Just over a month to go and spring is here. This means more warmth and sunshine on the way. Unfortunately, this means more garden pests too. If you’re trying to garden organically, one way to help with this is to plant certain flowers.
That’s right, a lot of blooms don’t just look good, they also help keep your garden healthy. There are flowers for all sorts of reasons in the garden: encouraging bees, keeping away detrimental bugs and encouraging beneficial bugs.
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 an 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 though so lavender is a big asset in the vegetable garden.
Sweet and peppery nasturtium. Another edible bloom, this rambling flower helps repel white fly 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, 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.
Wildflowers: Cosmos, cornflowers, poppies, sweet peas, snapdragons and more
These beautiful flowers will brighten up your garden and attract loads of bees. You can sprinkle wildflower seeds now and they’ll be ready in summer.
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 gardener.
What’s your favourite flower?