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.

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

18 comments:

  1. Yes, it definitely is. I'm a big believer in mixing edible and ornamental plants. You've got some really nice color combinations there.

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    1. Thank you. I'll admit I didn't plan any of the combinations but things worked out nicely in the end.

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  2. Lucky you being able to get lost in your own garden. :) I think you should put up one of those old fashioned dinner bells so your visitors can ring it when they arrive to alert you to their presence. That way you can choose to answer or not. ;) I think you have just the right amount of flowers in your veggies. They can all work together to make yummy eating, confuse the enemy (bugs) with such beauty.

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    1. I am very lucky Lisa!! Love the idea of a dinner bell. Think I also need a large red flag to wave so that I'm easily identifiable for other people. :)

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  3. Marguerite girl I haven't seen this "side" of your gardening and it is wonderful! I am a fan of herbs mixed with flowers and wow ! the mix of flowers and veggies is so pretty .. outstanding in fact !
    My oregano blooms with white flowers on the side of the house where it is a bit of a torture ally, I was so impressed with them.
    You have wonderful pairings here .. as old fashioned as marigolds are I still love them. I plant dill and fennel by my roses .. along with oregano .. and I crush it a bit for that wonderful scent to scare off bugs .. I think it works.
    Being lost in your own garden ... now that is perfection ... you are one lucky gardener !
    Joy : )

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    1. Thanks Joy!. I don't often show the veggie area because I don't think of it as pretty. Isn't that funny the bias we sometimes have against vegetables? A white oregano? that sounds interesting. Didn't know there was other varieties. Herbs are great in tough areas aren't they? they can put up with some of the worst conditions.

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  4. Mixing it up is the best way to garden. Is the whole of your 3 acres cultivated? I'm impressed I doubt even an acre of my rural property is cultivated.

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    1. LOL, not even close! I can't even imagine how much time that would take. Wouldn't that be great though?! My two main areas are the large flower garden directly in front of the house and the area around the garage which has both flowers and vegetables.

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  5. Those are beautiful! I never think about aesthetics with vegetable gardens, just what they create. Sounds like you put a LOT of work into it!

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    1. Thanks Stephanie. I haven't put a lot of thought into making things pretty in the veggie patch but it seems I can't help myself. I like eating vegetables but I don't find them particularly attractive most days.

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  6. I have flowers in my veggie garden too. :-)
    It is beautiful. I love the box of red and green lettuce. I will have to steal that idea for next spring. ;-)

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    1. Steal away! It wasn't a well planned venture but it turned out well. I liked the colour combination and the lettuce grew perfectly in the shade.

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  7. My husband often has to come looking for me, too, when I'm "hiding" in the garden, as he puts it. Your vegetable garden is so pretty! I always plant marigolds, too, and nasturtiums in my vegetable garden, though the squash bugs sure aren't deterred by them. The last couple of years I've had volunteer cosmos as well. Besides adding a colorful border to the garden, I like to think they hide some of the weeds:) Love your picnic table plantings!

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    1. Great plan to hide the weeds! I can always use that. I've planted nasturtiums in the veggie bed before as well. I was sure they were a bug trap but like the marigolds, I just liked the colours.

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  8. The flowers in your vegetable garden look beautiful!

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  9. Three acres! I didn't realize you had quite that much space. I could see how you might be hard to track down. I would also think that it would be easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer size of the space available to garden.
    Mixing flowers and veggies is wonderful if you ask me. My problem is that I have put too many flowers into my raised veggie beds! The flowers have taken over. LOL I have yet to come up with a proper balance. I love you potted begonia.

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    1. It's a lot of space to contend with! I love it but have come to realize there's no way I can landscape the entire thing. One of the reasons we have planted so many trees. I don't think you can ever have too many flowers - even if it's to the detriment of the beans :) I'm sure your veggie garden looks gorgeous.

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