Come Dine with Us

I sincerely hope that this weeks blog will satisfy the appetite of both plant lovers and foodies alike. 

Personally, food is the pinnacle of my day, and I do relish in the countdown to both lunch time and dinner time (very sad...I know).

Being able to eat food and enjoy the company of my garden and the blooms that inhabit it, increases my mood tenfold.

Therefore, being able to combine the two is an incredibly thrilling prospect to me and I hope to many of you also.

Edible flowers are an increasingly popular concept as people become more aware of what they eat, where their food originates, and the processes it needs to go through before we see it on our plate.

This makes growing your own food extremely appealing and will provide an huge sense of achievement. These tasty blooms will add not only profuse colour to our gardens, but will provide unique textures and flavours to a wide range of dishes, oils and condiments - how exciting!

If you love to experiment with your food and would love to grow your own tasty treats, keep reading!



: This is also a fantastic way to encourage our little ones to take an active interest in growing and preparing food.




It is time to sit down, tuck your napkin into your shirt and pick up the knives and forks:

Menu

Starters:


Allium Quattro

Allium Quattro are stately plants with an abundance of foliage and stately stems, alongside unique ball-shaped blooms creating desirable structure to flower beds and borders.

Secondly, this plant enables you to indulge yourself in a tasty treat, whereby the long flat leaves taste much like garlic. Finely chop and sprinkle the foliage over pasta or add to olive oil to drizzle over a salad. 

Roughly tear up the flower heads and add to a hearty soup, stir-fry or sandwich-filling to enhance the overall flavour.



Basil

Basil is a fantastic addition to your garden providing a heavenly and intense fragrance on your patio or windowsill.

Basil will create an intense flavour that compliments tomato dishes, salads, and soups. The aromatic leaves will also enhance toppings to Mediterranean dishes - such as pizza! 


***

Main Courses:


 
Tulip

An extremely loved and nurtured garden plant, that once represented wealth and prosperity, tulip will greet your garden with colourful splendour.

The petals are almost pea-flavoured which will compliment chicken and shrimp perfectly - Remove all pollen and stigmas beforehand. 







Hesperis matronalis 

Hesperis will fool you in a false sense of security with intense evening fragrance, billowing deliciously sweet scent which will then disappear during the day. 

This is probably why, in the language of flowers, Hesperis was given to mean deceit.

These plants have a bitter flavour and young leaves should be picked before the flowering period to enhance almost any chicken and fish dish alongside making a fantastic accompaniment to mixed  salads. 





Desserts


Rose

Roses are an incredibly popular and beautiful plant in our gardens, most of them oozing an alluring fragrance.
The petals of the rose have a delicate flavour which will improve the taste of summer drinks and cocktails, as well as being delicious in jellies.
If the flowers are crystallised, they make attractive cake decorations.



Pansy

Pansy plants have distinctive flower heads that are produced in a vibrant array of colours.

The petals can be crystallised and used as attractive cake decorations or added to cookie mixtures or creamy desserts.




Drinks

 Hibiscus

Hibiscus plants offer an exotic touch to any garden with vibrant colour and beautifully large flower heads.

Not only are they a luxuriant bloom, you are able to utilise them to brew your own cup of herbal tea infused from sepals of the flower which can be consumed both hot and cold. Its cranberry flavour will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalised.





Elderflower


Elderflower plants display light and creamy flowers that splay in clusters to form a bushy effect.

Elderflower make refreshing cordials and syrups when combined with sugar, hot water and citrus - what could be more perfect on a hot summers day. 



The Herb Garden:





Basil
Bay
Caraway
Chervil
Chives  
Coriander
Dill
Marjoram
Mint
Parsley
Rosemary
Sage
Tarragon
Thyme


The Vegetable Patch: 



There are just too many greens to mention, but here are a few of our old favourites:

Asparagus
Beetroot
Broad Beans
Broccoli
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Courgettes
Lettuce
Marrow
Swede
Onions
Peas
Potatoes
Runner Beans
Tomatoes


WARNING: PLEASE TAKE CARE TO IDENTIFY EDIBLE PLANTS CAREFULLY AND TAKE INSTRUCTION AS TO HOW THEY SHOULD BE PREPARED/COOKED.

I hope I have tickled your taste buds and inspired you to get growing for a summer banquet with friends and family. 

What have you conjured up for the table from your garden?

Get in touch via email or on social media! I would love to hear from you.

Happy Munching!

becky@hayloftplants.co.uk 


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