Posted on: 2 June 2015Share
Vegetable beds are a practical addition to your garden, but your neighbours might not be very pleased if you decided to plant rows of carrots and broccoli in your front garden. Creating an edible flower bed in the front garden gives you a source of food and your neighbours will be none the wiser. Here's how:
Prepare Your Flower Bed
Firstly, select the area in your front garden for your new flower bed and measure out your desired shape and size. You can outline the shape of your flower bed with string and pegs or flour from your kitchen cupboard. Next, dig out the grass with a shovel and use a fork to loosen the soil. What you now have is an area of cleared topsoil.
To increase the health of your soil and plants, add compost to the topsoil and use the fork to mix the two growing mediums together. You'll want to create a flower bed that's made up of no more than 50% compost or you risk burning the roots and stems of your plants.
Choose Your Edible Plants
Once your flower bed is prepared, simply visit your local plant nursery, choose your edible plants and plant them at the depth and distance outlined on the container or tag. There are a wide range of common garden plants that produce edible flowers. Here are a few suggestions for you to consider:
- Tulips—These beautiful perennials produce flowers that are slightly sweet and delicious sprinkled over fruit salad.
- Roses—The flavour of rose petals vary according to their colour. Darker varieties have deeper flavours akin to warm spices, and lighter colours have delicate, sweet flavours similar to green apples and summer berries. Use the petals to make jam or dry them and add to granola.
- Daylily—With a slightly bitter flavour that can be similar to fresh garden peas, these flowers are ideal for adding to stir-fries.
- Signet Marigold—The citrusy flavour of signet marigolds complements oily fish and fresh tomato sauces.
- Nasturtium—These bright flowers add a peppery kick to salads and cold meat platters.
Pick & Prepare Your Flowers
Once your edible flower bed is in full bloom you can start picking flowers to enjoy with your daily meals. Here's how:
- Pick flowers off the top of the stem that look healthy and do not appear to be wilting.
- Remove the green part of the flowers just underneath the petals. This part is known as the sepal and it can be bitter.
- Pollen can affect the flavour, so remove it by pinching out the style and stamen inside each flower.
- Wash the flowers under cold running water to remove any dirt and eat them immediately.
If you'd like to dress up your flower bed with an attractive wooden border, get some information on chemical-free pest repellents or explore other varieties of edible plants, just ask the staff at local nurseries like Stoneman's Garden Centre for details.