What is better than a perennial garden bed and a vegetable garden bed? Why, a garden bed that combines them both together. And take it a step further and add herbs to the mix. You will end up with one fantastic garden that meets all your needs. And that is just what the Garden Charmers, my Facebook Gardening Group, has done.
I asked the ladies in the group to submit their best ideas for combining perennial flowers herbs, annuals, and vegetables together. (affiliate links) It is such a great idea for those who have limited space available.
Also, the flowers will attract beneficial insects to help in the pollination of your vegetables for better crops. A win win situation! And after the squirrels got all my vegetables last year, well, let’s just say, I don’t like working three months to feed rodents, so this is a perfect solution for me.
Read on to see what the Garden Charmers did for companion planting and be sure to check our their websites too:
- Lynne – Sensible Gardening and Living
- Stephanie – Garden Therapy
- Barb – Our Fairfield Home and Garden
- Judy – Magic Touch and Her Gardens
- Melissa – Empress of Dirt
- Jacki – O Garden
- Tanya – Lovely Greens
- Amy – A Healthy Life for Me
- and me! – The Gardening Cook
Some of these posts talk about companion planting in detail. Some combine herbs with vegetables or flowers and others have a full blown mission to combine perennials, annuals, herbs and vegetables in one organized garden bed. (my summer project!)
Jacki from O Garden knows that good organic gardening requires beneficial insects in numbers. She loves nasturtiums to not only to attract pollinators, but also because the flowers are edible and they will repel unwanted pests. Three in one!
When your waste management program switches from metal to large plastic bins, you may be left with a bunch of old galvanized tubs. Do what Barb, from Our Fairfield Home and Garden did. She made a mini garden by planting them with herbs, vegetables and companion flowers. Barb planted chives, borage, several varieties of tomatoes, green onions, rosemary, nasturtiums, marigolds, basil, sage, parsley, thyme, rosemary and dill. Now she has an impressive and beautiful display of all sorts of plants. (and did I say I am so jealous of all the galvanized tubs? Oh my!)
Don’t know what to combine for perennials and vegetables? Amy from A Healthy Life for me has a great list of just what to plant together. Not only does she show you what flowers to place near vegetables but she also shows you which vegetables grow well side by side too.
Lynne from Sensible Gardening and Living knows that perennials, vegetables and herbs all need full sun. Her plan is to combine them effectively in a way that they all grow well and are also beautiful to look at.
After the squirrels had a month long vegetable buffet in my garden bed last year, I decided to start over and add my vegetables here and there in a newly designed perennial/vegetable garden bed. The veggies might still tempt them, but at least they won’t eat the flowers!
Stephanie from Garden Therapy has a great article on growing wildflowers that are edible. This evening primrose is a great example of this type of plant. I remember eating in a high end restaurant in Australia that had edible flowers on the plate and being so impressed. Now I can do it as often as I want, without the high end prices!
Tanya from Lovely Greens has a great article that talks about combining all types of gardening in harmony. It is called Learning about Permaculture Zones and is a great read. Tanya explains each of the zones and has illustrations to show how she implements each of them in her gardening.
Judy from Magic Touch and her Gardens has added a new feature on her blog called The Barefoot Garden. She used a great garden planner tool to show how she combined vegetables, annuals and perennial herbs to benefit her garden. She says the herbs deter the cabbage whites that can do so much damage to a vegetable garden.
Melissa from Empress of Dirt just caught some Kale and nasturtiums in one of her raised garden beds, and she says they are very happy companions, thank you very much. Melissa’s article is also a great review of the book “The Edible Landscape” by Emily Tepe.
There you have it. Many of these ideas could be implemented in a garden space that is not too large. Long gone are the rows and rows of veggies. Just combine them into artistic groupings in a flower bed. No need to have herbs in pots on a deck. Plant a few in the garden bed, or arrange the pots there. Everything that you need will be in one nicely designed space. And the bees will love you too!
Do you ever combine vegetables and flowers together? Please leave your comments below.