In addition to providing us with vegetables, fruit and herbs, gardens and allotments are places of sanctuary and enjoyment, so it is wonderful to see so many colourful flowers in bloom through the summer as well.
What is truly delightful is the thought that, as well as being visually pleasing, many of these flowers have culinary uses too.
As I wrote earlier in the month, herbs such as borage and chamomile produce incredibly useful and pretty flowers. Chives, likewise have lovely purple pom-pom flowers, which can be eaten cooked or raw and have a strong flavour - something of a mixture between garlic and spring onions.
Courgette flowers can also be eaten, stuffed with cream cheese and herbs, or battered 'tempura' style. Nasturtium flowers are another edible treat; they taste distinctly like cress and really brighten up any plate of food.
This meal was concocted almost entirely from allotment produce. I simply fried some chopped yellow courgette and chopped chive flowers in a little olive oil; cooked the pasta and stirred through with the cooked veg, some wild rocket and nasturtium flowers (well washed, as they do attract tiny beasties) and added a sprinkling of feta cheese.
Delightful summer food!