Container Gardening Inspiration: Edible Nasturtiums

Are you thinking about starting a garden this year? Do you just have room for a windowbox or perhaps one little pot? Are you trying to choose between a pot of flowers and a kitchen herb or vegetable? Well, you really don't have make that last decision, at least. You can have your salad and your flowers at the same time: grow lovely, delicious nasturtiums!

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Nasturtiums have bright, beautiful blossoms and round lilypad-like leaves, and everything is edible. The leaves and flowers are slightly peppery and refreshing; the plant is related to watercress. Even the seed pods are edible — you can pickle them like capers. Just toss it all together in a big, beautiful salad like the one above.

They are easy to grow, and then come in all sorts of varieties for different spaces. Some varieties are low and creeping — just right for a small pot. Others will climb up a trellis or wire; I am planting one variety that is supposed to grow 6-8 feet in the summer! I am going to plant it in windowboxes hanging on the back deck and train the vines up nylon cord to create a summer privacy screen.

These hardy litte flowers don't need much attention; they actually bloom better when they are not well fertilized. They don't like too much heat or drought, but other than that, they are quite easy.

One more edible flower: chives and chive blossoms! Sow some chive seeds in a windowbox and enjoy the onion-chive flavors in your salads and the nodding purple puffs. The more you cut chives the more they will produce.

Are you putting any edible flowers in your garden this year?

More edible flower inspiration:
Seasonal Spotlight: Edible Flowers
Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup
Edible flower and shrimp salad
How to Use Chive Blossoms in Salads and Other Dishes
Seasonal Spotlight: Nasturtiums

(Images: Flickr member SantaRosa OLD SKOOL licensed for use under Creative Commons; Flickr member Sancho Papa licensed for use under Creative Commons; Faith Durand)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.

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