Do you grow edibles in your ornamental garden? It’s  something I am beginning to be asked more and more when designing gardens. Sometimes there is space and a desire to have an entirely separate growing space for edibles and sometimes an integrated growing scheme is preferable.

I do both mainly because when I run out of edible growing space I can often find the odd hole in the ornamentals that can be usefully filled with a seasonal plant or two. I treat them like annuals. Of course this also helps with the rotation element of edible growing as this kind of inter-planting is very random.

Do you find some edibles are more harmonious with ornamentals than others?  I am trying out the 3 sisters techniques (1xSweetcorn, planted on a slight mound with a bean at each corner of the mound base (4 beans) then 1xCourgette every 3 Sweetcorn/bean group) in the edibles area and seeing some good results so far. There are French marigolds and nasturtiums under the tomatoes to distract black fly.

Do you have a full blown ornamental potager? grown for looks as well as edibles production?

Do take the short poll and let us all know


Plants I don’t include in ornamental beds are the multipliers and runners, so strawberries and raspberries are kept to their own space, and horseradish is kept in a root barrier enclave!

Herbs mingle very happily and the odd currant in a partially shady spot can be easily worked into an overall plan. I grow salad wherever there is a sunny spot and lately spinach too.

After: New Herb bed balancing the planting areas either side of the dining terrace allows for a wide herb bed and en extension of the clients collection of herbs.

After: New Herb bed balancing the planting areas either side of the dining terrace allows for a wide herb bed and en extension of the clients collection of herbs.

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