Friday, September 18, 2009

Growing flowers in the vegetable garden

When we first moved to Houston, I tried to create an English cottage garden. I planted delphinium, hollyhock, and hydrangea with roses and lilies. The lilies managed to perennialize in our yard, but nothing else did very well. I quickly switched to growing native plants and found out how easy it is to garden in Houston with plants that actually belong here.

When I was selecting vegetable seeds for the fall garden, I couldn't help but look at the flower seeds on offer in the same catalogs. I still yearn for those cottage garden flowers, so I decided to try a few of my old favorites in the vegetable garden. I don't want to give up too much of our valuable garden space to flowers, especially when I spend all day around flowers at our flower shop.  But I'm hoping the flowers will attract pollinators and thus aid the vegetable plants while they beautify the garden.

This month, I'm starting hollyhock, delphinium, foxglove and nasturtium. Nasturtiums are the perfect flower because they look great cascading from our window box, and they are actually edible. They are particularly good in salads, adding a nice peppery kick. The other flowers are just for looks, but well worth a spot in the vegetable garden.

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