For Theresa Halliburton and Kristen Kapoor, owners of Flouwer Co., flowers are more than just pretty faces. Since 2019, the duo has been creating a variety of pantry items—from artisanal crackers to cocktail garnishes—infused with edible blooms, and last November, they opened their first retail shop, in West Highland. “We eat with our eyes first, and it’s so fun to play and experiment with the different flavors and colors [of flowers] in recipes,” Halliburton says. Here, the neighbors-turned-business-partners share 10 of their favorite edible flower varieties that are easy to grow in Colorado.

Bloom Appétit

Flower: Nasturtium
Flavor: Savory, peppery, radish-like
Try it: Stuff flowers with a soft-cheese-and-herb mixture for a pretty appetizer; coat the lily-pad-shaped leaves with olive oil, then bake and sprinkle with garlic salt (Halliburton’s kids call these kale-chip substitutes “lily pad chips”).

Flower: Borage
Flavor: Fresh, delicate, cucumber-like
Try it: Freeze into ice cubes and add to white sangria or your favorite summer cocktail; sprinkle atop gazpacho or cold cucumber soup for a beautiful garnish; mix into salads.

Flower: Pansy and viola
Flavor: Mild, grassy
Try it: Vibrant colors and a subtle flavor make these blossoms very versatile: Use as a cocktail garnish, in veggie spring rolls, atop cupcakes, or pressed onto cookies before baking (the colors withstand heat).

Flower: Rose
Flavor: Sweet, fruity
Try it: Bake into cookies and cakes (but use caution—a little goes a long way).

Flower: Daylily
Flavor: Green bean, snow pea
Try it: Batter and fry buds and serve with a spicy aioli.

Flower: Apple blossom and crab apple blossom
Flavor: Soft, floral
Try it: Make into a syrup or jelly; mix into a fruit salad; candy flowers and use as a delicate garnish on cakes and tarts.

Flower: Alyssum
Flavor: Sweet, peppery
Try it: This relative of kale, cauliflower, and broccoli is great in soups and salads. Or dry the tiny blooms in a flower press and decorate a cake with them.

Flower: Marigold
Flavor: Bitter
Try it: Best reserved as a garnish for savory dishes. Bigger marigold varieties have loads of petals that can be used as sprinkles.

Flower: Bee balm
Flavor: Oregano, bergamot
Try it: Combine with citrus juice, extra-virgin olive oil, and herbs and use as a marinade for meat or fish.

Flower: Dill blossoms
Flavor: Fresh, grassy
Try it: Anywhere you’d use dill leaves: in salads, paired with seafood, in a jar of pickles, etc.

3 Tips For Growing Your Own Edible Flower Garden

Keep It Easy

For the hands-off gardener, Flouwer Co. sells pre-mixed seed blends that will yield colorful, flavorful edible flowers with little effort. Each blend is designed with varying bloom times in mind for a garden that’s active through the seasons.

Opt For Pots

Instead of amend-ing your yard’s soil to create a fertile environment for edible flower seeds, plant them in pots or raised beds. “It’s super easy to build a box, throw some logs in, and spread an organic soil on top,” Halliburton says, noting that the logs will help garden beds retain moisture. “Then you’re not fighting with Colorado’s clay soil.”

Go Natural

You wouldn’t spray harmful chemicals on your veggie garden, and the same rule should apply to your edible flower crop. “Stay completely away from pest-icides,” Halliburton says. “If you’re having a pest issue, it’s usually because of overcrowding or the plant is in the wrong spot.” Skip the toxins and include marigolds (edible flowers that naturally deter garden pests) in your mix.

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