July is often the hottest month of the year (hopefully!) and is a great time to just relax and enjoy your garden in the sunshine. The main task for the month is watering and dead-heading. Continuing on from the June edition, this month is exploring edible flowers from herbs. Herb flowers like basil, chives, mint, marjoram, rosemary and thyme add a more subtle flavour to food in comparison to their leaves. By adding sprigs of edible herb flowers to oils their delicate flavours can be used over a longer period. The following herb flowers can be used in other ways: Borage: cucumber flavoured blue flowers, which are ideal for crystallizing or freezing in ice cubes. Add to cakes, salad & pate. Catmint: (Nepeta Cataria) when cooked adds a strong mint/ spice flavour. Ideal for rice and vegetable dishes, and complements lamb dishes. Not recommended to eat during pregnancy. Chives: Have a mild onion flavour and are crunchy. Break the flowers into small florets (they are pungent and can be overwhelming) then toss into salads, pasta and omelettes. Coriander: The flowers are as adaptable as the leaves. Scatter over cauliflower, add to the end of a stir-fry, mix in cream cheese or use on an orange fruit salad. Lavender: (Stoechas or angustifolia) There are many ways to use lavender flowers both in sweet and savoury dishes. Make a delicious Lavender sugar, which can be added to biscuits, sorbets, jams or jellies. Flower’s added to vegetable stock creates a tasty sauce for duck or lamb dishes. Lavender oil may be poisonous and should be avoided. Lemon Balm: Has small flowers that can be added to stuffing for poultry dishes. Mint: Tiny flowers that pack a punch especially when added to green salads, fruit salads, fresh strawberries, chocolate mousse or chocolate cake. Monarda (Bergamot): The flower petals have a sweet, spicy flower that enhances salads, jellies and stuffing’s, or rice and pasta dishes. Fresh or dried flowers make a delicious tea. Rocket: The flowers have a spicy/ peppery flavour that is delicious added to rice, or sprinkled over cooked French beans. Add whole flowers to taramasalata and serve with brown toast. Rosemary: Add a few flowers to biscuit dough to add flavour. Sage (common): The flowers taste similar to the leaves and make a vibrant addition to pates, mustards and vinaigrettes. Whatever July brings I hope you are able to enjoy the fruits of your labours. Rachel Sobiechowski BSc (Hons) P&R Garden Supplies, Fengate Drove, Brandon 01842 814800 www.p-rgardensupplies.co.uk Disclaimer: P&R Garden Supplies has researched all the edible flowers listed and to the best of our knowledge all the information provided is accurate and true. However, individuals consuming the flowers, plants, or derivatives listed here do so entirely at their own risk. No liability exists against P&R Garden Supplies or any member of P&R Garden Supplies. P&R Garden Supplies always recommends following good hygiene practices. We cannot guarantee that everyone will react positively to the edible plants listed and P&R Garden Supplies cannot be held responsible for any adverse reaction, side effect, allergy, illness or injury caused by the flowers or information provided in this article. In case of doubt please consult your doctor.