Edible Ornamentals

September 12th, 2007

Beauty of BroccoliWhen planning your garden design do not forget that you can use vegetables in your ornamental beds.

Yes, I said it, vegetables in your ornamental beds. For some reason people see an ornamental bed as featuring eye-pleasing designs with organic layouts and nice flowers. Whereas a vegetable garden needs to have straight orderly rows like a farm.

Break out of that mold, some of the prettiest plants you’ll find are vegetables.

For instance, can anyone name an annual (or perrenial) for that matter that will grow to around 30 inches x 30 inches with wonderful blue-green foliage most closely matching a Colorado Blue Spruce that will also flower with nice light yellow blossoms? There are almost 0 perennials or annuals that produce blue foliage which can be a problem if you’re trying to use contrasting foliage colors. But you know what? Broccoli fits the bill nicely, and if you do not harvest the heads you can watch them mature into pretty yellow flower clusters.

Swiss ChardSo, plant some broccoli, it doesn’t have to be a whole row. 1 plant in the middle of your flowers can make a statement with it’s striking foliage. You might even get some food out of it.

Then what about swiss chard? Have you ever seen a plant that produces foliage as red as the stems and leaf veins from swiss chard? It is as vibrant a crimson as I have ever seen in the plant world. It makes a great foliage plant when placed among other plants, particularly those with yellow foliage.

Corn can provide a nice vertical statement, asparagus delicate fern-like foliage, pepper plants look gorgeous with their brightly colored fruits. There is a whole world of possibilities for attractive edibles out there, try planting one or two within your flower beds. They don’t need to be in orderly rows.

8 Responses to “Edible Ornamentals”

  1. vegetable lover  Says:

    I love the utilitarian approach to landscaping – the combination of aesthetics and edibility appeals to both of my favorite things – nice things to look at and nice things to put in your mouth – yum!

  2. Karrin  Says:

    You are so right. I have to admit my veggies are in tidy little rows in the garden area of my yard. I love the idea of a beautiful bright red chard growning among the flowers. So funny how it never even occured to me to try. Thanks for “thinking outside the box” so to speak.

  3. TopVeg  Says:

    It is much easier to be sure of a crop if veg are grown in rows. So, if you are feeding a family with your own veg, return on effort is important.
    But if you are not relying totally on your own produce, I can see that a cabbage from the herbacious border would be quite exciting!

  4. Mark  Says:

    Very interesting idea. I have never heard of this before but it makes perfect sense. When I was growing up my gran used to have a big garden and she always planted vegetables amongst the flowers and I just thought it was odd as I wasnt old enough to understand.

  5. Talina  Says:

    We are tying this very thing! Squash have the prettiest flowers and they are so yummy to eat! Besides we love growing our own food..

    Have any ideas for winter veggi’s in Flagstaff, AZ? We are tying to find things that like the cold, that we can eat… We have broccoli and sugar snap peas but we want to grow more!

  6. Donald Mckenzie Jr  Says:

    I really liked this post. My garden is just allover the place when everything has fully grown. I will use a few of these tips. Thanks a lot.

  7. Diana Gardner-Williams  Says:

    YES INDEED. Thinking outside of the box is wonderful. I had suggested to one of my clients to incorporate some tomato plants within their plant beds and they looked at me like I was crazy.
    I am going to attach your blog to mine just because that was the first blog I read and loved it.
    Thank you
    Diana Gardner-Williams

  8. Kristal L. Rosebrook  Says:

    I’ve actually never seen this kind of a plant. Pretty colors.

    Kristal Rosebrook

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