in spring or summer. Plants will adapt to almost any soil type, just keep the soil moist. With regular watering, the marigolds continue to bloom through the first frost.

You can eat both the flowers and leaves. Fresh chopped flowers add a spicy flavor to salads and dried marigold blooms are great for adding flavor to soups and broths.

lavender

3. Lavender

Lavender is edible and strikingly beautiful, and it’s also very fragrant. Flowers are gathered in dense clusters atop stalks and bloom in early summer. Plants grow up to 3 feet tall and have narrow, lance-shaped leaves. Plants continue can to bloom and add color well into winter.

Plants grow best in full sun in an area with loose, well-drained soil and good air circulation. Seeds are slow to germinate, so buying plants instead of starting from seed is a good way to add lavender to your landscape. Place plants about 18 inches apart. Water plants regularly until matured. Once matured, plants are drought-tolerant.

Leaves and blooms are edible and should be stripped from the stalk to use. Dried blooms are often used to compliment a variety of foods including poultry, fish, baked goods, sauces, fruits and vegetables.

Edible Flowers for Partial Shade

Plants that thrive in partial shade need at least 5 hours of sunlight per day to bloom. You can grow these plants under trees or in areas with limited sun and still enjoy their color and flavor.

4. Borage

Borage is an attractive annual with blue star-shaped blooms that last through summer. It grows up to 3 feet tall and about 2 feet wide. The plant’s bristly 4-to-6 inch long gray-green leaves are edible.

Sow seeds directly in the garden in early spring. Borage tolerates poor soil and plants self-seed, so you can enjoy this plant each year with little to no effort.

Both leaves and flowers are edible. You can use young tender leaves in salad or cook them like greens. Leaves taste like cucumber, while flowers are good for garnish or tossed in a salad.

nasturtiums

5. Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums are annuals that grow in all zones. Plants produce striking, trumpet-shaped flowers in shades of red, orange, yellow or cream. Flowers bloom throughout summer. Nasturtiums grow up to 10 inches tall, while the climbing variety grows up to 6 feet. Depending on the variety, you can grow them in mounds or as climbing plants. Both varieties have bright green leaves.

Plants are easy to grow and care for. While they bloom best in full sun, you can grow them in light shade, but plants may not produce as many blooms. Sow seeds in moist soil during early spring. Germination takes 7 to 10 days, and plants bloom quickly and reseed. Make sure to water regularly throughout the growing season.

The entire plant is edible. Young leaves, flowers and unripe seed pods have a peppery taste and are often used in salads, vinegar as well as egg and seafood dishes.

Experimenting with a variety of edible flowers means you can get more use from your landscape plants. And keep in mind that any plants you grow for beauty and flavor should be pesticide free and only feed with organic fertilizers.

 

 

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