Growing flowers amongst your vegetables has several benefits. Not only do they look great but they help to attract pollinating insects and confuse pests. Many flowers are edible, but please check first. Here is a list of five we grow in the Edible Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh.
Borage – has a mild cucumber flavour. The flowers look great frozen in ice cubes and dropped into a summer drink. Borage was traditionally used to garnish pimms.
Nasturtiums – when you eat them they are sweet at first and then hot and peppery. Both the leaves and the flowers are edible and can be mixed sparingly into a salad.
Chives – break up the flowers into individual florets which have a mild onion flavour. Sprinkle into salads, pasta, omelettes and scrambled eggs.
Pansy/Violas – have a lettuce-like flavour but are a stunning garnish. They can be crystallised and used on cakes, cookies or creamy desserts.
Pot marigolds (Calendula officinalis) – tear off the petals and sprinkle them into salads.