Grow flowers for food!

Certain plants are both ornamental and edible. Feel free to try them out, a feast for eyes and taste buds alike!

Some plants can be eaten from root to tip. This is the case for daylilies – plant them early spring, and they’ll grow with such vigor that you’ll savor them all summer long. Chop up the young, blanched leaves and serve with salad dressing or paired with other vegetables. Flowers can be blanched, too, or saute’ed with oil and Chinese noodles. They’re much better though when eaten raw without any seasoning.

Spread marigolds throughout your entire garden, they’ll bloom until it freezes. These sun-colored flowers are marvelous in a mixed salad to enliven the colors. It’s also easy to pickle the flower buds in vinegar. Use dried petals much as you would saffron when steaming rice or to flavor desserts.

Exotic edible herbs

Sow ‘Lucida’ Tagetus at the end of winter frost spells, they’re part of the French marigolds family and will grow best in full sun, sheltered from wind. This elegant plant with uncountable cute bright yellow flowers will enchant your landscape and meal plates! Leaves and flowers can also be added to your hot meals just prior to serving, and they’ll give a taste reminiscent of tarragon.

Pair them with toothache plant and purple basil: these three plants have colors that bolster each other very well ! Sow the toothache plant in May, mulch and that’s all! The more you harvest the terminal buds of the plant, the more productive it will get, sending out more. When mealtime arrives, this plant will surprise you with its tangy taste which appears in many Asian and Madagascan recipes.

Nasturtiums in mixed salads

Plant stonecrop (Sedum telephium) in a very sunny spot: its fleshy leaves can be nibbled for appetizers dipped in cottage cheese dip.

If you haven’t yet tasted nasturtiums, go ahead and pick the very first flowers that appear! Taste them straight from the plant, their pepper-like taste will stand out. You can use leaves and flowers in mixed salads or fry them like fritter.

Note that these plants are all edible, too: primroses, violets, pansies, roses, lavender, borage… All of these are beautiful garden varieties and will do great in your plate!

M.-C. H.