One of the most enjoyable parts of working in the PCC garden is growing flowers — in the beds, in the borders, for arrangements, for insects, for plates! Beauty and functionality merge in the floral world. Flowers have an essential function of attracting pollinators to plants, enabling us to achieve our goal of growing the food crops that result. Keeping flowers growing year-round keeps the garden on the map for insects to come, visit, or stay. Our borders, which are planted in both edible fruit trees, herbs, and non-edible (for humans) insectary plants, help to anchor the space for pollinators. Interestingly, the also anchor the space for people, who see them flowering and are attracted to come and investigate as well. And they make up the fundaments of most of the bouquets I arrange for the cafe each week.

Border in bloom, June 2018

Last month’s KCRA segment highlighted another active flower function in the garden: edible flowers for garnishes and plates at the cafe. Calendula, blue borage, bachelor’ buttons, sweet williams (dianthus), nasturtiums, and even zinnias can be used to add a little kick and extra beauty to salads, cheese plates, and entrees. And edible flowers really shine in cocktails and desserts, where an element of decoration and subtlety can make a good thing great. Check out this nice article from Sunset magazine for more details:¬†

Violets. Plant these in the fall and have them for eating in winter and spring. Good for shady areas.

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