Let’s have a romantic theme for things you can eat this month. What can you grow that’s romantic to eat? Flowers, of course!
Many fancy restaurants sneak a petal or two into their cooking; and at Chelsea Flower Show time you can’t move for special menus featuring flowers. Why not give it a go? It goes without saying, if you do grow flowers to eat, don’t spray them with pesticides or chemicals, and wash them carefully before use
This month is the best time to plant seeds for summer-blooming flowers if you have a greenhouse, shed or unheated spare room to put the pots in. It’s too cold to sow them outside just yet, so keep it all indoors for the time being.
So what flowers can you eat? Well, for starters, nasturtiums – not just the flowers, but the leaves too, which have a strong peppery kick. Very exciting when snipped into in a green salad, like a game of lettuce roulette. Happily, nasturtiums are a) fabulous to look at, with their traffic-light colours and big circular foliage; and b) easy to grow pretty much anywhere.
Next on the menu, violas. So pretty, so simple to grow, so small (so you don’t need much space). Violets work well too; they’ve been used for centuries to decorate desserts, cakes and sweets. And violets will self-seed in every pot, paving crack, and nook in your garden brickwork - which could be good or bad!
Jasmine is the final course. Around the Mediterranean, mint tea is the cuppa of choice; in Eastern parts of the globe, they spike black tea with jasmine flowers. If you like Chinese food, you might have sipped fragrant jasmine tea at the end of your meal. Very relaxing and soothing, as well as sweetly scented. Perfect for a romantic meal for two.