I’m beginning the week with one of my favorite summer family traditions, an edible centerpiece planter for the patio table. It’s easy and inexpensive, and lasts through all of your summer barbecues and picnics, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Our first edible centerpiece planter was created as a fun way to teach our children about edible plants. They could be sure that anything in that special planter was safe to try. It was far more successful that we imagined, and the kids loved experimenting and choosing favorite flavors. They especially loved having friends over to try the tasty flowers. They begin to experiment with which flavors would compliment the food they were eating. The big garden was a lot of worthwhile work, and they loved helping in it, but this tiny little edibles garden was just plain fun.
While herbs are an obvious choice for the planter, and I always include them, it’s fun to branch out a bit and mix in some unexpected edibles. If you’re wondering if some of your favorite flowers can be used in this centerpiece, look to your state extension office for more information. I found this list from Colorado State Extension especially helpful! There are so many pretty flowers to choose from, you’re sure to find one that looks perfect on your outdoor table. We do something different every year, and here are a few of our favorites:
Chives – Chives have a mild, onion-y flavor and that familiar flavor makes them a favorite for kids to try. Our kids loved chopping them up and adding them to just about anything. From a design standpoint, they add a nice, grassy texture to the planter.
Mint – Mint is another familiar flavor that kids tend to enjoy. Spearmint is milder than peppermint. In addition to being a fantastic addition to many recipes, it makes a lovely garnish and peppermint can be chewed or brewed to help with upset stomachs.
Marigolds – Marigolds are another bright flower, and their leaves have a milder, pepper-ish taste. Of all of the flower petals, this was probably my children’s favorite. The petals are really pretty sprinkled over a salad.
Parsley – Italian parsley is a milder variety and I love the texture that the leaves bring to an arrangement. It’s been used as a cure for bad breath for ages, so if you’ve just finished a nice garlicky potato salad and onion-y burger you can break off a piece of the centerpiece and chew on it until you can break away to brush your teeth.
Violas and Pansies – These flowers are a little bit sweet, and have a strong flavor. They aren’t the kids’ favorite flavor, but they do add a bright spot of color to the table and are so pretty that they’re often used decoratively in cooking. They can be sugared and used to top cupcakes, or frozen into ice cubes for a pretty beverage.
Other favorites for the edible centerpiece are thyme, oregano (which trails prettily), basil (insalata caprese, anyone?) and sage. In addition to our centerpiece, we now also have a window box and a few other planters scattered around the deck for rosemary, lavender and other edibles that grow too big for a centerpiece.
Be sure to leave a comment below sharing what you’ll be planting in your edible centerpiece!
Don’t forget to visit the other Summer Kickoff bloggers for fantastic recipes and ideas for your Memorial Day celebrations, and enter the giveaway below for a fantastic Pick Your Plum giveaway. Have you heard of Pick Your Plum? They’re amazing – just take a peek at my recent order. You’ll be seeing those treasures in upcoming posts.
From our event hosts: Welcome to Day #1 of Kick Off to Summer Week, a multi-blogger event co-host by Lauren of From Gate to Plate and Summer of Summer Scraps. With summer quickly approaching and Memorial Day in a few weeks, we wanted to make sure you had plenty of ideas for your Memorial Day activities. Each day we will be serving up a variety of different appetizers, main dishes, desserts, decor, printables and more all centered around the up-coming Memorial Day. We hope you enjoy all of these wonderful ideas. Tune in each day starting with Monday, May 12 and ending on Saturday, May 17. We have great prizes up for grabs throughout the week so you will not want to miss out on any of the days! Follow #KickOffToSummerWeek2014 on Twitter to keep up to date with all of our spectacular ideas and giveaways!
View all of the other Kick Off to Summer Week 2014 participants for more Memorial Day ideas!
Margarita Grilled Shrimp Skewers by From Gate to Plate
Cherry Limeade by Summer Scraps
Turkey and Grilled Pineapple Burger by Keep it Simple, Sweetie
Place of Honor by Lil Huckleberries
Edible Patio Table Centerpiece by Bits of Ivory
Easiest Ever Grilled Chicken by Forty Eighteen
Ranch Burgers by Lady Behind the Curtain
Strawberry and Candied Almond Spinach Salad by We Like to Learn as We Go
BBQ Banner Printable by My Daylights
Red White and Blue Fruit Pizza by Like Mother Like Daughter
Star-Spangled Muffins by Food Lust People Love
German Potato Salad by Denise Designed
Our sponsor for Day 1 of Kick Off to Summer Week 2014 belongs to Pick Your Plum! We are so excited they joined us today. Pick Your Plum is an amazing deal site that features products from all over the world. New deals occur each morning at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. Some of these fab deals go so fast you might miss out on them because the deals are always so great! Pick Your Plum features clothing, home decor, crafting, party supplies and other fun surprises! You can follow Pick Your Plum on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.
Today’s Pick Your Plum Prize Pack includes TWO $50 Plum boxes full of PYP awesomeness! (Seriously wish I could enter in this too because this prize is totally awesome!)
**Giveaway is open to US Residents only. Winner must be 18 years or age or older. No cash value available.**
**Disclaimer: This giveaway is being sponsored by Pick Your Plum. #KickOffToSummerWeek2014 bloggers have not received product or been compensated as part of this giveaway**