9 Ways to Mix Edibles and Ornamentals

Discover container gardens that blend good-looking ornamentals with yummy edible plants.

Photo By: W. Atlee Burpee & Co. at Burpee.com

Photo By: Gardeners.com

Photo By: Gardeners.com

Photo By: National Garden Bureau at NGB.org

Photo By: Gardeners.com

Photo By: Gardener's Supply Co. at Gardeners.com

Photo By: Gardener's Supply Co. at Gardeners.com

Photo By: Gardener's Supply Company at Gardeners.com

Pretty Enough to Eat

Food crop gardens don’t have to be boring. Pop in an edible nasturtium for peppery, pretty color. The flowers attract pollinators to your garden and both the flowers and spicy leaves (which taste a bit like arugula) are edible.

Sweet Corn for Pots

No room for a garden? Grow a crop of sweet corn in a pot. On Deck Hybrid sweet corn is a bicolor beauty. Plant nine seeds per 24-inch pot. Enhance its good looks with a pot of New Guinea impatiens and a pot of sweet basil.

Edible Flower Container Garden

Try a self-watering plastic tub planter to raise a crop of beautiful, tasty plants. For a 15-inch wide plastic tub, plant (clockwise from center) one four-cell pack of small-flowered pansies (in the color of your choice), one 4-inch potted nasturtium, one 4-inch potted parsley and two 4-inch pots of lavender.

Edible Raised Garden

Bring the harvest to your door with a 6-foot vegetable trough that’s 18 inches wide. To create this garden, from left to right, plant the front row: one thyme, one leaf lettuce, one nasturtium, one Tumbling Tom tomato, one nasturtium, one thyme, one nasturtium and one Tumbling Tom tomato. From left to right, plant the back row: one Toscano kale, one marigold, one zinnia, one dill, one eggplant, two Toscano kale and one pepper.

Hanging Basket Harvest

Fill a hanging basket to yield a bountiful harvest of fresh flavors. Strawberries are a good choice for hanging baskets, as are tumbling varieties of tomatoes. 

Steel Raised Bed

Powder coated steel raised beds grow a harvest in a spot where soil isn’t conducive to gardening. This 5-1/2' bed hosts a blend of herbs, vegetables and flowers. Plant this garden in three rows front to back. Use these plants from left to right: (front row) one Spicy Globe basil and one six-pack of red leaf lettuce; (middle row) one chives and two bok choy; (back row) plant one each Spicy Globe basil, kale, lavender, calendula, sweet basil, lavender and kale.

Window Box Edible Garden

Look for window boxes that come with a sturdy stand to lift a garden to an easy-harvest height. This 3-foot-long box bursts with flavor. Arrange plants in two rows front to back. Use these plants, one each, left to right: (front row) pansy, red leaf lettuce, Tuscan kale, red leaf lettuce, Tuscan kale, pansy; (back row) Tuscan kale, Thai basil, eggplant, rosemary and Tuscan kale. Tuck two sage plants behind the front row kales.

Raised Bed Garden

Choose a wedge-shaped raised garden to enjoy a hearty harvest of herbs and vegetables. This 4-foot long garden features two types of edible flowers: two pots each nasturtium and calendula. Other plants to include in the garden include three kale plants, three thyme plants, one four-cell pack of leaf lettuce, one dill, one pepper, one sage and one Italian flat-leaf parsley. Use the photo as a guide to place plants correctly in the raised bed.

Raised Bed Edible Garden

A four-foot-square raised bed takes the ouch out of tending and harvesting a garden on hands and knees. To reproduce it, you’ll need the following items: one pack of mesclun-type lettuce mix, one six-cell pack of marigolds, two prostrate and two upright rosemary, one pansy, two purple nemesia (both go on the back side of the garden but only one is visible) and two sweet basil. Use the photo as a guide to determine plant placement.

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