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6 Edible Spring Flowers That Go Beautifully From Garden To Plate

By March 7, 2024March 26th, 2024Landscape Design
spring flowers

Spring is right around the corner, with its hint of green peeking out from beneath mulch and frost. That means it’s time to start thinking about your spring garden and planning its gorgeous blooms. As you think about your favorites – tulips and daffodils, peonies and pansies – why not also consider seasonal plants that can go from garden to plate?

Some of spring’s most iconic and lovely flowers can look as great in your garden as they can on your dinner plate – and taste as amazing, too! These are some of spring’s blooms that are both beautiful and edible, a multi-sensory treat for any gardener or chef that will delight you all season long.


You know that spring has arrived when forsythia bursts into bloom! It’s cascades of yellow petals herald the season and brighten landscapes everywhere as early as March. Its graceful branches create a natural blooming pattern that complements a naturalistic garden perfectly.

One of the nice things about forsythia is that you can plant it just about any time of year as long as the ground isn’t frozen. That means there’s still time to get this beauty into the ground to enjoy this season.

As for its ability to brighten your table, the yellow petals are the perfect accompaniment to a springtime salad. They have a mild and mellow lightly floral flavor that will work well with just about any combination of greens, and will add a delightful pop of color.

You can also use the flowers to flavor honey and syrups, to infuse oil, or to make jellies and jams. And this plant is prolific enough that you’ll never notice a few missing petals!


This spring darling is hardy, reliable, easy to grow, and delicious – both on the nose and on the palate! This plant can even live as long as a century, making it a truly intergenerational experience, a bit of beauty passed down from decade to decade.

While it is best planted in fall, you can also plant it in early spring after the soil thaws for immediate seasonal enjoyment. Bees love it, butterflies love it, hummingbirds love it, and you will too when you see its tufts of purple flowers and lush, green foliage, and inhale its sweetly floral aroma each spring.

Lilac can also play a double role in your dining experience, going easily from plate to glass. The flowers can be candied for a sweet and pretty addition to cakes, pastries and desserts, as well as fermented with a bit of sugar for a fizzy and unique springtime drink.

Whichever you choose, these blooms are bound to inspire a craving for a garden party!


These famously showy flowers will explode into a sea of brilliant color each April and adorn your landscape right through mid-summer. There are over 400 species, in colors as varied as red and pink, yellow and gold, purple and red. From Shakespeare to Hunger Games, the primrose has made an appearance everywhere from literature to gardens and of course as part of a memorable meal.

As an added bonus, you can seed these flowers right in your kitchen during winter and plant them outdoors when the ground is ready.

Primrose flowers even have different flavors, too. Some varieties have a mild flavor, similar to spinach. Others have a bit more of a peppery bite, closer to arugula. Whichever you prefer, they can be eaten raw or cooked, in both savory and sweet dishes.

Add them to salads, top bowls of soup, or add them to a rice dish for a joyful burst of color. However you use them, they will make as much of an impression on your dinner table as they will in your spring garden.


The luscious branches of this springtime superstar are adorned not with flowers, but with bracts – a modified type of leaf that is designed to protect the actual flower inside. This plant has earned a well-deserved spot as one of the most popular spring blooms with its blue-green foliage and parade of colors, from pink and purple, to red, white, orange and yellow.

Hummingbirds love them, too, so if you’re looking forward to a bit of wildlife this season, it’s hard to go wrong with bougainvillea.

To take them from garden to table, discard the tiny flowers in the center of the bracts, and use the bracts themselves. You can eat them raw in salads or atop soups, where they will lend a mildly bitter flavor. They can also be fried, or if you’re feeling particularly daring, use them as an unexpected and visually delightful pizza topping!

Bougainvillea is most commonly steeped as tea, or turned into a refreshing beverage with the addition of lime and sugar. Whether you’re aiming for a weekend brunch or a fun pizza night, this plant is ready for its show stopping appearance.


Cold hardy versions of this showy bloom are well suited to New Jersey seasons, gracing gardens as early as February. They keep their evergreen foliage all year, but spring is when they burst into glorious flowers in shades of red, pink, and white.

Like lilac, camellia can live up to a hundred years and be passed down through generations of familes. They’re as attractive to bumblebees and hummingbirds as they are in bridal bouquets.

Fans of this flower have done everything from eat them raw to pickle them, candy them, and brew them into tea. They’re so pretty that they practically beg to decorate cakes and pastries or be added as a garnish to fresh fruit salads.

Experiment with different varieties for different flavors, and enjoy these blooms for their garden beauty as well as their culinary elegance.


You may think of carnations more as a filler in bouquets than as a garden or dinner staple, but that would be doing a grave disservice to this incredible flower.

Carnations have been imbued in our human history from ancient times. They grew wild in ancient Greece, were used as garlands by the Romans, treated common ailments in early Europe, and were an invaluable food flavoring during Elizabethan times when they were used as a substitute for expensive spices like clove.

In your garden, they can bloom during cold months as long as the temperature remains above freezing, making them a winter as well as springtime gem. They grow naturally in myriad shades of pink and red, plus a white variety that is often dyed in a rainbow of colors to suit the occasion.

And while you wouldn’t want to eat carnations out of a centerpiece, you can certainly enjoy them straight from your garden. They have a delightfully sweet and floral taste, and for the tipplers out there, they are also one of the ingredients in chartreuse.

They’re fantastic in salads, excellent in desserts, perfect for frittatas, and taste as wonderful pickled as they do candied. Add their petals to jams and pies, or create a truly memorable rice or pasta dish with their petals as garnish.

They may be humble flowers, but when it comes to beauty and flavor, you’ll wonder why you haven’t planted them sooner.

These are just a few of the flowers that go beautifully from garden to plate but there are myriad more that you can enjoy throughout the seasons. If you’re interested in planting an edible – and beautiful – flower garden, contact us for a consultation. We’ll design a feast for your eyes as well as your tastebuds!