Many people pass on flower gardens as being purely decorative. “We need to make use of space!” As food costs climb, this is an understandable factor. Plan ahead and with a little research there is no reason your flower garden can’t also be productive for food, decoration and more. They fit a variety of flowerbed designs and a variety of uses.
A corner of the yard can be home to Rosa rugosa with edible and nutritious rose hips for the kitchen as well as flowers and a dense border. Chives, basil, mint all have flowers and are useful in many ways in the kitchen from tea to flavoring food.
Nasturtiums have pretty red, yellow and orange flowers and cover an area and add a peppery taste to salads and other dishes as well as a splash of color. Zucchini blossoms are another edible treat. Rosemary, sage and other herbs have flowers as well as well known uses in the kitchen. Lavender, marigolds, chives and thyme all fit in flowerbeds but also produce food for the table.
There are a number of vegetables that can be planted in the flower bed also and offer bold splashes of color and a wide range of green to brighten up a flower bed, a raised flowerbed in front of the house or a corner of the yard. If you have a larger area a few bush cherries in the back of the bed can produce a host of flowers in the spring and cherries later in the year as the other flowers come on.
Get creative with flower garden designs and there are tasty rewards. The bright green of pepper plants offset with dainty white flowers gives way to bright red peppers or yellow, purple or even light colored fruits. Pansies are a popular spring garden flower can be added to salad or make a delicate looking jelly.
The variety of plants available can fill a larger flower bed as well as small areas and even containers in the corner of the deck or even hanging baskets. Think vertical as well as square footage! For vines or climbing plants take two “T-posts” and drive in the ground about six feet apart take a section of lattice and wire to it. While one plant grows on it a row of sunflowers can be planted behind it, providing they get sufficient sun.
Think about your options for a flower plant and not only common flower gardening but things many don’t think about can be used to beautify an area as well as being productive. Look with new eyes: beauty is productive!