Combining Vegetables and Flowers in Your Garden

Small gardens need to look their best year round and usually have no room for a separate vegetable garden, but with a little imagination, vegetables can look striking alongside flowers and produce a tasty harvest, too.
Runner Bean Vines Climb Cane Wigwam Frames

Runner Bean Vines Climb Cane Wigwam Frames

Photo by: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Vegetable Gardening , 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Whether you have a garden, a patio or a windowsill, you can grow your own delicious fresh vegetables. Fast-maturing crops make decorative displays in pots and look fabulous when combined with flowers, while a potager-style plot brimming with ornamentals and edibles is ideal for a small garden. Use these ideas to inspire your planting, so you can enjoy your vegetables before they even reach your plate.

Squash Edging

Vigorous, trailing plants, such as these squashes, might seem too large for a small garden. However, if they are trained along the front of an established border, or even over mature shrubs, their bold yellow flowers, dramatic foliage, and colorful fruit look great spilling over onto the path. Add plenty of organic matter to the soil in established borders to provide the vegetables with sufficient nutrients to grow well.

Colorful Squash Blossoms Add to Established Bed

Colorful Squash Blossoms Add to Established Bed

Photo by: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Vegetable Gardening , 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Ornamental Display

A simple sowing of summer annuals creates a vibrant, meadowlike effect surrounding a carefully planned bed of purple- and blue-green- leaved vegetables. As well as looking good, the daisylike flowers will attract many beneficial insects to the plot to pollinate crops and prey on pests. Cabbages, leeks and different varieties of kale will continue the display through fall and winter.

Sowing Summer Annuals Creates Vibrant Garden

Sowing Summer Annuals Creates Vibrant Garden

The Chelsea Flower Show 2005, London, UK. 'Fetzer Wine Garden' (Kate Frey) natural wild meadow planting beneath Vines, and small vegetable patch

Photo by: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Vegetable Gardening , 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Bumper Harvest

Climbing vegetables are ideal where space is limited because they will produce a big crop from a small patch of soil. In this border, a wigwam of runner beans towers over dwarf French beans and the feathery foliage of carrots, while nasturtiums, yellow marigolds and a pot of petunias add welcome color. The silvery, thistlelike foliage of perennial globe artichokes gives permanent structure to the border, while its flower buds make a delicious dish.

Climbing Vegetables Ideal for Small Space

Climbing Vegetables Ideal for Small Space

Photo by: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Vegetable Gardening , 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Crop Circles

Planting crops to form decorative patterns is a great way to add interest and it needn't take up much space. Here, a central tree is surrounded by a circular bed of herbs, then concentric rings of salad leaves, carrots, onions and additional herbs, with paths in between for easy access. Make the most of the colorful varieties of lettuce available to brighten up the garden and the salad bowl.

Circular Bed of Herbs and Vegetables Add Interest

Circular Bed of Herbs and Vegetables Add Interest

Photo by: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Vegetable Gardening , 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Next Up

Do Sweet Potatoes Flower?

Whether it is an edible or ornamental sweet potato, flowers are not usually part of the equation.

Vegetable Garden Plans

Taking time to plan a vegetable garden before you plant can pay dividends throughout the season. Clever use of low rows and tall accent plants creates microclimates that different vegetables enjoy, as well as great visual effects.

Growing Vegetables Under Cover

Vegetable plants often need protection from cold weather and persistent pests, particularly when they are young and most vulnerable. Being prepared with the appropriate equipment and protective covers is the best way to avoid losses.

Ready, Set, Grow! When to Start Your Garden

Does winter weather have you itching to dig in the dirt? Get tips on when you can safely start planting veggies for spring and summer.

Choosing a Site for Your Vegetable Garden

Growing vegetables in ideal conditions is not always possible, particularly if you have limited space, but it pays to find a sunny spot that is sheltered from the wind and easily accessible for watering and weeding.

Block Planting Vegetables in Beds

An easy way to grow crops is in beds, where the gardener can focus on improving the soil, removing weeds and planting dense blocks of vegetables in a manageable, defined area.

Raised Beds for Easy Vegetable Cultivation

Not only do raised beds bring interesting height and structure to a garden design, they also elevate the level of the soil to make cultivation and harvesting your vegetables much less strenuous.

5 Frequent Questions About Yard Prep for Growing Vegetables

Preparing the yard for a vegetable garden may take time, but it will pay off all season long.

When to Harvest Sweet Potatoes

Learn when and how to harvest and cure sweet potatoes to enjoy during the winter months.

How to Grow Organic Sweet Potatoes

Find solutions for sourcing organic sweet potato slips and fertilizing with naturally derived nutrients.

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