August always brings plenty of opportunities to relax and enjoy the garden, however there are still plenty of jobs to be done. If any plants are looking tired dead-heading spent flower heads and removing brown leaves will quickly rejuvenate their appearance. Continuing on from the July edition, this month is exploring edible garden flowers, some of which I’m sure you are familiar with such as pansies, roses and marigolds. Agastache: Both flowers and leaves have a delicate, fragrant aniseed taste. Add to whipping cream or cakes. If you are pregnant Agastache is best avoided. Alcea Rosea (Hollyhock): The flowers can be crystallised and used to decorate cakes, mousses and roulades. Can also be used to make syrup to add to puddings. Remove the stamen before using. Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus): Provides a sweet to spicy clove-like taste. Ideal for using as confetti for sprinkling on salads, omelettes or pasta. Dianthus (Carnation/ Pinks): Most dianthus flowers have a pleasant spicy, floral, clove-like taste, especially the more fragrant varieties. Ideal for decorating cakes, adding to soups and salads. The petals of Sweet Williams add zest to ice-cream, sorbets, seafood and stir-fries. Fuchsia: Very decorative if crystallised or inserted into jelly. The berries are useful for making jams. Before eating, remove the stamen pistils. Gardenia jasminoides (Cape Jasmine): These extremely fragrant blooms can be used in pickles, preserves and jams, or shredded and added to cakes. Hemerocallis (Day Lily): Chop and added to stir-fries or stuff with almost any filling. Do not eat other types of lilies as they are poisonous. Oenothera (Evening Primrose): The flowers taste like lettuce so make a perfect addition to salad. Phlox Paniculata (Perennial Phlox): Provides a spicy taste to fruit salads. Also ideal for crystallising and adding to cakes or desserts. Annual and alpine (low growing) phlox are not edible. Primula: (Polyanthus/ Primrose) Flowers can be crystallised and use as decoration, making them ideal for special cakes, (or pancakes) for example on Mothering Sunday or at Easter. Salvia Sclarea (Biennial Clary) flowers have a very aromatic flavour and being pastel shades makes a lovely contrast when added to salads. Scented Pelagoniums (Geranium Fragrans): powerful citrus fragrance that adds flavour to meringue. Syringa Vulgaris (Lilac) Mix fresh flowers with cream cheese and serve on crackers. Yucca: The white yucca flower petals have a crunchy, sweet taste with a hint of artichoke flavour. Delicious added to salads. Whatever August brings, I hope you are able to enjoy some time simply relaxing in your garden. 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.