Edible Ornamental Plants to Add to Your Garden
While growing your own food has become trendy in recent years, vegetable gardens often lack the level of aesthetics found in ornamental landscape beds. Plus, vegetable gardens can take up a lot of valuable space and are usually away from the house. We say marry the two by incorporating veggies and herbs closer to your living space and within your landscape.
There are many edible plant arrangements that are just as gorgeous as ornamental options: for example, the addition of purple basil into plant beds. The drastic contrast of purple against green is one of the hottest combinations right now. In addition to the beautiful color, the basil’s wonderful smell adds a wonderful aromatic element when planted close to the kitchen or grill.
Lemongrass is another herb experiencing a surge in popularity. Lemongrass compliments most other shrubs, grasses and perennials. I highly recommend keeping this one near the patio. Not only is it a beautiful plant that tastes great with chicken dishes, it actually repels mosquitoes!
Another great way to grow fresh vegetables in a beautiful way is by using large pots and containers. Many varieties of tomatoes thrive in containers. Cherry or grape tomatoes are nice because they are lightweight and usually have a very high yield – you can even go vertical with them. All tomatoes are natural climbers, so give them a structure in the container to climb. It can be as simple as three wood stakes tied into a teepee or purchasing an ornamental obelisk or garden trellis.
There are also many varieties of flowers that are edible. One that’s often found in ornamental beds, but not as much in vegetable gardens, is lavender. Yes, lavender is edible and delicious. The next time you make a pitcher of lemonade, try pouring it through a coffee filter filled with snipped lavender. Lavender is also called for in Herbs de Provence. A mixture of dried herbs from the south of France, Herbs de Provence usually includes basil, thyme, savory, rosemary, tarragon, lavender, fennel, marjoram and chervil.
Embrace the green movement: incorporate some edible plants into your ornamentals. You’ll be glad you did.