Dress up your dinner with edible flowers

Edible flowers can be used to dress up your dinners and add extra flavour to meals. The practice of eating flowers dates as far back as 3000BC, and we are so glad to see it growing in popularity again in households around the globe. You can also enjoy this trend. Head into your garden and grab some gorgeous, edible flowers to garnish your plates and add flavour to meals. It is important to note that not all flowers are edible so please be careful when selecting the flowers you’ll be using for your meals.
A few popular options to consider are:

Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum coronarium) – these bright coloured flowers will add a tangy, slightly bitter flavour to meals. Wash well and scatter a few petals over salads. The flower base is very bitter so best to only use the petals.
Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) – these brilliant coloured flowers will add pops of colour to any salad and add a peppery flavour to the dish. These flowers will also look delightful when garnishing platters and sandwiches.
Fuchsia (Fuchsia X hybrida) – the vivid colours and unusual shape of this flower make it an eye-catching garnish while the mild acidic flavour is the ideal partner for a variety of salads.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) – the therapeutic benefits of lavender are no secret, but did you know you can use the soft, coloured lavender flowers as a garnish for an array of baked goods or even dress up your champagne?

When growing edible flowers, it is key that you pay close attention to the usage instructions on the pesticides to avoid possible toxicity. All pesticides have a waiting period between spraying and consuming so be sure to take note of how long you’ll need to wait to enjoy your edible flowers. Remember to rinse them well once picked and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. For maximum moisture and flavour, pick your edible flowers early in the morning.

Visit your nearest GCA Garden Centre to view the range of edible flower options and how best to grow them to delight your senses at every meal. For more gardening tips and

information, visit www.lifeisagarden.co.za or join the conversation on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/lifeisagardensa.

Editor’s Note:
Life is a Garden is the marketing division of The South African Nursery Association (SANA).