Ornamental edibles are a fantastic way to make your garden both beautiful and practical. They're plants that not only provide visual interest, but also produce edible parts that can be used in cooking. This article will explore the different types of ornamental edibles, their benefits, as well as some valuable tips on how to grow them.
What are Ornamental Edibles?
Ornamental edibles are plants whose fruits, vegetables, leaves, or flowers can be consumed. They're often grown for their aesthetic appeal, but their edible parts offer an added bonus. The types of ornamental edibles are diverse, ranging from ornamental vegetables and fruits to edible flowers and herbs.
Types of Ornamental Edibles
Here's a brief overview of some of the most popular ornamental edibles:
Ornamental Vegetables: This category includes plants such as Kale 'Redbor', Swiss Chard 'Bright Lights', and variegated varieties of Sweet Potatoes. These vegetables have beautiful leaves or roots that can add a splash of color to any garden.
Ornamental Fruits: Plants like Blueberry 'Pink Lemonade', Pineapple Guava, and Strawberries are not only pleasing to the eye but also bear delicious fruits.
Edible Flowers: Edible flowers like Nasturtiums, Borage, and Violas can add color to both your garden and your plate.
Ornamental Herbs: Herbs like Purple Basil, Variegated Thyme, and Pineapple Sage are both beautiful and flavorful.
Benefits of Ornamental Edibles
Beyond their beauty, ornamental edibles have several other benefits. They're a great way to maximize limited garden space and can be a cost-effective way to grow your own food. Furthermore, many ornamental edibles attract pollinators and beneficial insects, promoting a healthy and vibrant garden ecosystem.
Growing Ornamental Edibles
Growing ornamental edibles is similar to growing other garden plants. It's important to choose the right plants for your climate and soil type, and to provide them with the proper care. Here are some tips:
Select the Right Plants: Consider your climate, soil type, and the amount of sunlight your garden receives when choosing ornamental edibles to grow.
Provide Adequate Care: Ornamental edibles, like all plants, need proper watering, fertilizing, and pruning to thrive.
Harvest Regularly: Regular harvesting encourages plants to produce more fruits, leaves, or flowers.
Protect Your Plants: Keep an eye out for pests and diseases, and take action at the first sign of trouble.
Ornamental edibles offer the best of both worlds, combining the visual appeal of ornamental plants with the practical benefits of edible ones. If you're considering adding some to your garden, these tips should help you get started on the right foot.