Gardening

Edible plants and flowers in the garden: Benefits and characteristics

Hello gardeners! In today’s article we are going to learn which are the most important edible flowers that we can grow in the garden. We will also see its benefits and characteristics.

Garden plants and flowers

At first, the gardens were conceived as a source of natural medicine in the convents. In them the plants that were cultivated were species with healing properties such as borage , used as a poultice for inflammations, chamomile , which used as an infusion facilitates digestion and cures insomnia or lemon balm , which has a calming effect for bites. of insects. However, the use that is given today to the orchards is different from that of then and the species that are cultivated are more numerous. With the discovery of the New World, new species were introduced, some of which are the ones that are being cultivated the most in traditional gardens, such as tomatoes or potatoes.

Due to the large number of species that we currently have, orchards can be very varied. We can grow from the most common vegetables, through legumes, aromatic plants and even ornamental plants suitable for human consumption.

Vegetables

The group of vegetables that are used can be divided according to the part of the plant that is consumed. There are leafy vegetables, fruit, stem and we also find the group of cabbages.

Leafy vegetables

The leafy vegetables are lettuce, escarole, endive, lettuce, chard. These vegetables grow quickly and without too many demands on their cultivation. A good programming of our garden can make us enjoy these vegetables throughout the year.

Fruit vegetables

In fruit vegetables , as expected, the fruit is consumed and this group includes tomato, pepper, aubergine, strawberry or melon. For urban gardens the tomatoes that are produced are called “Cherry”. This type of tomato is smaller than the conventional one and this makes its cultivation in this type of orchard much easier because it takes up less space. Another of the vegetables that is most in demand for this type of orchard is the strawberry.

This is because what we usually buy are strawberries, which do not have the texture, color or flavor that strawberries can have. These are much smaller, with an intense red color and a flavor not comparable to that of strawberries.

Stem vegetables

Celery or asparagus are stem vegetables . Asparagus can be considered a luxury vegetable, so it can be a good option for our garden. Once the plants are established, we can obtain tender and juicy stems for about fifteen years. However, it takes about two years to produce a crop. For the cultivation of this species it is very important to do a good preparation of the land and with a good quality of the soil.

Roots and tubers

Some of the vegetables whose roots and tubers we consume are carrots, potatoes or radishes. As with tomatoes, there is a variety of carrot called “Baby”, which is smaller than the conventional carrot and can be a good alternative for gardens with little space.

Bulbs

We can also grow bulbs like onion or garlic. These plants are very hardy and easy to grow. They also give the garden an ornamental touch, since the leaves are different in shape, they are ribbon-shaped, contrasting with other more squat plants. There are a few varieties of Japanese chives that give a more lively appearance during the winter months when the garden can seem a bit more drab.

Vegetables

In addition to vegetables, we can also put legumes such as green beans, peas or beans in our garden . These species are a very important source of vitamins and minerals, which makes them an essential part of the garden. Its cultivation is easy and does not require too much care. They also provide a vertical element to the garden and a multitude of colors for both their flowers and their pods.

Aromatic plants

The aromatic plants occupy a very important place in urban gardens. Today you want to have fresh seasonings at home and the easiest and healthiest way to have them is by growing them in your own garden. These plants do not require large spaces, they can even remain in pots, making it possible to grow them in any home. In addition, as there are pots made of biodegradable materials , we will have our plants obtained in the most ecological way. Of the aromatic plant species, the ones that stand out the most are parsley, oregano, basil, mint or rosemary. They are also very decorative species and most have medicinal uses. They also serve as a claim to beneficial insects that will help the pollination of the rest of the plants in our garden.

Edible ornamental plants

As we have already mentioned, nowadays the garden does not have the same purposes as the first gardens that existed in the convents, nor are the same plants cultivated. The gardens are conceived for something more than traditional food, they are considered as decorative elements  and as a source of innovation within the kitchen. This is why edible ornamental plants are grown .

These types of plants are no longer used simply as decoration in the kitchen, they are also used as ingredients, especially in salads. The edible flowers are from plants such as violet, nasturtium, calendula, carnations, elderberry, roses or sunflower. In the case of violets, both the leaves and flowers are eaten raw, and the caramelized petals are often used for cake decorating.

Nasturtiums have a pleasant spicy taste and are used in salads and tortillas. Carnations are very good in oil or vinegar infusion and can also be caramelized to decorate cakes or puddings. Caramelized rose petals are widely used as decoration in pastry, however they can also be used in jams, jellies, honey or in vinegar infusion.

The orchards provide us with very varied and excellent quality food, in addition to providing us with personal satisfaction since we eat what we have taken care of with our own hands. If we want to have a garden at home and we do not have much space for it, we can plant a couple of aromatic plants such as parsley and basil, which are always good to season any dish, a tomato plant and some lettuces to have very rich and healthy salads. and some plants of violets to decorate those salads when there are visitors to surprise … Bon appetit!

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