Can we just talk about how lovely roses are for a minute?

When the wild roses start to bloom in June, I get very excited. Roses are one of my favourite flowers to eat and enjoy in a variety of ways. All season long my daughter and I will harvest rose petals and I smile whenever I find them months later, dried but equally fragrant in the pockets of spring jackets. All roses are edible and easy to recognize, however they vary greatly in flavour according to species from sweet to bitter, from mild to spicy. While store-bought roses might tempt you with their beauty, never eat them as they are likely to be sprayed with chemicals and fragrance, be cautious of heavily fertilized flowers as well, as they can absorb fungicides which can make them unsafe for consumption. Luckily, garden variety roses and wild roses are plentiful. Try a few varieties and notice the difference of fragrance and flavour.

Roses can be used in so many ways and have countless nutritional, cosmetic and medicinal benefits. In Ayurvedic medicine we use opposites to balance. Roses are considered cooling which make them perfect for use during hot summer months, and can help to pacify heat in the body. Excess heat is understood to cause symptoms such as irritability, headaches, inflammation and redness in the skin. I carry around a bottle of homemade rose water to spray on my face which helps to cool me down and uplift my spirits all summer long, a spritz of rosewater always puts a smile on my face.

Nadia has a gift for making beautiful things and this applies to food as well. Today we wanted something cold and cooling, so we decided to make rose petal popsicles!

First, we made a rose honey - you can follow our recipe for lilac honey and substitute the lilacs with rose petals. Then we put a few tablespoons of organic plain full fat Greek yogurt in a blender, sweetened it with our rose honey, added a few fresh rose petals and blended it all up. We poured the mixture into our popsicle moulds and a few hours later, had the most refreshing treat! The popsicles have a subtle but distinct rose flavour - these particular rose petals tasted a little bit like raspberries. 



  • place a few tablespoons of yogurt in a blender

  • add fresh rose petals

  • sweeten with rose honey to taste (always make your popsicle mixture a little sweeter than you would like it to be, as it will taste less sweet once frozen)

  • blend until smooth, add whole rose petals if desired

  • pour into popsicle moulds and place in freezer until frozen


What could be more beautiful than a salad made of bright, colourful flowers? Edible flowers are both good for your body and a feast for the eyes. Flowers tend to be high in vitamins such as vitamin C and A, and contain a variety of medicinal properties. Many flowers are great for your skin - giving you a summer glow - and provide antioxidant protection which reduces the visibility of age spots, wrinkles and scars.

Foraging does not need to be limited to the backcountry woods and wilderness. A large portion of our foraged food comes from the city because that is where we live. Foraging in an urban setting can be a wonderful way to get to know your neighbours and create community. Community is an essential buffer against many of the challenges we deal with in today's culture. Isolation is one of the key contributing factors to most mental illness including addiction and depression, and poses a serious health risk to human beings. As a therapist, I encourage clients to foster community in as many ways as they can. Having a strong and diverse community creates a basket that can support us in times of need. It also offers us a way of creating meaning and connection throughout the many seasons of our lives. 

In this video we wandered around the streets of Peterborough and knocked on neighbours’ doors to get permission to harvest some of their plants for this flower salad. These are some of the flowers we included in our salad:

Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis)
All mallow flowers are edible, often referred to as “the green cheeses” because the fruits resemble tiny green cheese wheels. Mallows are used as food all over the world. Marshmallow are particularly high in mucilage and emollient properties which are great for soothing, softening and healing. I was first drawn to this plant when I was pregnant and had an overwhelming feeling that mallow would be a key medicinal plant for me after my baby was born. I later learned that mallow helps to heal and sooth internal and external wounds and irritation.

My friend and herbalist Nicole Cameron brought me a lovely batch of mallow root and flower cookies and a beautiful sitz bath mixture after the birth of my daughter. I went on to use mallow root to help my teething baby’s sore mouth and dry coughs, and I used mallow flowers to soothe my irritated nerves. Ever since, I have had a strong affinity for this plant and use it in as many ways as possible. Here we used both the leaves and flowers for our salad.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
Calendula is well known for its medicinal properties and is used both externally and internally. It is high in antioxidants such as beta-carotene and makes a wonderful anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial, and antiviral, among many other things. Calendula can be used externally for skin conditions such as acne and eczema, and used internally it can soothe the gastrointestinal tract in people with conditions such as colitis, Crohn's disease and both gastric and duodenal ulcers.

Pansies (Viola tricolor var. hortensis)
These sweet little flowers are a hybrid of the genus Viola. They have anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and expectorant properties and can be used for pain relief from gout, rheumatism and arthritis, can ease coughs, and have a calming, sedative effect. (A note of caution: this plant can cause vomiting when used in high amounts. Do not use in combination with prescription diuretics or asthma medication).

Nasturtium (Tropaeolum)
A fragrant and spicy flower - akin to a radish, but in flower form - nasturtiums are antibacterial, antibiotic, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, expectorant and diuretic in medicinal action. They can help ward off colds and decrease candida albicans overgrowth in the body.

Bergamot or bee balm (Monarda)
Loved by bees, this is one of Courtney’s daughter’s favourite flowers to eat. Sweet, with a little spice, it gets its name because its flavour is reminiscent of bergamot orange (Citrus bergamia).

Roses (Rosa)
And of course roses. We love roses and use them in our food whenever and wherever we can. See our post on rose petal popsicles. Roses are cooling and calming - as the saying goes, “Roses are good for the skin and good for the soul.” There are so many species and cultivars of roses and the flavours vary from plant to plant - try a few and find your favourite (but never eat store-bought roses as they are usually sprayed with pesticides and fragrance).

In this video, we harvested a basket full of edible flowers. We picked some greens and herbs from our garden and whipped up a simple salad dressing.


  • edible flowers (some of the flowers we used include daisy petals, evening primrose, marshmallow, calendula, pansies, nasturtium, bergamot, lavender, daylilies, queen anne's lace, thimbleberry flowers, dame's rocket, and roses)

  • garden greens (we used kale, nasturtium leaves, lamb's quarters, wood sorrel and other garden "weeds")

  • garden herbs (daisy leaves, plantain, queen anne’s lace, bergamot leaves, marshmallow leaves)

  • dressing (olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and sea salt)


  • gather flowers and garden greens. Inspect them for dirt and bugs - you might want to give them a quick rinse.

  • coarsely chop the greens and chop up the herbs a bit more finely

  • mix together your dressing ingredients

  • toss salad and enjoy!