Grow and Eat Delicious and Beautiful Edible Flowers

Stephanie Hafferty
Friday, 22nd April 2016

Organic and no-dig gardener, Steph Hafferty, shares her favourite edible flowers. See PM88 for her favourite recipes.

In the next issue of Permaculture magazine (PM88), organic and no dig gardener, Stephanie Hafferty, explains how easy it is to grow edible flowers that are healthy for both you and your garden. She also shares her favourite recipes, from 

Below are some of her beautiful photographs showing edible flowers that you can grow at home.


Borage (Borage officinalis) - annual - tastes like cucumber


Borage (Borage officinalis)


Nasturtium (Nasturtium) - peppery flavour


Peas (Pisum sativum) - slightly sweet flavour


Marigolds / calendula (Calendula officinalis) - tangy, citrus taste


Roses (Rosa) - sweet and fragrant


Wasabi rocket - spicy


Viola/heartease (Viola/Viola tricolor) - tastes a little like lettuce


Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) - intense and sweet


Courgette flowers (Curcubita) - sweet and nutty


Sage (Salvia officinalis) - strong and savoury


Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) - light and spicy


Flower sugar

In a large glass container, gently mix 2 cups of granulated sugar with one cup of flowers (best to use only flowers or petals that can be eaten whole for this) and leave for a week. The moisture and flavours will be absorbed by the sugar. Use in baking or drinks.

Flower vinegar

1 cup of flowers/petals 4 cups vinegar (use white wine or cider vinegar) Put the flowers in a large glass jar and pour on the vinegar. Leave on a sunny windowsill for about a week to infuse. Strain and bottle. Store at room temperature – it will last for about six months.

Flower vodka

1 cup flowers/petals 4 cups vodka (brandy and gin work well too) Put the flowers in a large, lidded glass container and add the spirit. Leave for 2 or 3 days, shaking gently every day. Strain and bottle. Make some flower ice cubes at the same time to use in flower cocktails.

Flower butter

Either sweet or savoury 1 packet (250g) organic butter Either: 12 nasturtium flowers / 10 chive flower heads / a small palmful of rosemary flowers / a cup of fresh rose petals (you can work this out by eye, depending on which petals you are using) Soften the butter and gently mix with the petals. Shape as you choose (you can be as fanciful as you like here), perhaps add some whole flowers to the top and refrigerate for about two hours before serving. This freezes well.

Stephanie Hafferty is an organic no dig gardener, writer and teacher. She lives as self sufficiently as possible growing food on her allotment and in the gardens of her ex-council house, where she lives with her teenage kids. She also helps Charles Dowding at Homeacres.

Stephanie Hafferty's latest book, The Creative Kitchen and her co-authored book, with Charles Dowding, No Dig Organic Home and Garden, are available from our online store: