Hello People Who Like to Eat Their Gardens!

Edible flowers are one of those culinary gestures that few of us seem to use in the kitchen. But they can really take a dish from tasty to extraordinary.

Perhaps now is the time to start using edible flowers in your summer culinary capers. It's the season of hummingbird mint which means you could be creating technicolour displays all summer long for you, your family, and your dinner guests. Learn more below.

Enjoy!

Cheers, Gary and the Phoenicians

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Edible Flowers for Technicolour Summer Salads

There are lots of edible flowers out there: borage, daylilies, nasturtiums, chives, marigolds, violets, and lavender. But have you tried the flowers of Agastache, also known as hyssop or hummingbird mint?

Agastache are an awesome summer perennial for the full sun garden. They bloom in almost every colour - red, orange, yellow, pink, purple, purple-blue - except for true blue with displays all summer long from June into the fall. Their tubular flowers are borne on spikes that can rise, depending on the cultivar, anywhere from 1-4 feet tall. As members of the mint family they have foliage that smells like mint and sometimes licorice.

Traditionally called hyssop their flowers, which are filled with nectar, and the fragrant foliage has resulted in a new, more recent name: hummingbird mint. Indeed, the hummingbirds go crazy for this plant. Bees and butterflies also benefit. If you want to know what all the fuss is about, try a flower for yourself. Pull one of the tubular flowers off the plant, put the base of the flower to your lips and suck out the sweet nectar. The flavour will be sweet following by mintiness. This is a little treat you can have when out in the garden. You can also give your human garden visitors this little experience as they tour your patio or borders.


Phoenix Perennials owner, Gary, with a cartload of Agastache moving from our production side to our retail side.

Agastache flowers are completely edible and look amazing mixed into a salad. They will impart a touch of sweetness from their nectar plus some mint flavour. And they will add colour. Lots of colour! If you grow many different colours of Agastache you can get creative with your garnishing. Do you want to include just one colour of flower to compliment your dish, or two, or three, or include every colour for a technicolour summer salad? The choice is yours. Of course, you don't have to stop at salads. You could garnish practically everything with hummingbird mint!

Here are the cultivars we currently have in bloom at Phoenix. Your technicolour culinary adventure awaits!

Agastache rugosa 'Little Adder' - Hummingbird Mint - 'Little Adder' is a dwarf form of one of the best of all the purple-blue Agastache: 'Black Adder'. 'Little Adder' is a very compact, well-branched, bushy perennial with fragrant green foliage and lavender-blue tubular flowers that emerge from purple-blue sepals all summer into fall. Agastache 'Tango' - Hummingbird Mint - 'Tango' has dense spikes of bright orange blossoms. It is a compact cultivar growing from 15 to 18 inches tall and 15 inches wide. 'Tango' is great for all summer and fall colour at the front of the border and is compact enough for patio pots. Agastache are popular with hummingbirds. They have fragrant foliage.
Agastache Kudos 'Mandarin' - Hummingbird Mint - Kudos 'Mandarin' is a long blooming, dwarf cultivar of Agastache with cheery, bright orange flowers in large compact spikes and fragrant foliage. The Kudos Series are naturally dwarf hybrids of hummingbird mint or hyssop with excellent branching and downy mildew resistance. They bloom from June until September. They are best grown in hot, sunny spots with well-drained soils. Agastache Kudos 'Silver Blue' - Hummingbird Mint - Kudos 'Silver Blue' is a long blooming, dwarf cultivar of Agastache with deep green foliage and light blue flowers in large compact spikes with fragrant foliage. The Kudos Series are naturally dwarf hybrids of hummingbird mint or hyssop with excellent branching and downy mildew resistance. They bloom from June until September. They are best grown in hot, sunny spots with well-drained soils.
Agastache Kudos 'Coral' - Hummingbird Mint - Agastache Kudos 'Coral' has an excellent compact, upright habit and long lasting, glowing colour for the whole summer. The warm, coral-red flower spikes are dense and honey-mint scented. The Kudos Series are naturally dwarf hybrids of hummingbird mint or hyssop with excellent branching and downy mildew resistance. They bloom from June until September. They are best grown in hot, sunny spots with well-drained soils. Agastache Kudos 'Gold' - Hummingbird Mint - Kudos 'Gold' is a long blooming, dwarf cultivar of Agastache with golden yellow flowers in large compact spikes atop compact plants with fragrant foliage. The Kudos Series are naturally dwarf hybrids of hummingbird mint or hyssop with excellent branching and downy mildew resistance. They bloom from June until September. They are best grown in hot, sunny spots with well-drained soils.
Agastache 'Summer Sunset' - Hummingbird Mint - Agastache are incredibly useful for clouds of colour through the summer months. 'Summer Sunset' has outstanding dense, deep orange spikes produced in masses on plants about one and a half feet high. The Summer Series have sepals that remain in colour and do not brown like other agastache giving these cultivars a much longer season of interest. Even without a single flower there is still colour! Provide full sun and good drainage. Agastache Kudos 'Ambrosia' - Hummingbird Mint - 'Ambrosia' is a short, compact, and hardy Agastache with spikes of creamy, peachy orange and light rose pink flowers atop fragrant foliage. The Kudos Series are naturally dwarf hybrids of hummingbird mint or hyssop with excellent branching and downy mildew resistance. They bloom from June until September. They are best grown in hot, sunny spots with well-drained soils.
Agastache 'Summer Love' - Hummingbird Mint - Agastache are incredibly useful for clouds of colour through the summer months. ‘Summer Love’ has massive numbers of densely clustered large dark pink flowers that bloom all summer and into fall. Three feet tall with bright green, fragrant foliage. The Summer Series have sepals that remain in colour and do not brown like other agastache giving these cultivars a much longer season of interest. Even without a single flower there is still colour! Sun, dry soil. Agastache 'Summer Fiesta' - Hummingbird Mint - Agastache are incredibly useful for clouds of colour through the summer months. ‘Summer Fiesta’ has outstanding dense, spicy orange red spikes produced in masses. The Summer Series have sepals that remain in colour and do not brown like other agastache giving these cultivars a much longer season of interest. Even without a single flower there is still colour! Provide full sun and good drainage.
Agastache rupestris - Hummingbird Mint - Agastache rupestris has great foliage which is narrow and grey-green creating a textured, bushy mass from which arise the pale apricot-orange tubular flowers held by purple-pink sepals. The fragrant foliage also smells a little bit like root-beer! Beloved by hummingbirds. Agastache 'Summer Glow' - Hummingbird Mint - Agastache are incredibly useful for clouds of colour through the summer months. ‘Summer Glow’ has massive numbers of densely clustered large lemon-custard yellow flowers with burnt orange sepals that bloom all summer into fall. Up to two feet tall with bright green, fragrant foliage. The Summer Series have sepals that remain in colour and do not brown like other agastache giving these cultivars a much longer season of interest. Even without a single flower there is still colour! Sun, dry soil.
Agastache 'Cotton Candy' - Hummingbird Mint - Agastache are incredibly useful for clouds of colour through the summer months. 'Cotton Candy' has massive numbers of densely clustered large light pink flowers with darker pink sepals that bloom all summer into fall. Up to two feet tall with bright green, fragrant foliage. The sepals remain in colour and do not brown like other agastache giving this cultivar a much longer season of interest. Even without a single flower there is still colour! Sun, dry soil. Agastache 'Blue Boa' - Hummingbird Mint - Luxurious, deep, violet blue flower spikes held over ultra green foliage. The flower spikes are long, wide and extremely showy. Great for summer colour. Compared to 'Blue Fortune', 'Blue Boa' has deeper violet blue flowers and wider flower spikes. Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. The licorice-scented foliage is edible and good in salads. Excellent planted en masse in the perennial border or in the herb garden. Drought tolerant once established. Blooms from summer until frost.

All of these Agastache are in full bloom and available now at Phoenix! You might have to fight the hummingbirds for them though!

 


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Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.
One of the largest and most exciting selections of perennials in Canada.
3380 No. 6 Road, Richmond (Between Bridgeport and Cambie)
604-270-4133

www.phoenixperennials.com
Please visit our web page for information on the nursery, driving directions and a map.
We are near the south end of the Knight Street Bridge and very easy to get to from all of the surrounding municipalities and beyond.

Opening Dates and Hours
February 26th to October 30th, 2016
10am-5pm


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