It used to be the norm to stop and smell the flowers, but now you can drink them, eat them, even plan a whole trip around them. From expeditions that guide you through carpets of wild geraniums to rose-scented spa treatments and bouquets that have been harvested with extra TLC, we bring you a host of new ways to enjoy posies around the world.
1. Enjoy our favorite bloom for longer than the Spring.
Recently, Alaskan horticulturalists made an advantageous discovery: The state has the perfect summer soil for peonies (seen above), grown elsewhere during a tiny window in spring. They distribute them now to the Lower 48. Buy the showy buds through August from California’s Farmgirl Flowers or your local organic flower shop.
2. Book an intoxicating aromatherapy treatment.
Mandarin Oriental’s spas recently began using Aromatherapy Associate’s Inner Strength oil, which has a delicate rose scent, for massages. Book a treatment or buy a bottle of their super fragrant bath oil to get a similar experience at home.
3. Eat some James-Beard-approved flowers.
The kitchen of Washington, D.C.’s Fiola Mare, a recent James Beard “Best New Restaurant” nominee, has as many blooms as a florist: More than 15 edible flowers are always in rotation. “I don’t use them as just ornaments,” explains chef Fabio Trabocchi. “Blossoms from herbs or veggies, such as basil and chive, can deliver concentrated aromas of the plant.” For the above chocolate terrine, chef Trabocchi uses violet blossoms, which give the dessert a sweet, minty flavor.
4. Get down with the wallflowers.
The recently renovated Dormy House (from $340, dormyhouse.co.uk), a hotel in Britain’s rural Cotswolds, is now plastered with florals. Bring a similar look home by buying some o cult New York artist George Venson’s floral wallpaper. George Venson for Voutsa, $250/five yards, voutsa.com
5. See the world’s most beautiful buds in the wild.
Book the Cape Floral Kingdom tour with Butterfield & Robinson to roam South Africa’s wildflower-rich plains; in Holland, guests aboard Uniworld’s new Tulips & Windmills cruise explore color-blocked gardens.
6. Make a better—and more floral—Negroni this summer.
We can’t get enough of Beehive Jack Rabbit gin from Utah (you read that right). The distillery adds rose petals and sage to the mix for a softer and more floral taste. We love using it in our summertime Negronis (just add equal parts of the gin, red vermouth, and Campari).
Photos from top: James Fitzgerald III, Scott Suchman, Courtesy of Dormy House Hotel and Spa, The Africa Image Library/Alamy, Courtesy of Beehive Distilling