Introduction to the Flower Collection
Our flowers are equally at home in the border and the vegetable garden. We specialize in rare and heirloom varieties. Our aim is to preserve and protect them. They are durable, drought resistant, and some are edible. They all attract beneficial insects to keep the pests at bay. They are companion flowers, which makes them beneficial to the vegetables they are grown with. Butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to them.
Most of all, they are beautiful.
This is the treasured and ancient art of combining plant groups and flowers together for the maximum benefit of each other. Here are some traditional choices.
Plant marigolds near tomatoes to deter white fly. Oregano, basil and zinnias enhance tomato production. Mint family likes tomatoes.
Beets and broccoli both love alkaline soil conditions and grow very well together.
The brassica family also attracts the white cabbage moth and grey aphids, both serious pests. Plant hyssop or mint to deter the moth and strong herbs, like the sage family and nasturtiums will help against the aphids.
Onions and garlic repel many small insects, so interplant in many areas of your garden. Avoid planting them with potatoes. Planting chives around the bottom of rose bushes really helps.
Peppers enjoy onions, garlic and nasturtiums. Cauliflower and spinach grow well together.
Cucumbers, squash and corn grow well together and are enhanced by zinnias, nasturtiums and marigolds.
Radishes enhance cucumbers. Radishes and lettuce together increase the tenderness of both. Lettuce can also be interplanted between onions, garlic, bush beans and basil to the benefit of them all. Petunias also protect beans.
Carrots benefit peas, lettuce and radish. Dill is bad for carrots. Peas shade lettuce.
Protect squash with nasturtiums against the squash bug and pumpkin beetle.
Basil and Shoo fly plant repels flies. Mosquitos don’t like basil. Catnip repels the flea beetle. Lovage and Lemon Balm are all round garden improvers.
Chamomile improves the growth and flavour of cabbage and onions.
Planting to attract Beneficial insects
There are 2 important reasons to plant flowers and herbs to attract beneficial insects. They are essential to pollinate and will balance out possible infestations of pests.
Here is a list of varieties we use on our farm.
Herbs - Figwort/ The Sage family / Parsley / Feverfew / Lavender / Lemon balm / Angelica / Bergamot / Fennel / Hawkweed / Lovage / Yarrow / Oregano/ Thyme
Flowers - Verbena Bonariensis / Perennial Salvias / Asters
Vegetables - Cress / Mustard / Saxifraga Burnet / Kale / Allow some to flower.
In planning for this, we tuck these varieties all over the gardens, along the edges of our raised beds, in rock walls, and have designated areas as flower beds. Then we can plant our crops where they can benefit most from their proximity to them.