Fresh Clips: Herb Bouquets

Lovely and edible herb bouquets spruce up a kitchen and help out with your cooking, too.

| April/May 2012

  • Because so many plants—even those closely related to edible ones—can be toxic, be very careful with edible flower bouquets. Never mix in unknown flowers.
    Photo by Rina Lyubavina

Many of the plants that we think of as herbs and edible flowers are lovely in herb bouquets. An herb-and-flower arrangement will be a fragrant and utilitarian addition to your kitchen counter. You can pluck leaves from the plants for cooking or garnishing plates while enjoying their beauty as you prepare the meal.

Herbs and Flowers for Bouquets

These edible herbs and flowers hold up well in the vase and should, in combination, provide you with bounteous herb bouquets over a long season:

ANISE HYSSOP (Agastache foeniculum) is a member of the mint family and is a tender perennial that self-seeds. Both the foliage and the flowers have an anise scent. The foliage is a bit coarse, but the lavender flowers are quite nice in edible flower bouquets.

BASIL (Ocimum basilicum) varies in usefulness as a cut flower. The large-leaved green varieties wilt quickly, but some of the smaller-leaved varieties will hold up for days. Dark opal basil, with purple-and-green-streaked foliage, is a good choice. So are cinnamon basil and ‘Oriental Breeze’.

BERGAMOT (Monarda didyma), also called monarda,belongs to the mint family and has bright, shaggy flowers that grow in whorls around the stem. The foliage has a minty, citrusy flavor.

CALENDULA (Calendula officinalis) has yellow or orange flowers, and a sprinkling of calendula petals is a popular garnish. Grow one of the tall cultivars such as ‘Prince’ or ‘Kablouna’.

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