Cut flowers in the garden are the height of luxury. I used to think flowers were pointless. When I was younger, I didn’t find them particularly romantic, and when I began gardening, I thought of them as wasted space. Now I know better.
There are plenty of reasons to grow flowers in your garden. Each time I plan my garden, I always save plenty of room for flowers. This year, I even set aside space for perennial flowers right inside my garden beds. Why should frugal gardeners consider growing flowers in addition to tasty edibles?
Reasons to Grow Flowers
Here are the main reasons to consider growing flowers in your vegetable garden.
Free cut flowers
Planting flowers in my veggie garden has a few advantages, but none is more rewarding than a free crop of cut flowers. When we moved into our house, I became obsessed with making space feel like a home. For me, a home is a place that’s full of life, including flowers. Unfortunately, vibrant bouquets were outside of my budget. I simply couldn’t afford to buy a steady supply of flowers to adorn my kitchen table or living room credenza.
Instead, I grow my own bouquets. Flower seed is a tiny initial investment (even more so for perennial varieties) that provides an abundant return. My favorite cut flowers to grow are zinnias. These annuals are easy to grow, and they literally don’t stop blooming until a killing frost. I used to keep them relegated to a single spot in my garden, but now they bloom among the vegetable plants.
Natural pest repellents
My garden flowers are great for cutting and displaying indoors, but they also serve another purpose. Some blooms have pest deterring qualities that make them great companions for a litany of edible plants. Marigolds, which feature prominently in my garden, keep away a host of annoying bugs. They’re the prettiest form of pest control, and they hardly require any maintenance.
I scatter flowers throughout my garden because they look beautiful and sometimes keep away pests. They also attract a host of pollinators. Without flowers to entice pollinators, my garden would be a sad place. Bright blooms and native flowers welcome bees and butterflies. They come for food and help me out with squash and tomatillos. Without them, I would have to hand pollinate, which I’ve never had much success with.
Lastly, flowers look beautiful. You could add all sorts of expensive adornments to your garden, but growing flowers from seed is an almost-free way to add a touch of beauty to your garden. This year, my garden is overflowing with flowers. They are tucked between kale plants and bursting among tomato plants. The garden is more full of color than ever, and it’s never been more beautiful!
Flowers to grow from seed
If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few easy-to-grow, low maintenance flower varieties that I enjoy growing from seed:
- Bee balm
- Sweet alyssum
Steph Coelho is a freelance writer gardening in zone 5b. She is a certified Square Foot Gardener and has taught various garden-related workshops. When she’s not digging in the dirt or writing, she’s cooking up fresh produce, running, or listening to her favorite podcasts.