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If you have every thought that you would like to get more out your flower beds than brilliant colors, bird, bee and butterfly attracting scents, and a burst of color in the landscape, consider adding edible flowers to your landscape. By integrating edible flowers into the garden, you will have flowers that not only look great; they smell and taste great too. Even if you lack space in the garden plot or landscape flowerbeds, you can plant a few edibles to use for cooking or plate garnish in spots and containers on the windowsill, patio, or porch. Edible Flower Cultivation The number one rule when growing edible flowers for the table is to avoid all chemical pesticides and herbicides. Use only organic, toxin-free products to enhance soil and fertilize plants. Edible flowers grow best in a full-sun location in nutrient-rich soil with good drainage. Water as required. If soil quality is lacking, supplement with aged herbivore manure (cow, horse, sheep, goat) or well-aged garden compost. Squash Blossoms All varieties of garden squash produce edible flowers. Flowers can be dipped in a thin egg and flour batter and deep-fried. The taste is addicting, and the squash blossoms make an attractive side dish or garnish to a pork roast or leg of lamb. Nasturtiums Bright and cheerful, nasturtiums are a delightful and colorful addition to any garden effort. Nasturtiums present boldly colorful flowers in shades of lemon yellow, sunshine yellow, orange, red and burgundy. The entire plant including the roots, flowers, stems, and leaves of nasturtium are edible; adding a peppery, spicy crunch to salads or when used as an appetizer or plate garnish. Calendulas And Marigolds Calendulas and all varieties of marigolds are edible, Add flower petals to salads, soups, and pasta. Known as a poor man’s saffron, calendula and marigold flowers impart a beautiful deep yellow color to culinary dishes. Pansies Looking like miniature “happy faces”, pansies are one of the first flowers to appear in spring. The entire flower is edible and adds a dash of color to any food presentation. Like violets, pansies can be coated with granulated sugar and make an attractive ornamentation for cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. Roses Rose petals are edible and add a festive touch to cake decorations. Rose hip jams and jellies are farmers market favorite while a cup of rose hip tea is an excellent and flavorful beverage with more vitamin C content that an orange. Edible Herbaceous Plants Edible herbs include hyssop, basil, chives, anise, cilantro, fennel, thyme, dill, and garlic, to name a few. Other edible herbs are rosemary, lavender, horehound and all varieties of mint. Herbs typically have small flowers and dense foliage. The essential oils that hold flavor are contained in stems, flowers, and leaves.