Edible Plants For Ornamental Borders

29 December 2016
 Categories: , Blog


Do you want to grow food in your front yard but city code or HOA rules won't allow it? If so, there is still hope. Plenty of edible foods will fit right in to your flowering borders that line your home and walkways. The following are a few to consider adding to your landscape design.

Perennial color and texture

There are three perennial vegetables that can grow undercover in a flower bed:

  • Rhubarb

  • Asparagus

  • Artichokes

Two of them will provide you with plenty of attractive foliage, while the other will add a striking bloom to the design. Rhubarb produces large green leaves with reddish stalks and leaf veins. The stalks are edible and most commonly used in pies and jams. Asparagus shoots push through in spring when they are tender and ready for harvest. By midsummer, the plants produce lacy, fern-like leaves that provide a nice background to summer flowers.

Artichokes grow quite tall. These members of the thistle family produce large purple flowers that are quite striking. The actual artichoke is the unopened flower bud, but plants produce multiple buds so you can harvest some while still allowing some to bloom.

Leafy annuals

For your annual borders, consider adding some greenery. Kale and leaf lettuce are the natural choices. They are available in a range of colors from deep red to dark greenish-black. The leaves can provide quite the attractive backdrop to any flower. Even better, these grow in the cooler spring and fall weather, when other ornamental plants aren't producing as well.

Another leafy option is any one of many annual herbs. The delicate lacy leaves of tall dill plants standing in a row are an excellent background to medium height flowers likes zinnia. Vibrant green basil grows quickly to fill in the spaces between pansies or petunias.

Edible flowers

Some ornamentals are actually food plants. There is a vast range of flowers that are actually edible. Nasturtiums, as an example, feature a peppery flavor and they add color to summer salads. Other edible common flowers include pansies, calendula, and marigolds.

Herbs also provide flowers. Chamomile is perhaps one of the more common options, as the small white flowers resemble daisies and the apple-scented blossoms are a delight in the garden. Sage impresses with its striking spikes of purple flowers, and the leaves are a real treat in the kitchen. Flowering thyme is another good option, since the low-growing perennial features small flowers and no one will notice you harvesting the leaves for culinary purposes.

Talk to a landscape designer for more options to fit edibles into your ornamental borders. To find out more, speak with someone like All Season Landscaping.