By: Lara Velez
Ah…Spring. After months of cold weather, of course you think of flowers when Spring arrives. I will cover many different angles of the beautiful flowers of Spring, including; edible flowers, toxic flowers, flower recipes, tips on how to care for them, and rose colors…what do they say? Come…join me…
The Best Flowers for Spring
Please note: Not all of the flowers in this article are edible. Please see the list below for which flowers are edible and which ones are poisonous.
- Tulips – (from genus “Tulipa”) From the Turkish for turban, after its rounded form. They are originally from the Middle East and are available November to May (January to April for British tulips).
- Tupli Care Tips: Tulips continue to grow in water and will curve towards the light. Make allowances for this when putting them in a vase or wrap the stems tightly in newspaper and stand them in water directly beneath a light for a few hours.
- Dill – The botanical name is Anethem graveolens. Graveolens means having a strong scent. Dill is available from spring to autumn. It is a cousin of the humble carrot. Dill has a pungent and tangy flavor. It is best used with breads, fish, cheese, salads, and vegetables – especially cucumbers.
- Lily of the Valley – (from genus “Convallaria”, full name “Convallaria majalis”) It was first cultivated in 1420. It is mostly available in the months of April and May. The Lily of the Valley signifies a “return to happiness”. It is also frequently used in bridal arrangements for their sweet perfume. Traditionally associated with May 1st, especially in France where the “muguet” is handed out at special events.
- Lily of the Valley Care Tips: Must not be left out of water too long. Keep cool and shaded.
- Sweet Pea – Botanical name is Lathyrus odoratus – odoratus means scented. They originated in Italy and are available March to November. Sweet peas mean “delicate pleasures”.
- Sweet Pea Care Tips: Keep cool, always in water, and away from ripening fruit. Commercial sweet peas are treated after cutting to prolong their life; garden-cut ones may only last one or two days but florists’ peas can last over a week.
- Roses – (from genus “Rosaceae”) Botanical name Rosa – It is originally from China and is now cultivated from America to Africa and from Eastern Europe to the Far East. It is available all year round and probably the best known and best-loved flower in the world.
- Rose Care Tips: Limp roses can be revived by standing up to their necks in lukewarm water in a cool room. Do not bash the stems as this prevents them taking up water effectively.
ROSE COLOR MEANINGS
|Red||Love, respect, devotion|
|Deep Pink||Gratitude, appreciation, thank you|
|Light Pink||Admiration, respect, sympathy,regard|
|Yellow||Joy, gladness, glee|
|Red and Yellow||Gaiety, joviality, fun-loving, humorous|
|Yellow||Sociability, friendship, comradeship|
DO NOT EAT: Lily-of-the-Valley, Bleeding Heart, Buttercup, Iris, Calla Lily, Narcissus or Daffodil, Lupine, Petunia, Sweet Pea, Monkshood, Periwinkle, Rhododendron and Azalea, Oleander, Delphinium, Clematis, Foxglove, Hellebore, Wisteria, Crocus, Poinsettias, Mistletoe, Nightshade, and African Violet…just to name a few.
EDIBLE SPRING FLOWERS
APPLE – May – Slightly floral, sour
CHERVIL – May/June – parsley-like with a hint of tarragon, citrus
CHIVE – May/June – onion, strong
CORIANDER – June/Frost – like leaf, but more fragrant
ENGLISH DAISY – April/Sept – mild
DANDELION – May/July – like leaves, bitter
DILL – June/Frost – like leaves, but stronger
ELDERBERRY – May/June – floral, mild
GRAPE HYACINTH – April/May – grapey, bitter after-taste, slight sour
HONEYSUCKLE – May/July – honey sweet, perfumed
LILAC – April/May – perfumed, slightly bitter
MUSTARD – April/May – hot, mustard
GARDEN PEA – May/June – raw peas
PLUM – April/May – mild, like flower nectar
ROSE – May/Sept – perfume, sweet to bitter
GARDEN SAGE – May/July – flowery sage, slightly musky
SCENTED GERANIUM – throughout year – varies, slightly sour or bitter
SWEET WOODRUFF – May – sweet, grassy, vanilla
TULIP – April/May – slightly bitter or sweet
VIOLET (PANSY) – April/July – Mild, leafy green, some varieties sweet
If you plan on entertaining this Spring…you may want to make a beautiful flower ice bowl for presentation of one of your cold dishes or use it as a center piece.
SPRING FLOWERS ICE BOWL
You will need:
- assorted spring flowers…or just one kind
- greenery (optional)
- masking tape
- 2 glass bowls with a size difference of 2 inches
Place a few of your flowers on the bottom of the larger bowl. Place the smaller bowl in the larger bowl, on top of the flowers. Fill the space between the bowls, slowly, with water. Using a skewer to push them down into the water, add the rest of your flowers in the space around the bowl. Secure the smaller bowl in the larger bowl using the masking tape. Wrap the tape tightly across the top of the bowls, making sure that the smaller bowl is centered. Freeze at least 4 hours, or overnight. Remove from freezer and let stand for 5 minutes. Gently pull smaller bowl and remove your ice bowl from larger bowl. Put it in the freezer until you are ready to use it.
You can use these ice bowls to serve; salad, custards, fruit, sherbert, or you may fill it with fresh flowers and use it as a center piece.
Well, I hope you have a great Spring. I have included some recipes I found below. Enjoy the weather and enjoy yourself! HAPPY SPRING!
Copyright © Lara Velez, The Recipe Finder, All Rights Reserved
*The following recipes were taken from The American Rose Society with permission from the author; Jolene Adams.
Making Gumdrop Roses
by Jolene Adams
Flatten gumdrops with a rolling pin on surface or sheet of waxed paper sprinkled with sugar.
Roll each piece until very thin (about 1/16-inch thick), turning frequently to coat with sugar.
Shaping gumdrop roses Holding a flattened gumdrop at the center, overlap edges slightly to give a petal effect, pressing the piece together at base to resemble a rose bud.
For an open blossom, bend gumdrop petals outward from the center. Insert a small piece of gumdrop in the center with a wooden pick, if desired.
Use a wooden pick to attach flowers to a cake if necessary.
Hip! Hip!! Hooray!!!
By Jolene Adams
Ripe rose hips
One of the rose garden’s many bounties occurs each fall as the last roses bloom and succulent rose hips form. These hips are actually seed pods and are edible. Remember — roses and apples are cousins!! So the hip forms like a little “rose apple”. Depending on the type of rose, the hips will differ in shape, size, sweetness, color and time it takes to ripen. As with all fruit, you will know when the hip is ripe because the sides will “give” slightly when you gently squeeze the pod. In my yard I have roses that make big, round hips that start out green and slowly turn bright pumpkin orange. There are two other bushes whose hips are slender and “flask” or “coke bottle” shaped and they tend to turn reddish brown. The best and biggest hips in my yard are on Altissimo (a climber) and Hansa (one of the rugosas).
The hip forms after the bloom has withered, so if you want to harvest hips you must stop deadheading the roses in August.
When I was a little girl, my grandmother taught me to make green apple jelly. She also adapted her recipe to make jelly from the rose hips in the fall. It’s pretty simple, and very tasty. Rose hips have from 10 to100 times more vitamin C than most natural products along with vitamins A, E, B-1, niacin, K and P along with calcium, phosphorous and iron.
If you want to try this winter ritual, here’s how to start.
Be very sure the roses haven’t been sprayed with insecticide or dusted with sulfur. This is very important. You want clean, untainted rose hips for your jelly.
Watch the hips form and when they are the right color (or you are sure they are ripe), pick them off. Most rose hip recipes require a good amount of rose hips.
Have sterilized jelly jars ready.
Wash the hips and chop them (nowadays, I use a food processor). Since this is going to be a jelly (which will be strained any way) you don’t need to remove the skin or pick out the seeds. Just don’t puree the stuff until the seeds break up — if broken, they add bitterness to the jelly.
(Some recipes call for apple pieces to provide extra juiciness, which reduces the quantity of hips needed but not the particular taste and aroma of the hips.)
“NO PECTIN” ROSE HIP JAM
Boil 2 lbs of chopped rose hips in 2 pints of water until good and tender. Rub the pulp through a fine sieve to remove the seeds and basically make a puree.
Peel, quarter and remove seeds from 4 to 5 green apples and boil in water until soft. Rub them through the sieve also.
Combine the apple and rose hip puree with 2 1/2 to 3 cups of sugar and 1/3 of a cup of lemon juice. The solution should be cloudy with minutes bits of the rose and apple pulp.
Bring to a boil and continue boiling for another 15 minutes.
When it has reached the desired consistency, pour into sterilized jars and seal.
SUMMER ROSE HIP JELLY
Place 1 quart of last winter’s dried apple slices into a deep cooking pot, cover with warm water and let stand overnight (or at least 8 hours). The next day add 1 quart of fresh rose hips to the pot and cover with warm water.
Bring the pot to a boil and cook until very soft. Drain off the liquid through a jelly bag into a new pot.
Add 2 cups of sugar for each pint of juice and boil for another 20 minutes or until mixture jells into a thick mass when dropped from a spoon into cold water.
Pour into sterilized jars and seal.
ROSE HIP MARMALADE
Soak one pound of washed rose hips in water for a couple of hours to soften the skins. After soaking, bring to a boil in the same water and cook for 15 minutes.
Strain the liquid into a smaller pot and for each cup of juice, add one cup of granulated sugar. Stir well.
Boil the sweetened juice until it reaches a thick syrup consistency.
Add the boiled rose hips (you can chop them into chunks if you desire). Boil syrup mixture until the hips are very tender.
Pour into sterilized jars and seal.
Copyright © Lara Velez, All Rights Reserved
About the Author: Lara Velez is a homeschooling Mom of two, wife, business owner and published writer. She runs a large website for Christian Mothers, Moms of Faith and an encouraging blog for wives, Becoming a Wife that Pleases the Lord. She enjoys cooking, reading, scrapbooking, and being a wife and mom.