Planting Vegetables in Flower Beds & Borders
Some people are put off growing their own vegetables because they think they don’t have the space. However, you don’t need to have a dedicated veggie patch in order to grow your own. Incorporating veg into your usual flower beds and borders is a great way of getting started. Pots and containers are also an ideal way of growing vegetables without having to lose part of your garden to accommodate them.
Many vegetables have striking foliage that will not only give you a tasty meal but actually add a dash of colour to your borders improving the overall aesthetic of your garden. Borders and flower beds can be incredibly versatile, provided there is space, you can grow almost anything - some cabbages have very bold architectural leaves when fully grown. if you want something more fine, try fennel as its foliage is feathery and more delicate. Kale has nice tall leaves with a ruffled appearance, with the added benefit of tasting great in a stir fry dishes!
If your flower bed backs a wall of fence, think of mixing traditional climbers such as clematis with vegetable climbers. Certain varieties of peas and beans have attractive flowers that won’t look out of place in your garden. Herbs are another great culinary addition that work particularly well in raised beds. You can plant things like thyme close to the edge and allow them to trail over the sides. Thyme will not only add fragrance but has wonderful small purple and white flowers in the summer.
The benefits of growing vegetables in flower beds is not limited to their appearance. Growing flowers and vegetables next to each other help them both to grow healthy. Companion planting can reduce the number of pests in your garden. For example, planting onions will reduce the number of aphids on your roses as they help to mask their fragrance and marigolds will make tomatoes less attractive to pests such as slugs and snails. Flowers will also attract more pollinators which can be vital for the vegetables to develop in your area.
No matter how small your garden there will always be room for you to at least grow some of your own food. In the past flowers and vegetables were always grown together so its time to get back to those traditions. Plus, there's nothing better than being able to serve up dinner and announce that you grew it yourself!