Cheer up your garden with a few edible flowers

Everyone needs sunflowers in their gardens.

Everyone needs sunflowers in their gardens.

Piggy-backing on last week’s post, I found a great resource on MarthaStewart.com with a list of edible flowers. I’m growing borage, calendula, marigolds, nasturtiums, pansies, sunflowers, roses and violets and plan to add chrysanthemum and tulips into my garden next year. Unfortunately, I also have a lot of dandelions as well.

Calendula is a fun and colorful addition to the garden.

Calendula is a fun and colorful addition to the garden.

Add a splash of purple to your garden.

Add a splash of purple to your garden.

What will you plant in your garden?

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3 Reasons to Include More Flowers in Your Garden

Lavender and calendula are pretty and useful additions to the garden.

Lavender and calendula are pretty and useful additions to the garden.

If my husband has his way, every plant in the garden would serve one clear and distinct purpose–human consumption. However, I’m not ready to dress my plants in burlap jumpsuits just yet. Flowers have a place in any garden, not just uptight English ones. Whether you plant a rose bush near your garlic patch or a peony in with your lettuce, flowers are essential to the well-rounded (and totally functional) garden.

They’re purrrty.
What’s better than a fragrant, pink rose? A whole bush of them! Although your garden may be teaming with vegetables at the end of the summer, it’s nothing but small plants and bare soil until then. Planting flowers that bloom at different times of the year keeps your garden visually appealing to all who see it.

Bees love ‘em.
Flowers play a vital role in maintaining bee populations. They travel from flower to flower, pollenating plants along the way. The more flowers you plant, the more likely you’ll have a banner year in produce. The bees aren’t alone; flowers are important to butterflies, ladybugs and other beneficial bugs and critters as well.

They play well with your vegetables.
Did you know that planting marigolds and lettuce together keeps gnarly bugs away? What about planting roses near garlic? The same scents that attract you to a particular flower also serve to keep destructive bugs away. If you’re growing organic or would like to cut down on pesticides, incorporate more flowers into your garden.

Learn about Common Companion Plants in my Skillshare class (and also learn to create bitchen small space container gardens).

Ready to include flowers in your garden? Hit up your local plant nursery to find flowers that are adapted to your area. There’s no sense in blowing the bank on flowers that don’t stand a chance in your bioregion.

Garden Inspiration

I loved this article in Houzz that featured fairy tale gardens. Whether you’re planning your garden for the year or just need something to look at that isn’t snow, these gardens are sure to take you to a land far, far away.