Who needs the Easter bunny? If you’re truly chocolate obsessed (and there’s nothing wrong with that!), then why not try growing chocolate in the garden.
NZ is too cold to grow actual cacao trees, but you can grow carob. It gets around 10m tall, and has long sweet pods you can eat raw or grind up for carob powder.
Or how about the Chocolate Pudding tree – also known as the black sapote tree. The fruit is chocolatey looking and tasting.
For my money you can’t beat A CHOCOLATE SCENTED GARDEN. Here are some of the best…
Chocolate cosmos. (Cosmos astrosanguineus) - it really does smell like chocolate, and it looks like it too with beautiful deep burgundy chocolate velvety flowers. Available at garden centres, just cut them down in winter and protect them from frost with some mulch.
Calycanthus ‘Hartlage Wine’ – a shrub or small tree with a spicy, slightly chocolaty smell, with reddish brown flowers a bit like star magnolia flowers. From magnoliagrove.co.nz and a4dibbleplants.co.nz on line.
For an orchid that smells like chocolate and vanilla – you want Oncidium Sharry Baby ‘Sweet Fragrance’. Available at Tuckers Orchid Nursery in Auckland.
Clematis Montana var. Wisonii smells a bit like hot chocolate – gets to around 10m though so it’s a biggie. From Yaku Nursery, www.mrclematis.co.nz.
CHOCOLATE LOOKING PLANTS
Corokia ‘Frosted Chocolate’, Phormium ‘Chocomint’ and ‘Chocolate Fingers’, Heuchera ‘Chocolate Ruffles’, Coprosma ‘Yvonne’, Rose ‘Hot Chocolate’ and ‘Colour Break’. Add in some Mentha piperta, the peppermint plant, and go for an after dinner mint stroll round the garden!
MARSHMALLOW (Althaea officinalis)
Yes, you can grow your own marshmallow too! Get the seeds of true marshmallow from Kings Seeds on line. The flowers are a pretty pinky purple, and the whole plant is used for medicinal purposes…and marshmallow used to be made from the ground up roots. It prefers a moist spot.
Sounds good enough to eat!