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Mixing Edibles and Ornamentals

May 27th, 2009

I’ve been trying to mix my edible plants in with my ornamental plants because I’ve been reading that it’s a good way to deter pests. Not to mention I don’t have much edible gardening space so it’s nice to tuck them in here and there in my flowerbeds where I have an empty spot.
As you can see in this photo, I have a pink peony blooming with some catmint blooming in front of it. In the background you can see a pea climbing up the small trellis.
These are the only peas in the garden that the deer didn’t find, so I guess my plan is working. In front of the catmint I have cabbages & broccoli planted. It’s the only cabbage & broccoli that doesn’t have cabbage loopers on it and that they wildlife hasn’t nibbled.
Not only have I had great success with mixing my edible in my flower beds, I really like the combination. I love the way cabbages look when tucked in among other things. I think I’m going to be doing more and more of this.

What about you, any edibles in your ornamental beds?

14 Comments to “Mixing Edibles and Ornamentals”
  1. Faith on May 27, 2009 at 7:05 am

    I haven’t got any ornamental beds, but I hope to mix ornamentals into my garden beds for the same reason. LOL


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    • Susy on May 27, 2009 at 7:11 am

      I too am mixing a few ornamental beneficial plants into my edible garden beds. So far I’m using alyssum and marigolds. I’m hoping to add a few perennial herbs as well.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Mangochild on May 27, 2009 at 7:30 am

    No ornamentals in my veg garden, though I am researching putting in beneficial plants into the area to help this summer. I think there is still time to do it, given the weather lately in CT. Having the touches of color in there should be pretty, I like the ways yours come out.

    Mangochild’s last blog post.. Tuesdays Independence Days Week 2

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  3. Silke on May 27, 2009 at 7:36 am

    We have all of our herbs mixed in with our flowers and add ornamentals to our vegetable patch – bachelors buttons, four o’clocks, and cosmos so far. In New Mexico, we also had zinnia and gladiolas growing with our vegetables. Your peonies look wonderful – I wish they grew here… :) Silke

    Silke’s last blog post.. Touching the Past

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  4. warren on May 27, 2009 at 8:56 am

    The only ornamentals we have are some wonderful zinnias we got from…um…you! I guess we have a few impatiens and pansies too…

    anyhow, we definitely find that in our food garden, planting stuff next to other appropriate things makes a big difference…tomatoes and green beans near each other is amazing!

    warren’s last blog post.. I found another bell

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  5. Dave on May 27, 2009 at 9:05 am

    I may have to add more of the vegetables into the ornamental garden beds. I’ve been getting the herbs going but really many vegetables look good too! I should move my cabbage next to the catmint as well we’ve got the loopers. But they also found our hollyhocks so it may not be looper proof!

    Dave’s last blog post.. Cabbage Loopers on Hollyhocks

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  6. Maureen on May 27, 2009 at 11:05 am

    We got loads of complements this year on our ‘pretty purple plants’ next to our calendulas in the front garden. People were always surprised when I told them it was cabbage.

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  7. Allie on May 27, 2009 at 11:29 am

    I grow marigolds with my veggies and it works out really well. I don’t have much patience for ornamental plants in general. I wish I did. I love the way they look in other people’s gardens but if I can’t eat ’em, I’m not motivated to take care of them.

    Allie’s last blog post.. How Wind Turbines Work

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  8. Claire on May 27, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Yes definitely – I love mixing them up, but I do have 80% of my plants in pots as we rent our house and I want to take my plants with me when we move! We have a few small beds for vegetables – but most is mixed up – the Acer next to tomatoes and the fig!

    Claire’s last blog post.. Easter

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  9. Dan on May 27, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    I must say again, that peony is amazing. I think I need a single pink one to go with my single white one, a marriage made in heaven. This year I am planting veggies in the urns & window box out front. The urns got one Cardoon each and the window box got three Tuscano Kale & two Cardoons. I don’t think I will eat them but they should look very architectural.

    Dan’s last blog post.. Garden Update

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    • Susy on May 27, 2009 at 9:32 pm

      You’ll have to send some photos, or put them on your blog, I’d love to see them!

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  10. Lynn on May 28, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Since what looked like a plenty large veg patch is dwindling with all the stuff we want to plant, and the husband reasons that cabbage is cheap to buy compared with the space it takes in the patch, I think it’s going to go in front of the house with the flowers. I hope it does as well as yours.

    Lynn’s last blog post.. officially my new favorite flower

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  11. Andee on May 28, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Usually, Scott’s veggies and my perennials are in separate beds. But, we just received the most beautiful sweet potato plants from the father of one of our CSA members. Since I still haven’t gotten around to getting my cutting garden of annuals in, I think that spot will now be sweet potatoes. The State inspector who credentials our perennial ‘farm’ always comments that we have so few pests because we do not monoculture so mixing it up is a healthy strategy.

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  12. Sherri on May 31, 2009 at 7:10 am

    We have ornamentals all the way around our house. But being only 2 years old, they have a ways to go before they’re filled in as nicely as yours! I’d love to mix ornamentals in! We are doing that this year in the built-in pots on our deck. I have petunias and alyssum in them, as well as squash and peas coming up! The climbers will just cascade over the side and down!

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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