The 15th of every month is Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day over at May Dreams Gardens. I usually link there to a post on my personal blog about what’s blooming in my garden, but occasionally I feel the need to make a post here at Grow It Eat It, just to remind people that vegetables and other edibles have flowers too, and some of them are quite attractive.
These are some of the flowers I’ve photographed in the Derwood Demo Garden over the last couple of weeks.
These delicate little flowers actually represent the failure of a radish, since the plant bolted before it could produce a significant root. I always let radishes bloom for a while when they do this, though, because they are good attractors for beneficial insects (and pretty!). The flowers are edible, too, as are the buds (the broccoli-looking thing in the middle).
We’ve got lots of beans beginning to flower – these are from a bush bean called Red Swan.
And this is a mung bean flower, with pods starting to form.
Lovely and delicious nasturtiums!
Also lovely and reasonably edible borage.
Another plant I always let go to flower (and then to seed) is cilantro. Those little flowers are frequently visited by insects that are very useful in the garden.
This is safflower, a plant whose seeds are used to make oil, which I guess makes it edible. It is not, however, a great plant for Maryland, at least in my experience of trying to grow it twice and failing. It prefers an arid environment, which ours is not, despite low rainfall in May. But at least I got one flower out of this attempt.
Another plant not really in its ideal environment here is quinoa. We may or may not get edible seeds in the midst of all this heat and humidity, but the flowers are attractive and the leaves are reportedly quite nutritious. They look very much like their close relative, lamb’s quarters, which some of you foragers may gather for salads.
This last photo is a bloom from a goji berry shrub. (Or vine – I’ve seen it described both ways, and we have to prune ours to keep it from reaching out and climbing the fence.) This is a nightshade family plant, relative of potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers, all of which are also blooming in our garden right now.
Enjoy your blooming edibles and edible blooms!