Companion Plants and Edible Landscaping

Cottage gardening — a mixture of flowers, herbs and food crops — allows you to sneak edibles into regular landscaping. By mixing ornamentals and edibles, you can outsmart HOA regulations or deter two-legged thieves from pilfering your front yard garden.

Flowers bring pollinators for greater yields. They also attract predatory wasps, who keep “bad” bugs in check. Interspersing crops among flowers and herbs makes would-be munchers work much harder. Instead of a huge kale buffet, those cabbage moths need to discover their caterpillar’s terrain amidst a bunch of other shapes and colors. Choosing purple varieties also confuses animals that want to decimate your hard work. If you let parsley and cilantro flower, they will not only attract beneficial insects; they’ll also reseed themselves.

All of this makes organic gardening much easier!

I prefer a slightly messy garden. It takes less time to maintain, and keeps a casual flow of colors and shapes throughout the season. In addition, companion plants can alter light or soil conditions in favorable ways, allowing hot weather crops a longer season, or repelling things that would otherwise lower yields.

Just sharing some recent photos because my garden brings so much food and joy. You can add freshness and a little food sovereignty bit by bit:

bee balm, flowering parsley, shiso, tomato, and chives
yellow squash, chamomile, flowering onion and kale to the right
“perennial” purple kale, zinnias, nasturtium, banana peppers and more
“perennial” collards (right), sage, yarrow, chives, dianthus, nasturtium, tomato and more
area behind our shed with yellow squash, cucumbers, flowering purple mustard, and potted nettles

Sometimes you garden so much that you start looking like a garden, and that’s OK, too.

6 responses to this post.

  1. You and your garden are beautiful!  Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Posted by Catherine on July 12, 2021 at 7:02 pm

    Thanks for the inspiring post! I’d love to learn more about “perennializing” purple kale and collards!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • I have them growing in “Smart Pots,” and I’m not sure why these ones have lasted several years. In the spring, I just trim them back when they start to flower, and they keep coming back. I know the Smart Pots encourage vigorous root growth, and in Montreal, they are able to grow things that normally won’t tolerate their cold winters. Somehow, these two have come back year after year, even though that “shouldn’t” be the case in our climate.

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