Blending Edible Plants with Ornamentals

Posted by on Jun 12, 2016 in Frugal For Everyone, Gardening, Green Living, Herbs | 29 comments

Designing a beautiful landscape can feel overwhelming to non-gardening experts. But designing a landscape that seamlessly integrates edible plants? That may seem unrealistic—but it’s not.

Here’s a great place to start: Understanding the basics of line and form in your outdoor spaces. There are different types of lines—curves, straight, vertical, horizontal—as well as forms. Those work with structures and plants to create pleasing visuals.

And while many people assume that most fruits and vegetables must be planted every year, there are edibles that grow multiple years in a row. That can help when designing a landscape that has consistency from year to year.

Although many people plant edibles for the harvest, there are considerations of height, color, leaf structure, and more to consider, and how those can accent the plants you have already in the landscape. In addition, many edible have flowering times, which can be a great complement to other blooms in the yard.

Whatever your approach to landscaping, this graphic can help you integrate more plants to harvest in your yard.


Edible plants
Source: Blog

When I was asked to publish this infographic on my post I was delighted to comply. It’s exactly the kind of information that’s great to share. Instead of adding it to the sidebar I decided that the infographic would be the post. Attractive, colourful and loaded with useful information to make blending edible plants and ornamentals easy. What’s more, we all know the cost of fruits and vegetables have gone way up and from all reports, will continue to increase. Isn’t this a beautiful way to control those costs?

Talk to you again next week,


If you liked this post, others will too. Please share.





  1. This infographic is pretty nice. Lots of good information on there.

  2. Anise hyssop’s combination of a pretty blue color and a “licorice-like” flavor (I’m a passionate fan of black licorice) naturally grabbed my attention, so I looked it up at Wikipedia; the photo there shows a purplish plant and there’s no mention of licorice, but the text notes that it attracts bees, so that would be another selling point, yes?

    • Andy, I am addicted to licorice – especially the dutch licorice – to the point I can’t buy it because I’ll eat it all right away. Not healthy at all. Anyse hyssyop does have a purplish blue flower and yes, the bees love it. On that note, I’ve been finding some honey bees and butterflies zooming around my yard – nice to see. Have a great week.

  3. This is a really cool post. I like the idea of having edible plants instead of just ornamental ones. I know some ornamental plants are poison, not only to humans, but to rodents as well. I wonder if these ornamental plants can protect the edible ones from these rodents by being located near them?

    • William, Richter’s (an herb company) have a plant called the “Piss Off” plant, seriously, that repels all kinds of rodents and other small animals like cats. As for ornamentals, there are for sure plants that attract animals – catnip for instance – so I’m sure there are plants that repel them too. Can’t really think of any right off.

  4. Thanks for sharing the infographic Doreen.
    I thought it was nicely done and very useful

  5. This is wonderful Lenie! I remember when I was in hotel sales the trend to use flowers in cooking was just catching on and it seemed like every resort here started their own garden. This is a terrific infographic that I’ll happily share. 🙂

    • Marquita, I can always count on you to share – thanks so much. While researching the Victorians I’m finding out that many of today’s ‘new’ trends, such as edible flowers, were actually everyday practices back then. Makes it very interesting to compare the past and the present. I thought the infographic was nicely laid out and easy to follow.

  6. Hi Lenie. Another gorgeous info graphic. I just love those. I remember thinking back now beautiful my grandmother’s perfectly manicured vegetable garden was, like a work of art. Goes to show it didn’t have to be flowers only to be beautiful. I’m sure many people will be amazed at the number of edible flowers.

    • Hi Susan, aren’t I fortunate. I get to post the infographic without doing any of the work – pretty clever huh? Actually this is the second infographic I’ve posted, once in the sidebar and then this one as the post. Both originated from the same person so I felt very comfortable posting it. Plus, I found it very attractive and useful. 🙂

  7. This is great info. I’ve taken small steps in this direction when it comes to incorporating edible plants into my landscape. I have a gardener friend who’s been at years longer than me. She has so many great things growing and I love it when she puts nasturtium on some of the dishes she makes.

    • Hi Jeri, I’ve been adding ornamentals to my vegetable/herb gardens for years (and vice-versa), mainly as a bug deterrent, I think next year I’m going to use the infographic to plan a salad garden wit salad stuff and favourite edible flowersws. I think that will end up looking fantastic and end up being tasty too.

  8. The infographic looks great Lenie. And I appreciate the information as well.

  9. Edible flowers – I am yet to try one!

    I do like the look of a landscaped garden. It shows a garden is well cared for. The outside areas of out home needed to be tended as much as the inside, though this is not always the case.

    Lenie – you will be pleased to know we have planted some flowers in two corner plots in our garden. What a difference it makes to the overall look of our garden!

    • Phoenicia, nice to hear you’ve added some flowerbeds – any edible flowers in there? It might be fun to add just a few of the edible ones the next time you make a salad – be interesting to see the look on the face of your family 🙂

  10. This is a great infographic about edible plants, Lenie. I have been researching this for my garden for years now and have incorporated perennial plants. I particularly like my Concord grape vine that is about 10 + years old. I want to try the edible flowers,though and will be keeping this infographic as a reference. Thanks for sharing.

    • Sabrina, I’ve often wished we had started grapes early on so that now we would be harvesting them. I’ve fancied setting a bench underneath a grape arbour and reaching up to grab a grape (a poor man’s version of Cleopatra LOL). Anyway, glad you enjoyed the infographic. I know I’ll be referring to it myself from time to time.

  11. Gosh it really IS full of useful information. I am envious of climes that can grow some of the more exotic fruits (bananas) but many we can grow here in the UK too. I love growing perennial fruit and veg and to be honest they are my most successful crops year on year.
    Edible plants are currently a big thing for public plantings. My local park is flush with Elder flower at the moment but the brambles (blackberries) are flowering along with apples, crab apples, sloes (Blackthorn), Rosa rugosa (rose for hips) some small plums (mirabelles) and damsons too. This variety blend together to form wonderful diverse hedging and shrubberies.

    • Rosalind, nice to hear a professional opinion about the value of the infographic. I thought it was wonderful – so nicely laid out. I’ll bet that park is gorgeous – I have elderflowers (my husband used to make the best elderberry pie), an old-fashioned apple tree, don’t even know the name except the apples are an all-purpose apple that tastes wonderful no matter how you use them, blackberries and raspberries grow wild here. I have always wanted Rosa rugosa because I’ve heard the hips make great jellies and teas but never got around to it.

  12. I’ve liked mixing edible plants with ornamental plants for years and yet I still need to be reminded of the possibilities sometimes. When we downsized and I now longer had several gardens I mixed in a couple of tomato plants and some pepper plants into the small planters I had around the house of our new home, but it took a garden tour for me to realize how pretty dill might be (and I like to use dill in cooking) mixed in with my flowers. I love this infographic and think I will be referring back to it many times.

    • Hi Donna, it’s nice to know that even on garden tours people are now seeing edibles with ornamentals. Flowerbeds are actually secondary in my life to herb/vegetable gardens but I do plant lavender, chives (especially with roses) thyme, etc in my flower beds. They look and smell nice and protect against bugs. I’m not a real dill fan although I do have a pack of fernleaf dill seeds here – maybe I should sprinkle a few seeds around. The infographic really is useful.

  13. This is indeed a very helpful infographic, Lenie. Thx for sharing it with us. I will be happy to share with my followers.

    • Thanks for sharing the infographic Doreen. I thought it was nicely done and very useful 🙂

  14. That is a great infographic. I really want to start a balcony garden. I’ve been talking about it forever but I’m really motivated to do it now. You’ve probably mentioned this in past blog posts, but do you have any containers you recommend for planting vegetables on a balcony? That is the step that is confusing me. Needless to say, some great information and I will be sharing.

    • Erica, try starting with one planter with a tomato, a basil plant, a few chives if you like them and a marigold. I promise you’ll never buy another tomato again and of course, basil is a natural complement, and both the chives and marigold flowers add pizzazz to a salad plus marigolds keep bugs away and they are all easy care plants. Any large patio planter will do but stay away from terra cotta ones as they can dry up really fast. For your specific area any good garden centre where you buy the plants can help you choose what’s best.

      • Actually I’d recommend terracotta over all else as the temperature at the roots remains more even than in metal or even plastics. A dish beneath 1/2 filled with gravel and topped up with water allows a wicking of moisture into the terracotta as needed, which waters plants more evenly throughout the root run.

        • Rosalind, I’m going to copy your comment and forward it to Erica via DM. Thanks for the info.

  15. Love your ideas of using edible plants to design a beautiful landscape. Some flowers are actually delicious to eat. Am not keen on infographics but at least this one is on a good subject.

    • Catarina, I think the idea of blending edibles with ornamentals should be promoted more than it has been and this infographic does provide the details in an easy to read layout. I agree about eating flowers and they make a salad look so pretty.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!