July 13, 2013

Whispering Daylilies

Each day brings new and old joys. Some of these joys pass unnoticed since a lot of them arrive without fanfares and trumpets, yet, speak in very tiny soft whispers which are hard to hear, but somehow make you feel good when you do. The only way we do not overlook these simple unexpected joys is when we live in the moment, when we pay attention to our senses - what we see, what we hear, smell and touch...
These summer days, when I leave home and pass by a row of tall orange blooming daylilies, a light murmur, like the noise of silky cloth, makes me turn my head for a moment and hear the whisper "We are daylilies and our name means "hemera"- day and "kalos"- beautiful. Your day is going to be beautiful as is ours!" Then, I pass by the neighbour's house and a soft sound coming from the daylily patch at the front makes me turn my head again and hear another whisper "Pick us up as we will last for only one day and tomorrow other ones will bloom on our stem... Pick us up and we can add a salad, and biscuits, and quiche to your kitchen table ...."
I have to admit, I have always neglected these cheerful flowers. I haven't had a good enough reason for that, perhaps, I don't like orange and yellow colours so much. However, since I read the beautiful Miche Bacher's book "Cooking with Flowers" and became inspired to eat previously ignored plants, I've started to pay close attention to the abundance of nature's gifts. The more I see, the more inspired I get. The summer gardens and fields are full of edible flowers, from elderflowers and dainthus, to roses, hibiscus, and daylilies...
Daylilies are beautiful, easy to harvest flowers and have several different tasty edible parts. The unopened flower buds can be fried, steamed, or boiled. The crisp and sweet flowers that taste even better than lettuce are perfect for salads. If you are trying them for the first time, start with a nibble since some people may have an allergic reaction. Also, do not confuse daylilies with true lilies, or lilium, which are not edible. 
I am not really much of a forager (I dislike labels),  but this sunny summer morning, I picked a bunch of warm, sun-kissed, new daylily blossoms, washed them gently, plucked the petals of some and couldn't resist making a salad with them. The rest of the flowers I put in a vase and they created a wonderful arrangement in the living room.
This sunny morning, I chose to listen to the day's tiny whispers and find joy in what surrounds me.

Can you hear what is whispering to you these midsummer days?  

Daylily Petal Salad 
adapted from Cooking with Flowers 


3 cups arugula
1 cup peas (fresh or sweet peas in a can)
1 avocado, pitted and sliced
petals of 4 daylilies (washed and dried)
1/3 cup aged Gouda, shaved
extra-virgin olive oil
freshly squeezed lemon juice
black pepper


Place arugula in a serving bowl. Add avocado, peas, daylilies petals, and Gouda over top. Sprinkle with olive oil and lemon juice. Gently toss. Top with salt and pepper.

Thank you!
Enjoy the bounty that summer brings!

Sharing with Our Sunday Best


  1. My sweet, sweet Sylvia!

    I had NO idea that these flowers could be consumed! We have many of them in our neighborhood! I have used rose petals and lavender in my cooking and I so enjoy the colors as well as the different taste they add. Just tonight we had dinner in our covered porch with the fountain singing in the garden and twinkling lights in the background. I used herbs from my garden to enhance a simple chicken and mushroom stew.

    Are you enjoying the whispers of summer? I sure am... and I am loving my visit here with you sweet and beautiful friend. Anita

  2. this is SO beautiful! I love edible flowers - your pictures are SO gorgeous :)
    Mary x

  3. Dear sister...as always, you weave such magic....
    That book is on my Amazon list...it is extraordinary...
    Nature is infinitely awesome, isn't it? Your images capture the elegance of these flowers, and the beauty they can add to an already stunning meal...love everything here!!

    Thank you for taking a stroll with me around the park....always a joy to see your dear words. :)
    I do hope the summer days are full of bliss, sweet Sylvia....the whispers are there if we listen....thank you for reminding us....
    Bless you, dear friend...
    Much love,
    - Irina

  4. I've never used the flowers in my cooking creations but it seems a great idea, first for the eyes!

  5. Hi Sylvia,

    I often use petals in salads, but I didn't realise the petals of day lillies were edible as well. They look beautiful in your photographs! I will look for the book on Amazon. It sounds interesting!

    Madelief x

  6. I just love visiting your blog, Sylvia. Your essays and photos are so beautifully done and a feast for the eyes. Thank you for sharing the beauty around you in this way. Have a blessed week. Pamela

  7. beautiful!!! i love the thought of the flowers and plants whispering away...

  8. I had no idea that dayliles were edible! Mine are blooming now so I'll have to see if I'm brave enough to try eating them. :)

  9. I am sure I will listen more carefully while out in the garden dear Sylvia so I can hear what the lovely blooms are saying to me. The recipe sounds so good and I can't wait to try it. Beautiful, beautiful photos!!!
    hugs from here...

  10. Your pictures and words
    are woven so beautifully,
    sweet Sylvia. I have tried
    adding pansies and nastursiums
    to my salads and they look
    pretty : ) I didn't know that
    day lilies are edible, too. What
    do they taste like? Are they
    all edible, or only the orange
    ones? We have them now in
    abundance in ditches and alongside
    roads ~ they truly announce
    the heart of summer!

    Catching up with some of my
    faves, today.....Hope you are
    having a wonderful summer!

    xo Suzanne


SYLVIA'S SIMPLE LIFE © 2016 | Template by Blogs & Lattes