Edible Flower Garden Bed Design
My herb bed is in need of a desperate make over. It’s been three years since I turned a dry dirt filled box (appreciated only by the neighbor’s cats) into an overflowing plethora of edible goodness.
I have been adding to this bed over the years, including several perennials such as peonies, phlox, and crocosmia; and although they have been very happy there, it was time for them to live in another area of the garden.
After successfully transplanting my old friends, I topped up the herb bed with compost and did a quick sketch of what plants were remaining. I’ve also had my eye on those chives that are in a well established clump in the herb bed.
Why should they only be grown in a clump, I asked myself… what if I turned them into a border! Check out this 2 minute video to see how adorable my chives look now!
I will be sharing some of my favorite companies that I’m working with this year. They have generously supplied me with seeds and clothing to help me create and share garden goodness with visitors to my site. In return I am proud to tell you all about them, so be sure to check them out!
I’m always trying to encourage people to “think outside the pot”… this is what I did with those chives this year and I love how it turned out!
Honestly, how adorable are those rows of chives! Just about as cute as my digging clothes… if your wondering how I stay looking great even while I’m getting dirty, then you have to check out Garden Girl USA. My new favorite gardenista apparel for working in the garden.
Having a plan before any renovation regardless of what the project is will save you time and money. Gardening is no different and understanding what you have to work with will help you budget for the end result.
I measured out the bed and penciled in the existing plants. Understanding where the sun and shade will be throughout the day is important when choosing what plants to grow.
I created a wish list then sorted them by the heights, sun requirements and space that each would need to grow.
When building a garden, consider the views your trying to frame or screen. To do this, look at your garden from the perspective of the whole landscape, this includes views of the street or your neighbors outside of your property lines.
Is there a nice view of the sunset through your neighbors trees to the left? An ugly motor home that’s always parked to the right? Use trees or shrubs to frame the view you enjoy and to screen the ones you do not.
In this case, I will be using herbaceous perennials (perennials that die back) so this garden will change dramatically throughout the year. I also have a large neighboring plum tree that leafs out and will cause shade mid afternoon into evening on the back half of the bed.
Since I want this bed to stand out in the garden and not blend with the field behind it, I will leave the tall zebra grass to the Northwest and add a trellis on the other side of the round wood cover for a back drop.
That is not a real well, it was created by the previous owners and had a very cool old pump on it, which they took with them when they left. It’s a big yard so it was a smart feature they created to break it up.
Ok, let’s talk about the plants. I wanted to grow as many edible flowers as I could this year to appreciate their beauty as well as their flavors.
There are plenty of ‘edible’ flowers out there… meaning they won’t poison you. But that doesn’t mean they are tasty. Some are bland while others are just bitter.
I will be growing Renee’s Garden Seeds exclusively this year. In fact, I had a chat with Renee Shepherd this week about edible flowers and she shared some of her favorite recipes. I am very grateful that she is supplying me with my seeds this season so that I can share my Edible Flower Garden Design with you!
See the list below of my choices and why:
- Borage: Cucumber flavored blossoms are tasty on salads, fruit and in drinks.
- Basil: The edible flowers are delicious in soups and salads.
- Calendula: Otherwise known as Pot Marigold. Spicy to tangy petals look amazing served on pastas and in herb butters.
- Chamomile: A tea favorite as well as great for homemade bath and beauty products.
- Chives: The pink blossoms are great in soup and salads.
- Cilantro: Not just for the leaves! The flowers are every bit as flavorful on soups and cold vegetable dishes.
- Cornflower: Centaurea cynaus is also known as Bachelors Buttons. The electric blue flowers have a clove like spiciness to them and look amazing served as a garnish on plates.
- Hibiscus: The variety I’m going to grow this year is called Hibiscus Sabdariffa, it’s used in teas and summer cocktails. This is a heat lover and may be tough to grow in my climate, but I like to try at least one plant every year that challenges me… my fingers are crossed!
- Lavender: great in shortbread, ice cream, jelly’s and tea’s. Use for grilling steaks and lamb. Mostly used for beauty products and aromatherapy. (The underlined in this section all lead to recipes I’ve made with lavender, check them out!)
- Lemon Verbena: Use to flavor butters or custards. Heavily scented leaves can be thrown into a vacuum bag to perfume the room while you clean.
- Monarda: Or BeeBalm, flowers have a minty flavor and are great in fruit salads. Dry leaves can be used in teas.
- Nasturtium: The most well known of edible flowers, these peppery blossoms are a must have in an herb garden.
- Oregano: The flowers are edible too! Plus, pollinators love them.
- Poppy: The seeds of the Pepperbox Breadseed variety are edible and great added to desserts and sweet breads.
- Rosemary: The flowers can be used just like the leaves in Mediterranean inspired dishes.
- Runner Beans: Painted Lady, the blossoms of this vigorous vine grower are great in soups and salads.
- Sage: The flowers range from blue, pink and white. Use them with sauteed mushrooms or with corn dishes.
- Thyme: Remove the little petals and sprinkle on soups, especially good on a tomato based chowder.
- Viola’s: Candied for deserts or served on salads.
You can get any of the above seeds from Renee’s Gardens here:
This bed won’t just be herbs and edible flowers. Like I said before, I have some shady spots that get dappled sun so I will be growing some mesclun greens, arugula and lettuces in those areas since they prefer cooler conditions.
I also took the heights of the plants in to consideration with the tallest sitting at the back and the shortest near the edges of the bed. Since I have a patio like area in the middle of the bed, I will be growing some container veggies as well, including strawberries.
So, the bed is prepared, the design is done and the seeds are on their way. Please check back to see the progress of this herb bed and for all the wonderful garden recipes I plan to share when it’s time to harvest the flowers.
I’ll be moving on now to the veggie bed. I plan on growing some unusual crops this year and need to lay out the design for that bed too… me thinks that my eyes are bigger than my garden! I’ll share that in an up coming post soon!
Peace Love Garden