Front Yard: Mix Vegetables and Flowers Beautifully in the Gardens

Complementary Flowers and Veggies

In the background are broccoli and a cherry tomato plant.  The foreground has hosta and daisies.
In the background are broccoli and a cherry tomato plant. The foreground has hosta and daisies. | Source

Flowers and vegetables mixed together – it works for me.

But, what should I call my garden plot?  Fleggies? Vegewers? Flowertables?  : D

How this garden design came to be

I am a creative, unorthodox person. I do not especially like the idea of a fenced rectangle full of parallel rows as the abode for my nascent vegetables. Furthermore, I live at a wonderful house, but it would challenge anyone married to the notion of vegetable- garden-must-be-in-back. (Fortunately, I am not so wed.) The lot is steeply sloped going down to the street. It is a narrow strip of land with the house placed 2/3 up the property. The backyard is very shaded and there is only about 7 feet of yard on each side of the house.

Guess what? The front yard is the cha-ching! SUNNY AREA.

Helpful Ideas for Gardeners

No Problemo

I have messed around with the concept of mixing vegetables in with flowers in the past, but it was on a very small scale. Now I have a huge palette (the entire yard) and almost complete artistic freedom. Even better, my housemate likes it when I take away lawn which needs mowing. You don’t need to tell me these things twice: I am ON it!

Thus, in a plot which receives partial shade in the morning, I have created a green and white "rug" which is soothing all the time. Using a key in which red arrows point to produce and yellow arrows point to flowers, in the photo below one can see:

Red: broccoli, cherry tomato

Yellow: hosta, sedum, lamb's ear, daisies

Another View of the Driveway Plot

This is a green and white themed garden focusing on the plants' foliage rather than blossoms.
This is a green and white themed garden focusing on the plants' foliage rather than blossoms. | Source

Existing Side Yard Garden

We had a bed established along an added sun porch. Sadly neglected, it featured daylilies at the foundation, lamium, and beaucoup de weeds. I have worked at it for several seasons. it receives heavy sun from noon until sunset. This year we have a healthy mix of flowers and food. Admittedly, the quantities of plants are not huge - not enough to start selling at a farmer's market, but enough to furnish us with fresh, un-sprayed veggies.

Red: potatoes, onions, spinach, sugar snap peas

Yellow: lamium, daylilies, peony, daffodil, rhododendron

Source

Front Street Garden

We have a rock-ish sort of garden along the street side of our property - bordering all the front edge except for the driveway. The sun beats at it constantly.  I expand this garden up the hill every year to take away more grass and create more playground for me. Please understand that it is a project in progress. The photos below show plots next to hybrid lilies, butterfly bush, holly, chrysanthemum, daffodils, and lilies. There is already a plot of potatoes in the background of the first photo.

Ready for Veggies

The patch of nicely worked soil is waiting for bush green beans.
The patch of nicely worked soil is waiting for bush green beans.
This full sun area will receive either beans or a tomato plant.
This full sun area will receive either beans or a tomato plant.

Sneak 'em in every chance you get

Below are two places where I have "snuck" veggies in between existing plants.

Red: three onions between hybrid lilies and an azalea bush.

Red: potatoes between yew and rhododendron.

Chimney potatoes and sneaky onions

A few more onion plants.
A few more onion plants.
Trim back your shrubs and plant a few potatoes!
Trim back your shrubs and plant a few potatoes!

No More Rules

I declare no more rules for the home gardener. Plant what you want! Eat healthily! Play outside!

Text and photos copyright 2011 Maren E. Morgan

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Comments 5 comments

Miss Mellie profile image

Miss Mellie 5 years ago

Maren, I love your attitude toward gardening. Indeed, who says you can't mix flowers and veggies? Using free spots between existing plants is a clever way to make the best use of what space you have. Voted useful and up. Wishing you a flourishing garden!


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 5 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Thanks so much. I will report on the harvest later in the summer.


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 5 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Thanks, LeroyShane. I was thinking the same thing - that we are due for a photo update. I have grand-looking broccoli next to sedum. When it stops raining, I might get myself out there to snap some pix. Are you also putting flowers and veggies in the same plot?


NotTooTall profile image

NotTooTall 5 years ago from The Land of Pleasant Living

HiMaren Morgan M-T,

Nice Hub! I can't agree more . . . I like to sneak raddish seeds beneath established plants and get more production from a pre-planted area all the time. They grow easy and fast.

Gardeners can make their own rules, so flowers, veggies and herbs can share their space . . . and get along just fine. I enjoyed the information ~ thanks.

N T T


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 5 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

NotTooTall - thanks for the affirmation. Now we all need to watch Oak Park, Michigan to see if local municipalities can get away with governing our garden plots and yards. (I think we gardeners will win.)

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