Flowers Add Beauty and Diversity to the Vegetable Garden

| 7/12/2012 2:29:36 PM

Tags: organic gardening, companion planting, beauty in garden, crop diversity, beneficial insects, , Mary Lou Shaw,

I am serious about our vegetable garden, and I’ll be first to brag that we can grow most of what we eat. But I’m not so serious that I don’t give enjoyment high priority. And for me, part of that enjoyment is having the garden a beautiful place to spend time. 

What better way to make the garden beautiful and entice people to care for it than to have it contain a variety of flowers? I do find healthy vegetable plants and their produce beautiful. But even bright red tomatoes can’t entice me in like a row of multi-color zinnias at the garden’s entrance, red poppies to the side and cosmos beckoning from a back row. I love having flowers in the vegetable garden! 

I do understand that some people would not approve of planting flowers in a space designated for food crops. But for those of you who are yearning to incorporate more beauty in your gardens, I have a whole list of great rationalizations. Feel free to use whatever “logic” might work best on your spouse or friends! 

First of all, we want to have “beneficials” attracted to our gardens. These include bugs, pollinators and birds. There’s no better way to welcome them than having plenty of pollen and nectar available. 

These creatures help our gardens in multiple ways. The first thing that comes to mind is that we need the bees, small flies and butterflies to pollinate our crops. We might as well beckon them in with bright color flowers of different heights growing throughout the garden. 

Another reason these species are called “beneficials,” is that they do more good than harm. A ground beetle, “big-eyed bug” or an “assassin bug” may look ugly to our human eyes, but they’re good at keeping the bad bugs at bay. Birds also help keep down the number of crop-eating insects. 

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!