In recent months we have been enjoying a beautiful yard of flowers, flowers in our newly formed herb garden,
our recently renovated flower garden,
on our numerous native and exotic shrubs
and trees, in the vegetable patch
as well as in the fruit orchard.
I just hope our bees have appreciated it too and make plenty of honey over the summer months.
Our flowers have attracted many pollinators to our garden too. A side benefit to all these increased insect numbers is that there have been a lot of good bugs to ward off and even eat many of the bad bugs. With an increase in insect numbers we have seen a marked increase in bird numbers too, especially insect eaters as well as nectar eating honey eaters.
I took a few photos of some of our flowering plants during February so I hope you enjoy them.
In our local paper recently I spotted the following article by a regular garden writer.
“A flowering addition to the palate
By horticultural writer, John Gabriele
Flowers have been used in the cuisine of many cultures around the world for centuries and our gardens are often full of delectable botanical offerings ready for picking.
The vegie and herb garden is a great place to source edible flowers. Zucchini flowers
lightly fried in a tempura batter will have you looking for seconds and the flowers of squash and pumpkins can also be used in the same way.
The flowers from herbs such as mint, coriander, oregano,
pineapple sage, rosemary, basil, hyssop,
chives and dill
can all be used as garnish or in meat dishes and salads.
Summer salads are particularly enjoyable when the mix is made of produce from the home garden.
To make a salad even more enticing the addition of flowers will jazz things up.
Many common ornamental garden plants have edible flowers that will provide a delicate flavour and visual appeal that can enhance even the most simple meals or be devoured on their own.
For something a little spicy, nasturtium flowers
with their peppery taste and vibrant colours of yellow, orange and red contrast well with leafy salad greens.
hemerocallis and fuschia have edible flowers.
Petals from citrus flowers can also be used but do so sparingly as their sweet and highly fragrant nature can overpower a dish.
For sweet subtle flavours, roses, lavender, carnations, violets and jasmine can be used to flavour and garnish desserts or drinks.
With the larger flowers remove individual petals; remember subtlety is the key so less is often best.
Fresh is always best when it comes to flowers, especially edible ones.
Pick flowers that have just opened and use them immediately rather than storing them as they will wilt quickly and lose their appeal and flavour.” [end of quote]
I thought this article contained information which I am sure others would appreciate.
Although I am not one to eat flowers in a salad, some do end up in my casserole. At other times I do collect the nectar from flowers like the large Grevillea spikes by shaking it into my hand then licking it off.
No wonder bees and nectar loving birds, like honey eaters, love flowers so much.
If we are watching a tv cooking show using flowers, my wife and I often look at each other when we see a flower being used which we normally consider being toxic, causing illness from a mere allergy to nausea and sometimes death.
Increased insect numbers means there are a lot of good bugs to ward off and even eat many of the bad bugs
The warning is; BE CAREFUL, anything can be poisonous if placed in the hands of the wrong person, used inappropriately or too regularly.
I like flowers!