Some are honey bee hubs, others are pungent and peppery. There are modest, girl-next-door types while a few pack some punch. However they come edible flowers deliver an other-worldly sensory experience in the garden and on the plate. The crafting of food becomes a palate for color and flavor, adding unmatched vibrancy to meals.
Sweet and understated, borage flowers are a nectar producing workhorse tasting delicately of cucumber. It’s easy to be persuaded to overlook it’s prickly leaves and prolific, self-seeding habit. I simply pull what I don’t need and move volunteers to the ends of kitchen garden beds for a tidy, book-ended look. A popular foraging source for pollinators such as honey bees, borage is an annual but grows nearly year round in mild climates. Perfect in salads, as a garnish, you name it.
Grow nasturtium if you’re looking for a bit of spice and a bright pop of color. The flowers are substantial, hold up well in heartier meals and are easy to propagate. Children are reliably fascinated by their round, lily pad like leaves and rolly polly looking seeds. They don’t tolerate frost but are happy to volunteer when the temperatures warm up and quickly occupy any space with their trailing habit. An annual and deer favorite.
Add chives to nearly any recipe. Throw in leaves and flowers to replace green onion. I prefer growing them in raised beds or containers where they’re easy to manage. (They spread with a mind of their own in a landscape.) A lovable perennial that can be grown from seed or propagated by divisions.
Calendula is a 5 star, all-star annual. A charming, can’t-go-wrong companion plant, easy self-seeder but also easy to tidy and beautiful with almost any color scheme. It’s one of my favorite among a quiver of go-to herbs, healing skin irritations among other complaints. Harvest and eat the petals. Lovely in salads especially when combined with borage.