Friday, November 21, 2014

Vegetable Gardens can be Pretty Too

We have a pretty big yard.  Three acres of space to get lost in.  When we first moved here it was a blank slate.  5 years on and one can get lost behind shrubs and plants.  I spent a day in the garden this summer and not one but two people dropped by our house.  I did not see them and they did not see me.  I only found out via phone messages and emails later on.

Unfortunately that same thing happens to my husband.   There are times he comes looking and can't find me. One day he came looking and I was nowhere to be found.  Hours later when I finally came back to the house he asked me, "who puts so many flowers in their vegetable garden?"

Apparently in his travels he wandered through the veggie beds and was surprised at the number of flowers he saw.  I didn't think the vegetable garden had so many flowers but on closer inspection I guess I subconsciously felt it needed some perking up.

Marigolds contrast against red beet tops
I always include marigolds in my vegetable beds as they are said to deter whiteflies and nematodes.  I don't know if they really do that but they sure look pretty contrasted against the beets.  

Lilies and Borage
I was gifted with lilies a few years ago and had no place to put them so into the vegetable garden they went.  Now they are surrounded by borage and feverfew each year which draws beneficial insects to pollinate my vegetable plants.

I ordered a daylily this year from local daylily breeder Red Lane Gardens but the flower bed wasn't quite ready when the plants arrived so daylilies graced my carrot bed this year.

Hidden Strength daylily
Every year I dream about putting containers of flowers on our deck but the reality is the containers I do put out die a slow death.  Our deck is in full sun throughout the summer and I am forgetful about watering.  So this year I decided the shade of the garage was the perfect spot for a container garden.  Less watering and I liked the idea of bright colours contrasting against the white walls of the garage.  It just so happens the garage is located next to the vegetable garden.

Begonias and lobelia
Pots of perennials and shrubs that hadn't yet been planted were massed into a collection on a picnic table.  Colourful annuals added some colour.  A box full of red and green lettuce growing in the shade provided greens throughout the summer.

On the sunny side of the garage I put herbs.  Cilantro and dill were combined with cosmos and rudbeckia.

Orange and pink cosmos, dill and cilantro
In fact, herbs are a great way to add some colour to the garden.  Oregano provides a cloud of pink blooms each summer as well as food for us and insects.

So maybe there's a few flowers in my vegetable garden.  But it's just prettier that way isn't it?