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Art Knapp
So Much More Than Plants
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Tips for Mixing Ornamental and Edible Plants in Your Garden

in Inspiration

Tips for Mixing Ornamental and Edible Plants in Your Garden

It often feels like a choice when planting a garden whether you are going for an ornamental garden, full of beautiful flowers, bushes and other purely aesthetic plants or a food garden, full of fruits and vegetables. However, it is perfectly possible to create a garden that has both ornamental and edible plants and have them work seamlessly to create the garden of your dreams. Here are some tips for mixing ornamental and edible plants in your garden to achieve the best of both worlds.

One of the easiest ways to mix ornamental and edible plants is to consider the appearance of the edibles that you are planting. For example, Kales and Chards both have beautiful coloring that can add a lot to the garden, leafy vegetables can also be planted very close together and can be used for filling gaps or creating interesting patterns.

Certain herbs such as Chives and Basils can develop wonderful flowers that won’t look out of place when mixed with other flowering plants. You should also consider what the plants may look like in different stages of growth, an example of this is pepper or tomato plants which will begin as small unimpressive shrubs but will eventually both flower and develop colorful fruit that can add color to your garden. You can also get plants that do both such as marigolds, which are both edible, beautiful and have pest repelling properties

There are more advantages to planting a mixed garden outside of aesthetics, as a mix of ornamental and edible plants can create advantages for both types of plants. By having food plants mixed with nectar rich, flowering plants, insects will often be drawn away from the edible plants and on to the ornamental ones. The opposite is also true, pollinators love mixed gardens and are often drawn to those nectar rich flowering plants, this can lead to better results for your edible plants as well as your ornamental ones.

Some issues that may come up when mixing plants are pesticides, which can be dangerous to use with edibles, and location, most edibles require a great deal of water and sun and may not mix well with shade growing ornamentals. Many ornamental plants also have different soil requirements than edible plants, with many purely ornamental flowers requiring well drained soil to avoid mold on their roots. A simple way to avoid many of these issues is to use pots for either your edible or your ornamental plants, therefor avoiding any soil issues that may occur between them.

We hope we have provided you with some helpful tips and useful benefits for mixing ornamental and edible plants in your garden.

Art Knapp has 15 locations across British Columbia and is well known as the go-to garden centre for everything garden-related. Art Knapp, himself, began the business in the 1940's, and now, 80 years later, you can find more than he ever dreamed of in our stores. Come and see us on King George Boulevard in Surrey.


If you have any questions about this article or want to talk to us about gardening, just give us a call at (604) 596-9201.

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