Edible Flower Spotlight — 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








A Year of Beautiful Gardens

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Whew! It’s been an amazing year — thank you for being a part of it.  Thought we’d share a few favorite images from 2013 as we reflect on all the new friends, gardens and even vegetables (myoga ginger!)  we have met and created this year.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!


Stef, Leslie and all the folks here at Star Apple

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Amazon’s Best Garden Books

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We have great news to share! The Beautiful Edible Garden has been selected as one of Amazon’s Best Garden Books of 2013. Hooray! We are thrilled to be included on the list with our friends and colleagues, Jill Rizzo and Alethea Harampolis from Studio Choo (The Flower Recipe Book), fellow Ten Speed Press author Pam Penick (Lawn Gone!) and Bay Area landscape designer Rebecca Sweet (Refresh Your Garden Design with Color, Texture and Form). Congratulations to them all!


Carolyn Cope’s Umami Girl Blog is a favorite around here and so we are super excited that The Beautiful Edible Garden was a recent topic!  If you don’t know Umami Girl yet  – make sure to check out the blog for great tips and inspiration for healthy living and culinary adventures! Here’s an excerpt with a link to the full blog post!

The Beautiful Edible Garden by Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner | Umami Girl


THE TAKEAWAY. There are lots of reasons to want to grow some of your own food and just as many reasons to not want to turn your yard or balcony into a full-on family farm. The Beautiful Edible Garden shows you how to strike a lovely and livable balance, whether you’re a novice gardener like me or a more experienced grower in search of a fresh approach. It’s both inspiring and realistic, and it reads kind of like hanging out with a friend you admire. Although gardening season may seem far away if you live in a chilly climate, this is the perfect time to start dreaming and scheming for the spring. This book would make a great holiday gift, too… read more