Saturday, February 12, 2005

What is it?

Is it a vegetable garden or is it a flower garden? Does there need to be a difference? Whilst soil and growing conditions can vary between the two, some intermingling of plants can have great appeal.

We have fruit trees and vegetables surrounded by marigolds, pansies, sunflowers and even a couple of roses. I have used red oak-leafed lettuce as a border plant between petunias, and often plant beetroot, parsley, endive (which we don't even eat) in the flower garden. Dill, mustard greens, bronze fennel and golden marjoram are currently thriving amongst the perennials. I don't always harvest the vegetables among the flowers because they may be a bit crowded and not mature properly but the leaves are a great source of interest. Many vegetables look very attractive when left to run to seed, eg, onions, garlic chives, endive, carrots and bok choy. When we lived in Gippsland I found some Sweet William seedlings under a shrub. I transplanted them around the vegetable garden and we had the best SW we'd ever grown and they flowered for many, many weeks.

Yesterday I planted dwarf beans around a raised flower bed, and intend to plant climbing beans at the edge of the garden and allow them to drape over the brick wall.


Chloe said...

There's no argument for my "ornamental" garden - it is all perennials, self-seeding annuals and shrubs and trees. Whatever has survived under years of neglect. Although there are potatoes that have come with the compost and stayed.

But my "Kitchen Garden" is more interesting. I have finally settled on that name for it, after trying "Pottinger" and similar names. It is veggies and herbs plus flowers - it is the nursery where I put things I really need to survive while I am getting somewhere ready for them in the main garden.

But now I intend to also use it as a "Picking Garden" - where I am going to put my bulbs in straight lines to try and increase some of them as well - the white daffodils and the dark red ones I think that are Sparaxis that seem to have mutated all over the place.

I have a friend who will not pick flowers from her garden, but buys them - not how I go!

But it is interesting to watch changing trends - so many parks these days are planting parsley in flower beds to show off and intensify colours, and silverbeet/chard - maybe to help protect from wind - I'm not sure.

But the lines are blurring.

Frankie said...

The lines are blurring... that's right. The French don't usually mix vegies and flowers but some do now argumenting that some flowers attract bugs and therefore protect the vegies. It's true for marigolds near cabbage. I've tried.