Garden Planning: Mix your gardens

I like my garden beds to have a different shape than square or rectangular. They are often round or even boomerang in shape. I find a different shaped garden with rounded edges is easier to mow and it’s just more fun to plant and enjoy. Sunnyvale
Creative Commons License photo credit: zenera

Another part of my garden planning is that the gardens are never just a flower, vegetable or herb garden; they are always a mix of all. All the plants compliment each other and often have insect control benefits when planted side by side.

Geraniums and marigolds help control insects and some small animals so I often use them in garden borders. Okra controls Japanese Beetles so they are grown in pots and moved around the yard. I myself don’t like Okra as a vegetable but it makes a great insect control, has a beautiful flower and works well as a dried crafting material.

The herb, Borage controls insects and tomatoes also like the plant.

In small backyard design spaces and on patios I will plants cucumbers, small melons or climbing beans against the walls or a trellis. Plants lettuce below the vines to save on space, keep the soil cool and add a lush full look to your plantings.

Use lettuce leaf lettuce and Swiss chard as a flowerbed edging. And with all the colors or leaf lettuce now you will be able to add a variety of color to the garden for all seasons. Head lettuce and flowering cabbage looks good behind the lettuce.

I use cabbage and kale as a show of vegetable mixed in flowers and herbs.

Root crops are easier to harvest in containers. I will find nice accent pots or unique planters and add the root crops as garden décor to the gardens and plant a new root crop every two to three weeks to keep a fresh supply of small root vegetables growing the entire season.

Corn and Indian corn make an interesting look mixed in with taller flowers. If you plants corn, a medium height flower and low vegetables of sprawling flowers you can make a great mini garden for the end of the driveway or an accent mini garden. I also do the same with gourds and mix them in with flowering vines and a lower height flower or herbs.

Strawberries, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and peppers also make great accent plants with their bright fruit. There are many ornamental peppers that have variegated leaves that also add more beauty and color to a garden area.

When it comes to garden planning there are only a few planning basics like spacing, light and water that need to be followed and all the other garden rules are fun to bend and break.

If garden planning seems to be a task you don’t like try out to see how easy planning a garden can be.

Gardening can be work but it also can be fun and that’s the part of gardening I always make sure is well planned, fun!

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