Flowers that are good enough to eat? Yes please! That was the key message from Thomas Bloom of Petersham Nurseries at Grow London 2015.
My notes from Thomas Bloom’s demonstration on how to make an edible bouquet read like a recipe: a little bit of this, a bunch of that, tie everything together…
So, first things first: if Thomas says “edible flowers are becoming quite de rigueur” then we need to pay attention.
Since childhood, Thomas has been munching on edible flowers thanks to a flower- and picnic-loving mother who would add flowers to many meals.
Let’s look at Thomas’ tips and tricks on how to make an edible flower bouquet.
Thomas Bloom’s Tips on How to Make an Edible Bouquet
1 Choose Only Organic Flowers
Don’t be tempted by cheap supermarket flowers as they may have been sprayed with pesticides.
2 Experiment with Flavours
Some flowers are bitter, while some others are sweet. Try different types of flowers and include different flavours to add interest.
3 Use Herbs
Herbs add a lovely aroma to a bouquet, so try adding peppermint, basil, marjoram, lemon balm and parsley to the mix. If you are having a summer party in the garden, why not make some cute Pimms-inspired bouquets with borage, lemon balm, mint and strawberries to decorate the table?
4 Cut a Piece of String of the Right Length Before You Start
To avoid fumbling for a piece of string while you hold your finished bouquet, Thomas suggests to cut the required length of string before starting your bouquet and keep it around your neck (loosely, of course!). Very practical piece of advice.
Building an Edible Flower Bouquet
In his demonstration, Thomas used the following flowers (he called them “leading ladies”) to make a bouquet.
~ Spray Stocks (Matthiola Incana)
~ Snap Dragons (Antirrhinum)
~ Salad Rocket Flowers
~ Salad Burnet (Sanguisorba Officinalis)
~ Sweet Rocket (Hesperis Matronalis)
~ Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla)
~ Nigella Damascena
~ Borage (Borago Officinalis)
~ Lavender Vera (Lavandula Angustifolia)
As he was putting together the bouquet, Thomas asked us to imagine how wonderful the scent would be – I actually managed to take the scent in at the end of the demonstration and it was divine, particularly from the presence of McCartneyTM roses. McCartney roses are hybrids tea roses created especially for Sir Paul McCartney.
Once the bouquet was complete, Thomas enthused: “I’m sure Barbara Cartland would love this!”
About Thomas Bloom and Petersham Nurseries
About Thomas Bloom
About Petersham Nurseries
Recommended Reading:Leslie Bremmens, The Complete Book of Herbs
Picture credits: Paola Bassanese