When I started gardening, I planted lots of flowers. Eventually, I had in mind that I would only take my time to grow edible plants. Visions of an edible landscape danced in my head. I planted fig trees, apple trees, purple radishes, spinach, lettuce, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, peas, dill, and much more. I wanted to see how much food I could provide for my family from the garden. I found a website that focuses on edible landscaping and was in heaven choosing which trees I liked and would work in zone 7.
Before too long, I started to focus only on edible plants. I stopped caring so much about the perennial garden that I planned and tended. Big mistake! This year, I planted some marigolds among the vegetables in my garden. My first organic gardening teacher taught me that they keep away certain bugs. Later, I learned that gardeners do not agree about whether the marigolds really do any such thing. However, I did not regret planting the flowers. When I washed dishes and looked out the window over the sink, I’d see those orange balls adding color to the raised garden bed filled with green seedlings. I was happy to know they were there.
As any gardener learns, flowers have their uses. For one, purple coneflower is beautiful. They make me happy *and* they feed birds. I bought one flower for $20. When five flowers grew the following year, my $20 started to seem worth it. Then, the 5 flowers turned into a dozen or more over the years. Then, the plant was big enough for me to separate and spread out. The density of the plant meant it blocked weeds, and I spent less time wrangling with annoying and invasive weeds.
I learned that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with planting a flower just because I think it’s beautiful. The flowers attract pollinators, delight my family, add color to the yard, cheer me up on cloudy days and look more vibrant against a background of dark pine mulch.
What are your favorite flowers? What flowers do you have in your garden?