Gardener and writer Alex Mitchell’s new book, ‘Crops in Tight Spots’ from Kyle Books has just hit the shelves. It’s perfect for anyone short of outdoor space who wants to grow fruit and vegetables. She’s shared with us a lovely section about growing edible flowers…
This shallow bowl of violas and nasturtiums placed in the centre of a garden table looks good enough to eat, which it is. The viola flowers, which emerge first, have a mild taste while nasturtiums, blooming later in the summer, are more peppery. Both look beautiful thrown over salads, so you can just reach out and pick one as you’re sitting at the table (though you might want to wash it first).
When To Do
Early summer if starting from plug plants, mid-spring if starting from seed.
You Will Need
1 shallow round container, such as an enamel or terracotta bowl with drainage holes
Peat-free, organic, multipurpose compost
5 plug plants of Viola
‘Heartsease’ (or seeds)
3 nasturtium seedlings
How To Do
Place your bowl on the table and pour a layer of gravel over the bottom for drainage. Fill the pot almost to the top with compost. Space the plants out evenly, plant them, then top up with compost and water well.
What To Do Next
Keep picking the viola and nasturtium flowers when they are open, throwing them onto the top of salads for a finishing touch. Picking them encourages the plants to keep producing more. Let the nasturtiums trail over the edge of the bowl, but if they get too big, just cut them back.