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Edible flowers

Sometimes when we plan our gardens we want pretty flowers and sometimes we want vegetables and things we can eat, but you can have both all in one garden. When you are planning your annual and perennial gardens, think about flowers that are edible, too! Not all flowers are edible, but some are.

There are some traditional edible flowers, such as pansies, which people put on salads all the time, and nasturtiums with their peppery, spicy flowers, and leaves. There's also calendula with brilliant gold and orange colored flowers, that you can use not only in salads, but in omelets and breads as well.

You can get a little get a little exotic as well with edible flowers. You can grow bee balm to make a tea out of and use it in a salad. But also you can take use hollyhocks. Hollyhock flowers have a sweet flavor to them and if you crystallize them they have a nice dessert quality.
If you want something a little crunchy, daylily buds are really nice. You can saute them and they have a flavor like a bean or asparagus. They are great in stir fries. So you could even mix it up with something with a little elegance, such as roses. You can put rose petals in chilled soups or in your salads, to add beautiful color, fragrance, and a little sweet flavor too.

Of course, properly identify any flower and check to be sure it is safe to eat before harvesting and trying it out. There are great resources on-line to help identify edible flowers.
By Charlie Nardozzi
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