When spring is around the corner it's so exciting to plan out our spring and summer gardens. When you're choosing your vegetables, don't forget to add in a whole lot of beneficial flowers!
Creating flower-filled spaces in your vegetable garden comes with a world of benefits. There are many beneficial flowers that will deter pests, attract pollinators and other beneficial insects, provide ground cover and all-around beauty.
When you're gardening organically, flower power and companion planting are vital in the quest for a thriving and healthy garden ecosystem.
That's right, a lot of blooms don't just look good, they also help keep your garden thriving.
Lacy Phacelia (Purple Tansy)
Ladybirds and bees LOVE this nectar heavy flower. It is one the top beneficial insect attracting flowers you can have in your garden. Plant it once and it should self-seed for you the following year.
French marigolds, with their bright yellows and optimistic oranges, are one of my favourites to plant in my garden. Their gorgeous colour attracts the bees and their strong scent keeps away the bugs we don't want, such as slugs and leafhoppers.
French marigolds are best planted in clumps of many as opposed to one or two. They are annual so will die after a year but if you let them self-seed, you can grow them again and again.
These gorgeous flowers have many uses. They not only help repel detrimental bugs, the petals are also edible and have antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties.
So toss their petals in a salad, make your own medicinal balm or brew a calendula tea. So many uses!
They're an annual but they self-seed super well so you'll really just have to plant them once, then watch them multiply effortlessly.
Borage is a bee's best friend. These pretty and interesting looking flowers are edible and though it's an annual, it's a fantastic self-seeder. Once you plant one plant, you'll never have to plant another again.
Borage is another good pest control plant and helps keep away cabbage worms. It also leaves beneficial trace elements in your soil when it's planted.
It smells delicious to us but not so much to mosquitoes, moths, and fleas and will keep these pests away from you while you're gardening. The heavily scented purple flowers will attract bees and other pollinators, so lavender is a big asset in the vegetable garden.
Sweet and peppery nasturtium. Another edible bloom, this rambling flower helps repel whitefly and keeps other bugs off your vegetables by acting like a 'trap crop', sacrificing itself to save your produce, (a hero plant right there.) Plus, as a bonus, the nasturtium seed pods can be pickled and eaten as an alternative to capers!
This is another flower that needs no help with self-seeding.
Sunflowers, poppies, snapdragons, sweet peas, cosmos, lupins, anise hyssop...These beautiful flowers will brighten up your garden and attract loads of beneficial insects. You can let your some vegetables and herbs flower too.
So when you're planning your spring garden, don't just plant vegetables. A flower-filled garden is a happier place for both nature and gardeners.
What's your favourite flower?