Harry Birtwistle’s Magnificent Plum & Almond Cake

Harry taught me to make a quick, easy and magnificently plum-packed cake while I was staying with him. It’s based on a Nigel Slater recipe but with twice as many plums as Nigel dares to put in. It’s a great recipe for fallen plums or for those just ripe because it hides the gooey bits and sweetens any tartness.
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Easy Elderflower Cordial Recipe

Early summertime and the air is sweet with the scent of elderflowers. Making elderflower cordial is simple, a great activity to do with friends and family. Elderflowers grow wild in many places so if you haven’t got any in your garden, look out for them during June and July in the hedgerows or your neighbours’ gardens. They are easy to identify with their frothy cream heads and their sweet scent.

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Edible Flower Ice Cubes

Jazz up drinks with edible flower ice-cubes. There are lots of colourful edible flowers which fit well in an ice cube. Here we used mini pansies, red clover and mustard flowers.

  • Allow 12 hours for freezing.
  • Soak flowers in cool water for 10 mins to give bugs a chance to float off before being frozen.
  • List of edible flowers perfect for Ice Cubes

  • Small Daisy (Bellis perennis) – they don’t have a strong flavour but being fluffy and pink or white they look brilliant in a cube.
  • Lavender – a strong fragrant flavour.
  • Violets and small pansies – a delicate floral honey flavour, often growing in abundance in pots, hanging baskets and window boxes.
  • Borage – blue cucumber flavour flowers.
  • Chives – mild onion flavour makes them suited to serving in tomato juice.
  • Clover – both red and white tufty flowers are great in apple or elderflower drinks.
  • Fennel – the ferny leaves have a gentle aniseed flavour and can be shredded into the liquid you make the ice out of to add texture.
  • Thyme – tiny, tiny purple flowers, you can fit a whole bunch in an ice cube.
  • Sage – purple flowers, a more subtle flavour than the leaves.


    During the Spring and Summer there are flowers everywhere. If you haven’t managed to grow your own, see if your gran or grandpa has, your neighbour, local park, community garden or wild hedgerows. There are lots of common flowers that people grow for their good looks and don’t know are edible, use the guides below to help you correctly identify what’s on offer. Some people like to spray plants with chemicals that aren’t good for people to eat. If you are not sure, it’s best to ask before you eat.

    Play around with ice

  • Flowers and herbs in icepops
  • Flavour or colour the liquid you make the ice from.
  • Guide to edible flowers with pictures from Freedom Flowers who also sell edible flowers for home growing and weddings.

    RHS guide to UK edible flowers, without pictures but with lots of flavour description and tips on usage.