13 Ways to Mix Edibles and Ornamentals

Don't just admire your garden—bring it to the table when you mix edibles with ornamentals. Let these combination gardens inspire you to grow your own.

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Photo By: Courtesy of P. Allen Smith and Jane Colclasure

Photo By: Courtesy of Ball Horticultural

Photo By: Courtesy of P. Allen Smith and Jane Colclasure

Photo By: Courtesy P. Allen Smith

Photo By: Courtesy of Ball Horticultural

Photo By: Courtesy P. Allen Smith and Mark Fonville

Photo By: Courtesy of P. Allen Smith and Kelly Quinn

Photo By: Courtesy of P. Allen Smith

Photo By: Courtesy of Ball Horticultural

Photo By: Courtesy of P. Allen Smith

Photo By: Courtesy of P. Allen Smith and Kelly Quinn

Photo By: Courtesy of Ball Horticultural

Photo By: Courtesy of Ball Horticultural

Hollyhocks, Sage and Dill

Gardens filled with edibles and ornamentals invite visitors to appreciate their beauty and flavors. Here, red 'Summer Carnivale' hollyhocks mingle with aromatic dill 'Bouquet' and sage 'Berggarten'.

Basil 'Boxwood' and Petuinas

Imagine a hedge you can use to make pesto! With its small leaves and dwarf habit, 'Boxwood' basil takes the place of traditional boxwood shrubs. Pink petunias in the background set off its deep green color.

Marigolds, Tomatoes and Onions

Green onion stalks make a backdrop for a tumble of orange marigolds and tomato plants. They're bordered on the other side by spikes of velvety-purple salvia and orange-red tithonia.

Swiss Chard and Pansies

Swiss chard and pansies add the three primary colors to this edible, ornamental garden: red, green and blue.

Pansies and Salad Mixes

Lettuces complement Cool Wave pansies in this edible container garden. Grow Simply Salad 'Alfresco Mix', 'City Garden Mix' or 'Global Gourmet Mix' for leafy greens in a variety of colors and textures.

Peppers, Salvia and Cosmos

'Tabasco' peppers, fiery-red salvia and hot orange cosmos turn up the temperature in this mixed summer border.

Pansies and Romaine Lettuce

Romaine lettuce 'Parris Island' and dark blue pansies are easy to grow in an early spring garden. Named for an island off South Carolina, 'Parris Island' forms tall, erect heads.

Lilies and Lettuce

Stately 'First Crown' lilies stand guard over a bed of lettuce and the feathery, green tops of 'Yellowstone' carrots. The nasturtiums, 'Scarlet Gleam', echo the lily colors.

Basil and Violas

Plant cool-season 'Popsicle Frost' violas with basil 'Ruby Frills' for a decorative centerpiece. When you're ready, harvest the basil to flavor your favorite dishes.

Marigolds, Okra and Zucchini

Choose plants with the same basic growing needs for your edible-ornamental garden. Here, heat-loving 'Inca II' marigolds thrive alongside 'Cajun Delight' okra and 'Gold Rush' zucchini.

Cabbage and Flowers

Contrasting shapes and textures make an edible ornamental garden interesting. This red cabbage, with broad, flat leaves, makes an attractive companion for yellow flowers on long, graceful stems.

Peppers and Angelonia

Here, ornamental peppers and angelonia surround a pretty birdbath in the garden. Substitute edible peppers to turn this into a feast for the eyes as well as the table.

Cool Wave Pansies and Cilantro

Fill a container with Cool Wave pansies and spicy cilantro in early spring and plan to harvest the cilantro before the weather heats up. The pansies will overwinter through USDA hardiness zone 5 (mulch for added protection in colder areas).