Monday, June 15, 2015

Bloom Day: Edible (and not so edible) Flowers

It is Garden Blogger's Bloom Day again! On the 15th of each month, we gardeners with blogs share a few bloom photos from our gardens. Here is the Mid-Atlantic USA (USDA zone 7) on the DC-MD border, this has been a rough past four weeks of high heat and little rain that actually makes it to plant roots. Most storms of the past month are the quick-moving hit-or-miss variety. I got caught in a monsoon in downtown DC last night, but came home to find just a few drops in my own garden.

This month I decided to share the flowers from my community garden plot. Most are edible to humans, but I really grow them for the pollinatators.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) aka pot marigold has re-seeded again at the front of my plot and is half-hardy. It has wintered over for me for two of the past four years. I like that it is so easy care. I never do anything but occasionally weed around it.



Not pictured here are the Bachelor's Button (Centaurea cyanus) is also commonly known as cornflower re-seeded in my plot thanks to a garden plot neighbor.

 Cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus) 'Bright Lights' is a prolific re-seeder and is taking over the back half of my plot (and then some). The flowers and young tops are edible raw or cooked. Other parts of the plant are reported to be "poisonous" to harmless though not palatable, depending on the source. Personally, I have never tasted one. I prefer to leave them for the pollinators or for cutting flowers.


Marigold is not a favorite of mine. I find the smell offensive, but so do some of the bad bugs, so I include it alongside my tomatoes every year.

Nasturtium is my biggest success this year. Every spring I put some seeds in the ground and I get a few weak plants that never do much. This year, I randomly stuck them in an extra herb pot I had at the plot and they love it! They are a bit peppery and strong so be forewarned if you use them in a delicate salad. They so pretty though that you will likely forgive them.
This ornamental Sweet Pea 'May Lou Heard' is the only one of about a dozen that I started to come up and bloom. It was kind of a bust. Sweet peas just do not do well in the Mid-Atlantic heat and humidity. Despite that, I still try for a few every year. NOTE: Flowering ornamental sweet peas are poisonous - do not eat!




What is blooming in YOUR garden today?

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