Danielle Fisch Designer, Grower and owner of Magnolia’s Yarden, is on a mission to inspire people to cultivate a botanical lifestyle. Her heart beats for cultivating plants, and more specifically, plants that have a purpose. “I am really passionate about growing plants that provide food.” This mantra might sound common in the Central Valley, but Magnolia’s Yarden isn’t full of stone fruits or nut trees.
Her garden is filled of roses, daisies, hollyhocks, primrose, snapdragons, zinnias and more. Whilst lavender and pansies are commonly known edible flowers, most people do not grow flowers in their garden to eat them. Fischer hopes to change that.
After years of focused environmental work, sustainability and teaching kids about composting, she says, “I dove into the world of edible flowers and experimenting, flavors, beauty and presentation,” which began her botanical journey six years ago in Clovis.
“Plants have always been a part of my life,” she says. And it’s clear; Fischer’s joy in discussing botanicals in food is palpable. Magnolia’s Yarden is reshaping the way one sees beauty in a flower. It’s not just the color and aroma; it’s the health benefits and tastes that no other plant can offer.
One of Fischer’s favorite flowers to cook with is the classic English Rose in a white chocolate bark. For those who enjoy cooking, Fischer recommends nasturtium, the cheerful trumpet-like flower. “Spring rolls are a great place to start for incorporating botanicals into a savory dish. Cheese, charcuterie boards and baked goods are also beautiful places to mix in edible flowers,” she says.
Depending on what’s in season, fresh, dried or pressed flowers can be purchased online, while locals can taste her floral harvest around the Fresno Restaurant scene. At the start of the year, Magnolia’s Yarden joined Ampersand Ice Cream to collaborate on monthly-featured flavors. February’s Vanilla Lavender was such a hit it’s now on the menu. April’s flavor was Honey Rose Pistachio, but the professional plant lady is not giving away any secrets on what’s next. You’ll have to visit Ampersand to see the newest monthly flavor.
Edible flowers can also be found in cocktails at both Quail State Rooftop bar and Modernist Craft Cocktail bar, as well as on the renowned Fig & Honey’s delectable boards and tables.
In addition to growing edible flowers, Magnolia’s Yarden helps people in their own backyard with plant design. Depending on a person’s goals, the Magnolia team provides onsite consultation, design and care tips for anything from edible gardens to Zen gardens, rose gardens or just backyard face-lifts for a party.
“Oftentimes we walk around a yard just to answer questions on how to make a customer’s plants better,” she says. “It’s easier than hopping on Pinterest or Google. They’re are able to ask a professional in real time about their specific plants.”
Garden parties and private workshops are another option at Magnolia’s Yarden. Think of the trendy wine and paint nights, but instead of crafting in a business or warehouse, the party comes to you. The team brings their DIY goods – like succulent terrariums – to a host’s party, and attendees, sip, snack and craft their own beautiful creation. Garden parties are intimate and charming, making it a wonderful and memorable option in 2021.
“The majority of people who have gotten into plants this last season of being home have really reaped the therapeutic benefits of plants,” she says. “Gardening and putzing outside with plants is so therapeutic for everyone. I love to inspire people with plants and florals because they make people so happy!” And don’t we all need just a little more happy?
Story by Rachel Trigueiro | Photos by Salina Marroquin