Edibles in the Ornamental Garden


Reprinted with Permission of the National Garden Board:

 

Edibles in the
Ornamental Garden


National Garden Bureau’s members are often on the cutting edge of garden trends and one we’ve seen a lot over the past year or so is planting edibles in what was traditionally considered an ornamental garden. In fact, there are famous stories of well-meaning gardeners converting their entire front lawns into an edible garden. If you’re not ready to take that bold move, then at a minimum you can start interplanting some edible plants with your other decorative garden features, either in containers or in-ground, like parsley in a perennial bed, as seen above. We like this article from NGB member Burpee on the subject of growing the two types of plants in harmony. Bonnie Plants hones in on combining ornamentals and edibles in containers in this article.

Definitions:
Ornamental – any flowering or non-flowering plant used for decorative purposes.
Edible – any fruit, vegetable or other plant that can be consumed by humans. (As we know too well, many of our favorite garden plants are edible by numerous critters.)
Companion planting – the close planting of different plants that enhance each other’s growth or protect each other from pests.

Need more reasons to plant vegetables and other edibles in your flower or ornamental garden?

  1. If your garden is small, then you won’t have to sacrifice space dedicated to one crop for the other.
  2. Many of today’s vegetables have beautiful colors and are considered ornamentals as well as edibles.
  3. The popularity of mixed container gardens lends itself perfectly to a mix of edible and ornamental plants.
  4. In some cases, companion planting may be beneficial to the health and vitality of both plants.
 To get the ideas flowing, our members have some new varieties that would work very well together–see possible combos below. For even more ideas, take a look at the NGB Pinterest Board on Edible Landscaping.

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Please consider our NGB member companies as authoritative sources for information. Click on direct links to their websites by selecting Member Info from the menu on the left side of our home page. Gardeners looking for seed sources can use the “Shop Our Members” feature at the top of our home page.
Founded in 1920, the National Garden Bureau is a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life through increased use of seeds and plants. 

Let’s Go Garden!

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