Recent Projects: A Beautiful Edible and Low Water Front Garden

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Here’s a preview of a recent project we’re really excited to share. Apricots, agastache, lavender, pomegranates and rosemary are all feautured in this beautiful edible low water front garden. Verbenna bonariensis, leucadendrons, irises, and hellebores are some of the many perennials included in this garden that are harvested for seasonal bouquets! The last photo is of the kitchen garden located in the back.  Stay tuned as we are in the process of updating our galleries and will have more photos to share soon! 

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Edible Flowers!

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Everyone enjoys a big, cheerful bouquet of flowers, but did you know that many of the flowers you know and love are also edible? It’s true – everything from roses and nasturtiums to violas and chamomile can be sprinkled in your salad, rubbed into poultry, steeped as a tea, or dropped into a cocktail!  Here’s quick introduction to edible flowers to whet your appetite:

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1) If at first you’re not sure how many edible flowers you’ll need for your cooking, start by picking a beautiful bouquet to display in your kitchen and then use as needed. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a bouquet and taking a few petals or leaves here and there as the week progresses! The above bouquet includes mint, lavender flowers, and variegated sage that are great for teas, as well as purple violas and bronzed beauty calendula whose petals can be sprinkled in salads or on top of a sweet dessert.

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2) Harvest often! Most edible flowers like being picked, as it encourages the plant to produce new flowers. Above you have the sweet, candy-like blue borage flowers, purple and yellow violas, and a pretty mix of peppery yellow and red nasturtiums.

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3) Let your veggies go to seed! Many leafy vegetables (including arugula, chicory, and mustard greens) produce delicious flowers once the greens are too tough and bitter to eat. Above is a white, arugula flower that has a great peppery taste and gives a nice kick to your favorite salad mix.

Bronzed Beauty Calendula

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It is easy to see why Bronzed Beauty Calendula is one of our favorites!  The beautiful two toned petals are stunning in the garden and equally so in your salad mixes.  We grow Bronzed Beauty year round but this edible flower is definitely the star of our winter and spring gardens.  Plant amongst your salad and braising greens as it’s golden tones compliment the red and purple leaves of lettuces and kale this time of year.  Although this annual can be grown by seed, we usually like to pick up a couple of starts at Annie’s in the spring and then let it reseed through the summer and fall.

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SF Flower & Garden Show

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We’re heading to the SF Flower & Garden Show this week! Join us Thursday, March 20 at 2:15 pm and Sunday, March 23 at 10:30 am for a talk on The Beautiful Edible Garden! Plus Stef is giving a solo talk on Cuttings from The Beautiful Edible Garden on Sunday, March 23 at 1:00 pm.  The SF Flower & Garden Show is going green this year, so we are posting our seminar notes here.  We hope to see you at the show!



Peppermint Candyflower

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Miner lettuce’s pretty cousin — the edible Peppermint Candyflower (Claytonia sibirica). Both leaves (taste like miner’s lettuce) and flowers are edible and great additions to salad mixes.  A shade grower (partial all the way to dense!), the Peppermint Candyflower is beautiful as an underplanting to large perenials or in the shady corner of your vegetable garden.  Easy to plant by seed or start, this beautiful perennial will bloom all spring and summer long.

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Sunset Celebration Weekend!

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Mark your calendars and save the date for Sunset Magazine’s Celebration Weekend, May 31 -June 1! We are thrilled to be designing one of five demonstration gardens for this year’s event along with Bay Area designers Living Green Design, Ground Cover Landscaping, Grows Green and Sunset’s own Garden Editors (all shown here).  We’ll be sharing updates and behind the scenes photos on our instagram and facebook feeds –make sure to check in and follow our progress!

This week on Instagram

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A  few days of rain has done wonders for our gardens this week!  Especially for the edible flowers. Rosemary, Violas, Calendula and English Lawn Daisies — we are harvesting them all!


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Spring Events

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We have lots of fun events coming up this spring — come out and join us!

feb 1 blog 4February 5th, 10:45 am:

Join Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, for “The Beautiful Edible Garden, Artfully Incorporating Edibles into Your Garden”, Seattle, WA.

March 20th and March 23rd: (time TBA)

Join Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show, for“The Beautiful Edible Garden”, talk and book signing!, San Francisco, CA.

March 23rd, 1:00 pm:
Join Stefani Bittner at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show for “Good Enough to Eat: Cuttings from The Beautiful Edible Garden”. A hands-on demonstration on how to include edible flowers, herbs and cuttings from your vegetable garden. Make home-grown bouquets using an array of surprisingly delicious—and beautiful—edibles from your own kitchen garden, veggie patch or orchard., San Francisco, CA.

Feb 1 blog 3April 12th, 11:00 am:
Join Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner at Annie’s Annuals for “The Beautiful Edible Garden”, talk and book signing!, Richmond, CA.

May 2nd: (time TBA)
Join Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner at Garden Conservancy, The Gardens at Heather Farm for “Designing the Edible Garden”, Walnut Creek, CA