One thing I like about gardening in my parking strip is offering tastes of various munchables to neighbors and friends. Something that always seems to blow them away is that many of the flowers I grow are actually edible. Most don’t taste like much on their own, but can be a fun and wacky accent to salads, drinks, appetizers, cakes, etc.
The photo below features mostly edible flowers, including marigolds, thyme flowers, nasturtium, pansies, and three different colors of calendula:
Sunflower, daylily, borage, bachelor’s buttons, and lavender all grow easily in a sunny, hot parking strip and all are edible. Violets are easy to grow in some shade but can be invasive.
Be sure to garden without pesticides if you plan to eat your flowers! And know what you’re eating, since many flowers are poisonous (including sweet pea flowers, which a friend once found in her drink at a fancy restaurant, to her horror!) Find at least a partial list of what should be safe here. And for further reading, check out The Edible Flower Garden by Rosalind Creasy, a fun and lavishly photographed book of recipes and suggestions for ways to include flowers in your culinary creations. One super easy and impressive recipe, which I think came from Creasy’s book: gather and wash a variety of edible flowers. Snip them into small sections, and mix all the colors together. Sprinkle them on plastic wrap, place a log of goat cheese on top, and roll the cheese and flowers up in the plastic wrap. Chill and then unwrap it before serving with crackers or thin rounds of french bread. Guests never fail to ooh and ah. Great for picnics!