I feel like one of the best kept secrets in gardening is around edible flowers. Edible flowers don’t just look pretty on your plate, they taste delightful, and they bring pollinators to your garden. When you choose edible flowers to plant with herbs, the results will make your garden a work of art. Vivid oranges and bright yellow marigolds catch the eye in a sea of green herbs. Delicate purple chive blossoms lend an air of royal sophistication to your nearby thyme.
One might go so far as to say when you pick colorful flowers to plant with herbs, you’re channeling your inner Claude Monet. The real question is when can we put our flower and herb garden in the MOMA? Joking aside, there are a lot of good flower and herb combinations.
Edible flowers to plant with herbs: What to put in your garden for a delicious harvest
Let’s start with a caveat: Not all flowers are edible. Some, in fact, are quite poisonous. Did you know that Poison Ivy can produce small clusters of light green or white flowers? I can guarantee that is not something you want to eat.
To be safe, I’d recommend sticking to eating flowers that you can positively identify. Perhaps just the ones you plant yourself. Then you know exactly what they are – and you know they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides (another thing you don’t want to eat).
What are those edible flowers? Here are just a few favorites:
Nasturtiums. They’re easy to grow and they have a nice, peppery taste.
Pansies. Pansies have a slightly spicy flavor and add a wonderful splash of color to salads, drinks, and desserts.
Squash blossoms. This one is a double winner. You get an edible flower and tasty produce. Honestly, if you haven’t tried fried or stuffed squash blossoms, you are definitely missing out on a culinary treat. You can also enjoy them raw.
Dandelion. The poor dandelion is so often overlooked as a weed, but in truth, these are some tasty plants. Dandelion greens are wonderful as a side dish – just cook them in a little olive oil, salt, and garlic. You can also enjoy the dandelion flower in honey and make dandelion wine!
Lilacs. The lilac flower is great for making an infused honey or syrup. They also go great in baked goods like scones or cookies. Personally, I love to steep them for lilac lemonade.
As yummy and versatile as those flowers can be, you don’t need flowers to plant with herbs to get those same colors in your garden and delightful flavors in your cooking. These herbs all have edible flowers that you can enjoy.
Chive blossoms. The pinkish-purple flowers of the chive look like little fuzzballs, and they taste ever so lightly of onion. You can eat them raw in salads.
Dill blossoms. If this isn’t the coolest-looking herb flower, I don’t know what is. They look like mini-displays of bright yellow fireworks. Oh, and they taste like, well, dill.
Basil. We usually pinch off basil flowers so the plant will continue to produce leaves, but don’t sweat it if you forget it! Basil flowers pack a nice little spice that goes well with poached pears, or you can sprinkle them on a salad.
Sage blossoms. You can eat sage blossoms raw, but in my opinion, the best way to enjoy them is fried. You can also dry them and use them in a savory rub.
Edible flowers can be a delicious addition to your herb garden, and you may already have them if you’re growing some of these herbs.
What do you think about edible flowers? Have you grown them in your garden? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.