Fruit, herbs and vegetables in combination with ornamental plant

The latest thing in gardening is kitchen gardening, where you plant ornamental and edible plants together. Here you'll find some suggestions for combining the best looking, smelling and tasting garden.

All together
This latest garden trend goes back to the origins of gardening. In olden days it was usual to have ornamental plants, herbs and vegetables in the same garden. The beneficial and protective effects that certain plants had on each other were well known. And this is how cottage gardens originally came into being. Only later did it become fashionable to separate the different types of plants into kitchen gardens, herb gardens, flower gardens and orchards. But now we have come full circle. Here we have a garden which is a mixture of ornamental and 'useful' plants. A good looking, smelling and tasting garden!

Colour, fragrance and taste
Ornamental gardens have always had colour, shape and scent. By planting some vegetables, herbs and fruit bushes in it you add a new element: taste! And, of course, a diet that includes fresh vegetables and herbs is also highly beneficial to health. And you won't get your herbs, veg or fruit much fresher than this. You can pick what you'll eat that same day.

Pots and containers
Kitchen gardening is not very hard. Most plants like a loose, well-drained and fertile soil. And that can be supplied in pots and containers on a balcony, roof garden or patio just as well as in the soil of your garden.

Terence Conran's kitchen garden
The celebrated kitchen garden expert Terence Conran created an extraordinary original kitchen garden at the Chelsea Flower Show in 1999. Visitors were amazed to see how easy it was to grow vegetables in containers, to make an appetizing garden, in such a small roof, patio or balcony space.

Not just a pretty plant
The following is a list of some of the many excellent choices for your kitchen garden, for appearance and taste!

  • Kohlrabi (white and red). A very popular vegetable on the continent, not often eaten here. Give it a try.
  • Colourful lettuces like 'Lollo Rossa', Reddish-green Batavia lettuce, Loose-leaf Frisée d'Amérique and Oak Leaf lettuce.
  • Beetroot. There some varieties with amazing red stalks like 'Detroit Loki'.
  • Broccoli 'Southern Comet hybrid', a beautiful dark green cabbage with delicate taste.

Tasty and good looking fruit

  • Dwarf fruit trees like Pear, Apple Cherry Apricot and Peach are suitable for gardens as well as pots.
  • Tasty climbers like Grapes and Kiwis.
  • Red, White- or Blackcurrants, or Blackberries. These shrubs can be planted in any normal garden soil, in full sun as well as in light shade. A fruit hedge is also very decorative.
  • Shiny Strawberries along the edge of the border, or in pots on the balcony for a fragrant summer treat.

Annual herbs with elegant foliage
Annual herbs can grow in any sunny spot between the border plants. Some decorative ones include:

  • Dill. The beautiful delicate foliage looks fabulous set off against large flowered summer flowers.
  • Borage has wonderful blue edible flowers. The young foliage tastes a bit like cucumber.
  • Parsley, the curly varieties in particular are a pretty addition in the border.
  • Nasturtium. All part of the plant are edible; the seeds taste like capers, the flowers are quite sharp and the foliage has a slight radish-like taste.

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