It's official, I heard it from an old school gentleman vegetable gardener, it's definitely OK to grow your veggies in your flower border or wherever you like! They don't need to be imprisoned in straight rows only in a vegetable garden, if you like them like that then great - but you can grow them anywhere! I've been yibbering on about growing veggies anywhere there is a space in the garden for years - as long as you grow some, who cares where - gardening is personal - not a dictatorship - we can grow veggies in buckets, flower garden, as ornamentals, in a window box, etc. Good article about it here - urging you to be adventurous in your vegetable gardening.........
At the moment I'm making a new garden (picture at the top - two new borders) - some of them are for veggies and some of it for flowers - BUT - I'm going to mix them up a bit (flowers and veggies) and grow alot of things together. However, when I've voiced this before in our vegetable garden class, I've often been met with very wry looks from people and more than one raised eyebrow in my time. Cabbages and Calendula side by side in perfect harmony - surely not................! I think its about time more vegetables need to be set free and grown in any available space.
As this chap continued to talk, to my delight he was telling the class quite out of the blue:
'Ye ken, many o' these veggies mak a richt good job in the flower border, especially the root crops. You dinnae need a big garden and fancy stuff to grow your own food, even a bucket will do. The main message I'm giving you is to have a go - start small and see what you like growing'
Makes alot of sense I suppose - try to do a little bit, then try a bit more. I love the fact that he recognised that many of these plants are 'bonnie', like carrots and beetroot especially, have very attractive spreading foliage which wouldn't be out of place in the flower garden - complimenting your other perennial plant nicely and would do a good job of keeping the border full and the weeds down - no reason why all the veggies have to be grown in straight lines like little soldiers - no reason at all. Variety is the spice of life after all, when I grew the chillis this year - I was surprised at how pretty they were as house plants - and productive!
|Chilli jalepeno grown on the windowsill of the living room - no greenhouse, but that didn't stop me......|
I'm a bit wary and scared (personally) myself of overcommitting myself with a big veggie garden. I've all respect for those folk who can fit in work/life/family/etc and also manage to get along to an allotment on a regular enough basis and put a real big effort into being able to grow their own food. I've been stung too many times before my work/life balance often is not really what it should be. However, the idea of having a 'few' bits of veggies dotted here and there in the garden - in pots/tubs/borders etc - would probably suit me and my garden very well.
The garden here is quite new and many of the borders I'm carving out of the grass have only a few plants to put in them over the next year - I really do need alot of fast growing vegetable type things to fill up the spaces....................that's a great plan! I can grow food in the gaps and keep the weeds down. When I think about it, for this good life notion we've got, I do need to grow alot of veggies for our home and with that in mind I did put a plan together to grow some of our veggies in a big raised bed (see the picture below) which I do find very scary - if it gets overrun with weeds or I can't keep on top of it - then I know I'll get overwhelmed quickly. However, I'll do my best and to help that I can make myself have more chance of success by growing a few veggies in the new borders too.
Brilliant - I love when you hear someone like that gentleman gardener speak about something with passion - it really inspires you! Lets hope I can keep on top of the garden I'm just trying to make new this year.