New Books about Edible Gardening (continued)

Part Two: The Edible Flower: A Modern Guide to Growing, Cooking, and Eating Edible Flowers

The Edible Flower
The Edible Flower

What’s for dinner, honey? “Oh, I thought we would have Spicy Thai Beef Tulip Cups!” Say what? And you thought tulips were simply for vases? Not anymore. Try adding some tulips to your slaw dishes, too. I ordered three copies: one for a gardening fiend/friend, one for a flower farmer, and one for a Mother’s Day gift.

The Edible Flower Title Page
Edible Flower Cake with Sweet Geranium, Black Currant and Vanilla

Flowers are much more than pretty posies. “We want to show you they can bring unique flavor, beauty, seasonality, and an opportunity to slow down and smell the roses.” Created by Jo Facer (who wrote the gardening parts) and Erin Bunting (the recipe maker), The Edible Flower: A Modern Guide to Growing, Cooking, and Eating Edible Flowers is not just a cookbook, nor is it just a gardening book. It’s delicious and inspiring. You can learn much more about the authors at their website, The Edible Flower, a farm, supperclub, and workshop venue in Northern Ireland.

Recipes: Marigold Petal Pasta (left) and Spicy Thai Beef Tulip Cups (right)
Recipes: Marigold Petal Pasta (left) and Spicy Thai Beef Tulip Cups (right)

Jo and Erin begin by outlining a three-year plan for making an edible flower garden of beauty. The method is slow, low-cost, and sustainable. For instance, in year one, you concentrate on annuals. The goal is to create a beautiful, abundant, and flavorful garden. Think calendula, borage, and cornflowers. Year two is fine-tuning, adding perennials, taking cuttings, expanding, and improving your space. Year three is about growing up (going vertical) and adding long-lived trees and shrubs. 

Recipes from The Edible Flower
More edible flower recipe: Mexican Pickled Carrots with Coriander Flowers (left) and Pot Marigold Soda Bread (right)

The plants are organized into three sections: “spring sowing,” the edible border, trees, and shrubs. Spring sowing covers many annuals; the edible border showcases dahlias, daisies, and lavender (to name a few), and the third section elderflowers, roses, and brambles.

I am counting the days until I can make lilac sugar. Lilac sugar? Yes, especially since those luscious-smelling flowers don’t hold their fragrance when dried. You can also use violets, lavender, elderflower, or roses. Where I live (in Idaho), elderberry shrubs grow wild almost everywhere, so I plan to try all the elderflower recipes. Tulip slaw is on the menu this weekend (while we still have tulips). Oh, and elderflower liqueur. Yes, please.

Gorgeous flowers and delicious recipes. I do believe this book qualifies as eye candy. Please slow down and savor it. The tulips in the vase in the dining room? They will be served later today!

The Edible Flower: A Modern Guide to Growing, Cooking, and Eating Edible Flowers

by Erin Bunting and Jo Facer

$40 Laurence King Publishing

Mary Ann Newcomer

Scribe-Scout-Speaker A daughter of the American west, with great grandparents who homesteaded in Idaho, I tagged along with my grandmother and grandfather as they gardened in the tiny town of Latah, Washington, just across the Idaho state line. I have developed a fierce passion for all things GARDEN. I grow, scout, and write about gardens. My expertise is in the Intermountain West, but I have written for Rocky Mountain Gardening, Country Gardens, MaryJane’s Farm, Fine Gardening, Leaf Magazine, the American Gardener, and newspapers across the region. I’ve designed public, private, and commercial landscapes, and gardens for flower shows. I love encouraging gardeners to get down and dirty. When not tending to my garden, I volunteer my time weeding or planting or doing garden design work at the Idaho Botanical Garden in Boise.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to SlowFlowers newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list

Powered by Robly

Slow Flowers Journal is brought to you by Slow Flowers is an award-winning online directory created to help consumers find florists, studio designers, wedding and event planners, supermarket flower departments and flower farmers that supply American grown flowers. Founded in 2014, the site has grown to 850 members across the U.S.


Media Contact:

For more information, please contact Debra Prinzing
at 206-769-8211 or 844-SLOWFLO (844-756-9356); debra(at)