One of the least understood of the 'edible' gardens is the edible flower garden. From old standards like roses and chrysanthemums to more exotic edible flowers this type of garden can add new colors and flavors to your harvest.
Here's some tips to keep in mind as you start experimenting more with edible flowers in your garden.
Not All Flowers are Edible
The first thing to remember when you get starting with an edible flower garden is that not all flowers are edible. Some are even poisonous like flowering ornamental sweetpeas. Because of this you should only eat flowers that you can identify.
Do Not Serve Inedible Flowers
It can be tempting to use a inedible flower as a garnish on a plate but try to resist. Many people will just eat anything on the plate. There are more than enough beautiful flowers that are also edible.
Avoid Edible Flowers and Pesticides
The first place this applies to is your own garden. You should never use pesticides on your edible flower garden. If you are forced to, be sure to use only pesticides that are safe for edible food. However, there are many people that feel no pesticides are truly safe.
The second place this applies is with flowers of unknown origin. For instance, you might get roses from a florist that you think are edible. What you don't know is how those flowers were treated and if any chemicals were used. It is much safer to only eat flowers from sources you know.
Eat Only the Petals
Unless it specifically is suggested to eat the whole flower it is best to just eat the petals. Some flowers have tasty petals but bitter, and in some cases poisonous, stamens.
Wash Edible Flowers
You never know what landed in your edible flower garden or what, well, relieved itself there. It's also advisable to wash the flowers before eating them. Using a part white vinegar and part water solution works very well to remove most germs.
Washing also helps to remove any dirt or bugs you did not notice trapped between the edible flower petals
You should be all set to get started with and edible flower garden of your own!