A Feast of Edible Flowers

From pastel pansy-pressed lollipops, to viola crepes and cornflower cocktails, it can be said that edible flower cuisine is a trend that is blossoming in the hottest restaurants and bars around the world.

In years past, you would see nasturtium and marigold flowers adorning green salads and consider it cutting edge. These days, the likes of dishes such as Beef Short Rib Hash and Poached Egg topped with Tiger Eye Pansies and Nasturtiums and Spring Lamb Tortellini with Wild Mustard Flowers, show just how far the edible flower trend has come, taking pretty petals to dizzying new heights.

If you are planning a wedding, event or special dinner party, consider a floral theme that carries through from your bridal bouquet, buttonholes, and table centrepieces; to your entree, main course, and dessert. Even your aperitif cocktail. The options are endless and excitingly edible.

Below is a taste from of our latest Pinterest inspiration boards, Summertime Floral Cocktails and An Edible Flower Menu…hungry?

The most important criteria when cooking with edible flowers is to ensure they have not been sprayed with pesticides and you wash them thoroughly before using. Commercial caterers will have access to safe produce, or if entertaining at home, you are likely to find many edible flowers in your garden (or your neighbour’s if you ask nicely!)

Our Top Five Edible Flowers

Borage Flowers

Also known as starflowers, borage have a mild, cucumber like taste. Great in salads, the purple flowers can also be candied or even battered and fried. They make a pretty purple garnish for summery drinks including smoothies and gin cocktails. We love this picture below of borage ravioli in-the- making. (1)

Borage flower ravioli     Edible borage flower

 

Cornflowers

According to the UK’s edible flower shop, dried cornflower petals have a delicate clove-like flavour and vivid cobalt-blue colouring, perfect for decorating sweet or savoury food and cocktails. The petals have many uses, such as a natural food colouring and to make floral teas. The cobalt-blue cornflower petals also give off colour and aromas when infused in liquids. Try adding a pinch of cornflowers to a sugar syrup, and use for Italian meringues, marshmallows or cocktails. Or mix the cornflower with a little hot water, and then add icing sugar for a naturally-coloured, and delicately-flavoured frosting, according to www.souschef.co.uk .(2)

 

Bridal bouquet featuring edible cornflowers       Cornflour cocktails

Nasturtiums

In addition to salads, nasturtiums can be chopped and used in lemon butter or mayonnaise. You can also use the leaves in potato soup and add the flowers to garnish. (3)

Edible salad of nasturtiums Nasturtium salad

Chive Blossoms

Chive blossoms possess a delicate onion flavour and can be used along with, or instead of, the chive stalks in a variety of dishes such as mash potato (for colour and flavour), or fried in a tempura batter as a delicious side dish.(4)

Popcorn chive blossom cupcake     Flower arrangement incorporating edible chive blossom flowers

 

Pansies and Violets

Pansies and violets look great frozen inside ice cubes and add beautiful colour to summer salads. You can also make old fashioned violet syrup, candied pansies to decorate cakes, and even violet tea. Some say they have a minty flavour and can be used to make a delicious oil (5) to dress salads and fresh fish. They are also apparently high in Vitamin C and Iron!

Bridal bouquet featuring edible pansies      A little bubbly with edible pansies

There are so many fabulous and accessible edible flowers that work beautifully in both flower arrangements as well as exquisite cuisine and cocktails. Have you had any success cooking or baking with flower petals? We’d love to hear about it!

References

1. Six Edible Flowers You Can Find in the Garden http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2013/10/14/3868493.htm

2. Dried Cornflower http://www.souschef.co.uk/dried-cornflower.html

3. Six Edible Flowers You Can Find in the Garden http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2013/10/14/3868493.htm

4. Six Edible Flowers You Can Find in the Garden http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2013/10/14/3868493.htm

5. Gardenguides.com http://www.gardenguides.com/75111-edible-pansies.html

 

A Xmas Food & Flower Tasting Plate

How delicious is steak served with the right bodied red, or a creme brulee with a perfectly matched sticky dessert wine? It is common to pair food with wine, but what about food with flowers? Well in the spirit of the Christmas holidays, we thought we’d have a go at matching typical festive Australian fare with flowers. And here is the result…we are positive that these pairings will only enhance the taste of your Christmas dinner this year!

Prawns and Heliconia

This summer try pairing chilled prawns with cheeky Heliconia flowers straight from the North Queensland tropics. A match made in seafood and sun heaven!

Chilled Prawns Beautifully Paired with Tropical Heliconia Flowers for Xmas         Tropical Heliconia Flowers for an Australian Xmas

Eggnog and Gardenia

Aromatic, creamy Christmas-time eggnog and cinnamon stick straws are beautifully paired with exotically fragrant, summery gardenia blooms arranged elegantly in a crystal vase. Yum!

Creamy, aromatic eggnog for Christmas served with a crystal vase of exotically perfumed gardenias. Bliss! Bouquets. Flower Arrangements. Send flowers online. Same day flower delivery.    A fragrant summery gardenia is paired beautiful with aromatic, creamy eggnog for Christmas. Send flowers online. Florists. Flower delivery.

Pavlova and Dahlias

How about a summer pavlova smothered in luscious cream and topped with mixed red berries teamed with the aptly named ‘Santa Claus’ dahlia? Fluffy balls of loveliness with fluffy sweet meringue for Christmas…Sign me up!

An elegant Aussie Xmas pavlova would look extra delicious paired with the 'Santa Claus' dahlia. Online flowers. Florist. Send Flowers Online.     The 'Santa Claus' dahlia in red and white is paired beautifully with a summer berry Aussie pavlova for Christmas... Online flowers. Online florist. Send flowers online. Same day flower delivery. Florist.

Pineapple Glazed Ham and Hibiscus 

What better food-flower match than a pineapple glazed Christmas ham surrounded by shallow bowls of floating tropical hibiscus? So Australian!

A pineapple glazed Christmas ham looks great with shallow bowls of floating tropical hibiscus flowers. So summery. So Australian! Florist. Send flowers online. Online florist. Florists. Flower delivery.     Hibiscus flower with pineapple glazed ham for Christmas anyone? Send flowers online. Flower delivery online. Florist. Flowers Online.

White Christmas and Sherry Baby Orchids

It is not an Aussie xmas without mum’s moorish slices of White Christmas filled with cherries, dried fruit, rice bubbles and sweetened condensed milk. And what better floral match are these honey-scented, frilly Sherry Baby orchids, yes?

Moorish White Christmas filled with cherries and dried fruit looks great with frilly and fragrant Sherry Baby Oncidium orchids...     Dainty 'Sherry Baby' orchids smell like honey and look fantastic with cherry-filled slices of White Christmas. Online florist. Send flowers online. Flower Delivery.

Candy Canes and Henri Matisse Roses

Why not team a fishbowl vase filled with blown Henri Matisse roses alongside mason jars of striped candy canes on your table this Christmas? It’s a perfect match!

Candy canes would look extra sweet if served with a bowl of Henri Matisse roses, yes? Send flowers online. Florist. Online florist.     Just imagine a fishbowl vase filled with a ball of blown Henri Matisse roses next to a bowl of Xmas candy canes...delicious! Online flowers. Flowers online. Florist. Send flowers. Same day flower delivery.

Rich Christmas Pudding and Cymbidium Orchids

Oh silent night, holy night! If there was ever a more perfect pairing of Christmas fare with flowers, it would be this rich English Xmas pudding served with brandy custard and an abundance of chocolate Cymbidium orchids spilling out of a tall vase. Pure decadence.

A rich Christmas pudding looks extra-decadent teamed with chocolate Cymbidium orchids. Luscious flowers online. Florist. Flower Delivery      Chocolate Cymbidium orchids served with a generous slice of rich Xmas pudding and brandy cream, mmmmm..... Florist. Online florist. Send flowers.

 

We would love your input on the perfect pairing of festive food and flowers for Christmas! Send us your suggestions in the comments box below and we will post the best ideas to our Pinterest inspiration board, ‘Christmas Food & Flower Matching’

We Heart Hydrangea

Fluffy, balls of loveliness. Fresh or dried. En-masse or mixed with other blooms. We heart hydrangeas.

Currently in season, we felt it appropriate to dedicate an ode to one of our favourite flowers. Hydrangeas flower from early Spring to late Autumn. They bloom in a varying array of colours ranging from soft pastel blue, pink, mauve and green, to vibrant cornflower blue, deep purple and rose pink, to pure white.

And understandably, brides around the world can’t get enough of them.

Read on for a few interesting facts about our favourite fluffy balls of loveliness…

The Hydrangea is Asian

Although hydrangeas conjure an image of an ‘English cottage garden’, the hydrangea is actually native to southern and eastern Asia (China, Japan, Korea, the Himalayas, and Indonesia) and the Americas. By far the greatest species diversity is in eastern Asia, notably China, Japan, and Korea. (1)

A Hydrangea has Three Distinct Heads

The ‘mophead’ is a globe shaped flower cluster, the most commonly recognized form of Hydrangea bloom. The ‘panicle’ presents a long, somewhat cone-shaped flower; and the ‘lacecap’ is a flattened cluster of what appear to be tiny, immature buds surrounded at the edges by four to five petal flowers. (2)

It’s Easier to Change a Hydrangea Colour from Pink to Blue, than Blue to Pink

White blooms will always be white. And it is much easier to change a hydrangea from pink to blue than it is from blue to pink. Changing a hydrangea from pink to blue entails adding aluminum to the soil. Changing from blue to pink means subtracting aluminum from the soil or taking it out of reach of the hydrangea. Managing the pH of soil will have an impact on the colour of your hydrangea blooms.

You can have the most control over the color of your hydrangeas when grown in pots, as it is much easier to control or alter the pH of the soil in a container than it is in the ground. (3)

Hydrangea tea is an ancient natural herbal remedy

Although some forms of hydrangea are toxic, certain teas can be made from specific species of hydrangea which can offer various benefits for those that drink it. This tea is sweet in flavor and usually made from the root of the hydrangea plant. (4)

To celebrate our beloved hydrangea, we have created a Pinterest inspiration board called ‘We Heart Hydrangea’. Check out some of our favourite pics below (yum, yum, yum!)

Flowers for Everyone’s dedicated bridal flower studio in Sydney, BridesinBloom, can create a beautiful hydrangea inspired wedding. Contact our Bridal Flower Manager, Megan, by email megan@bridesinbloom.com.au or on 02 8746 0800 for a free quote.

 

References

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrangea 

2. http://www.theflowerexpert.com/content/growingflowers/flowersandseasons/hydrangea

3. http://www.hydrangeashydrangeas.com/colorchange.html

4. http://hydrangeatea.com/

Bush to Bouquet

Looking at our flowers online and the beautiful displays in our florist shops it can be difficult to imagine what they may look like actually growing on a plant or bush. Alternatively if you are lucky enough to see them in their natural environment, it can be hard to conceive how they would look in a stylish flower arrangement.

As an insight into the origin of commercially grown flowers prior to their stems hitting our workshops, we asked farmer suppliers for snapshots of native Australian flowers currently in bloom on their properties. Here is a peek of what these stunners look like on the bush and on the land before being picked for sale to star in the likes of weddings, hotel foyers and dining tables.

THE ‘KING WHITE’ PROTEA

Proteas originated in South Africa and are related to Australian natives such as the Waratah, Grevillia and Banksia. The ‘King White’ Protea is the biggest Protea flower of all, with its head growing up to 30cm in diameter. You can also get ‘King Pinks’. The King Whites pictured below were taken on one of our farmer’s properties in Longford, Victoria. Spectacular!

Now here’s a little insight into what King Protea’s can look like when florists get their hands on them….

THE HUMBLE WAXFLOWER

The waxflower is native to South West Western Australia and its most popular species is the Geraldton Wax. We were lucky enough to receive images from our farmers of their waxflowers currently in bloom in Dandaragan, Western Australia (below). Their dainty little cup shaped petals come in a variety of colours, from white, cream and shades of pink and purple to yellow, apricot, orange and watermelon red.

Waxflowers last for ages and look great either as a filler in flower bouquets or simply on their own. Here are some sweet waxflower bouquets, arrangements and designs featured on our Pinterest board ‘Australian Native Flower Design Inspirations’.

PRETTY BLUSHING BRIDE

Blushing Brides are part of the Protea family and originated in South Africa. The images below from our farmers in Victoria’s Grampions show what Blushing Brides look like growing on a bush. Their stems can grow between 30 to 60cm in length, and the flower heads display paper white floral leaves surrounded by feathery ‘tufts’ of white to pink flowers. Yum, yum, yum!

Blushing Brides growing on farm                         Picture 035

It is believed these pretty flowers got the name Blushing Brides because of their traditional use in bridal bouquets in South Africa. Take a look at how these beauties transition from the bush to a bouquet or boutonniere below…

Stay tuned for more insights on flowers from the ‘bush to bouquet’. Images direct from our farmers of their flowers growing ‘on the land’, and the stems that ultimately appear in stylish flower arrangements and bouquets.

 

2014 Wedding Flower Trends

Our floral design team are busy browsing local and international blogs and magazines for inspiration on 2014 wedding flower trends. Check out some of our favourite country-themed wedding flower ideas for 2013-2014 below. We are super excited about theming country, garden, barn and vineyard weddings scheduled over the summer season and beyond with these gorgeous designs!

SUCCULENTS

Succulents add texture, depth and interest to wedding bouquets, buttonholes and corsages, table centrepieces and chair decorations. They are also ideal for the hot Australian summer wedding season, when flowers are prone to wilting in the heat. Succulent colours and shapes are diverse and abstract, from lime green and silver to soft pink and dark chocolate, spiky and twisted to rounded and ‘rose-like’.

For a country theme wedding, succulent heads look particularly gorgeous mixed with romantic cottage-garden blooms, wildflowers, herbs and native ferns, and their colourings are neutral enough to blend with any palette theme.

FLORAL CROWNS

Think woodland nymph. Floral headpieces, from sweet and dainty numbers to extravagant avant-garde showstoppers are trending in weddings all around the world.

Perfect for a bush or country-themed wedding, floral headpieces are a fantastic way to express a bride’s individual style and personality. Ask for a full circle or ‘half-crown’ depending on the look you are after.

TRAILING, FREE-FLOWING, VINTAGE

According to online UK weddings website http://www.weddingideasmag.com, trailing florals are set to trend.

UK florist ‘The Flower House’ predicts that “soft greens and creams will be go-to colour choices for 2014 brides, with bouquet styles becoming looser.

“The trend will definitely be towards more trailing designs rather than the massed, hand tied styles of previous years”, claim The Flower House.

“Soft flowing flowers such as clematis and jasmine suit this kind of bouquet beautifully. Succulents are also becoming popular and can make an unusual but striking display.”

And be rest assured ‘vintage’ is not going anywhere in a hurry, with brides still not able to get enough of this look. Antique colour palettes, handles wrapped in vintage lace and heirlooms, and loose flowing bouquets and posies reminiscent of generations-past family wedding images. Trailing, vintage and free-flowing effects can be created for a country-themed wedding, whether you opt for a mix of English garden-like flowers or Australian natives and wildflowers.

* Blog post banner image: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/385409680582910942/

 Discuss your wedding flower needs with our dedicated bridal division based in Sydney, BridesinBloom. Phone +61 2 9564 3540.