Flowers are so important in any garden – edible, wildlife or ornamental. You grow them for their beauty of course – that goes without saying but there are so many benefits beyond their beauty. They fulfil the nectar and pollen needs of beneficial insects. Once fertilised they produce fruit and seeds. The fruit and seeds then provide food for a huge rang of small mammals and birds. And the added benefit to us is that many, many flowers are edible and their flavours range from bland, to subtle nuttiness, to strong flavours like the intense onion flavours of allium triquetrum or the delightful aniseed overtones of fennel to the peppery snappiness of nasturtium. Just like they do in your garden they can create beauty as a garnish or sprinkled onto a green salad. Here are just a sample of the many edible flowers available – these have been chosen for their beauty, their range of flavours and their ease of care.
(All photos  are by Michele Fitzsimmons and copyrighted unless otherwise stated.  Permission must be granted before using.)