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Herbs flowering

June 26 2011 at 9:13 PM
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I have several herbs that are flowering I.e. Sage, chives etc and as a new gardener, do not know what to do - should I cut out the flowers or leave them? Do they affect the flavour of the plant?

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Some flowers taste good too!

June 28 2011, 1:50 PM 

You could do worse than buy Jekka McVicar's book 'Cooking with Flowers' which is full of ideas for using the flowers as well as the leaves of your herbs. Chive flowers are really lovely sprinkled over a salad (just pull the little florets off so you don't get the green bits), they are more pungent than the leaves and look pretty into the bargain. Sage flowers are edible too, but my plants rarely seem to go to flower and the few that do appear I like to leave for the bees. Once the flowers have died then cut them off or they will try to go to seed which takes the strength from the plant (though frankly they're such robust plants in my experience it won't do much harm if you don't get around to it). My oregano flowers its head off all summer and the bees flock to it, similarly thyme and rosemary, but can also be eaten. Enjoy whichever you do!
Best wishes and keep expanding your herb repertoire!

Re: Herbs flowering

July 3 2011, 11:25 PM 

Could you tell us which herbs you have growing?

Some herbs, such as marjoram, mint and lemon balm should be harvested for drying or other use before the flowers emerge as the plant puts all its energy into the flower and the strength from the leaves is lost. However, bees adore all three flowers, so if you are growing a bee friendly garden leave the flowers for them.

Some herbs such as thyme, rosemary need to be harvested when they are flowering as they are at their most potent then. I remember Christina Stapley saying that she upset all the photographers who came to take photos of her plants in flower because she would harvest them on the day they bloomed!



Specialist seeds and plants

May 18 2012, 6:53 AM 

I have found unusual flower seeds at plantsofdistinction.co.uk which producer and supplier of rare and specialist seeds and plants, including hard to find and heirloom varieties of fruit, vegetables and flowers.

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