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Veg verses Flowery things?

108 comments


Why do some people grow solely vegetables and others will only grow flowers?
I’ve been growing for a couple of years now and to be honest I only started as a way of taking my mind off of stopping smoking.
My GP said I needed a hobby and Carol (Mrs. Digs) said the garden needed doing so I dug over the lawn and planted some veg. Before this point I had absolutely no interest in the garden and had to be blackmailed into cutting the grass!!!
I soon found, however, that planting those tiny little seeds and watching them appear from under the soil, fascinating, and the taste was indescribable compared with the limp, ‘produced’ offerings from the supermarket.
This year I have been tempted away from my veggie patch and co-ursed into growing these flowery things that have absolutely no edible value whatsoever,
Nice straight rows of tasty veg growing in my garden

how did that happen?

Well I can pinpoint the exact moment it happened, when I was dragged (kicking and screaming) from the little haven of my back garden with its raised beds and fruitful growth to the front with its colourful and aromatic displays of worthless blooms.
Carol is the one to take the blame, its was my lovely and well loved wife who, after browsing the many pages of GoY, filled with every colour and shape of flower, decided we needed a ‘bed’ in the front. “it won’t take long” she said “and I’ll look after it, if you just dig it over for me”
Well I knew, at that point that my life would never be the same again, gone were the days of simple hoeing between nice straight rows of carrots or peas, never again would I find myself lost in the simplicity of a line of seed potatoes or the beauty of a block of sweetcorn. The perfection of a dead straight line of seedlings would be no more and from now on I would be forced to think in terms of ‘look’ and ‘design’ loomed up at me like a goul from the night!

Now at this point I feel its only fair to say I have embrassed the beautiful worthlessness of flowery things with an abandon that takes even my breath away. No more will I swear “I’m a veggie grower”, never again will I be able to lock horns with the dedicated flowery thing lover and argue over the benefits of my beloved veg.

My latest aquasition in the flowery thing front

But ! ! !

why should we be dedicated to one or the other, why choose beautiful flowers over the good wholesome taste of truely fresh veg? and conversly why ‘waste’ so much time and space with vegetables, I do admit they can take up an awful amount of space, for what appears to be so little gain.
Perhaps I can tempt you to try both. As I am finding out, vegetables and flowery things share an awful lot more than just growing in soil and they can run hand in hand during the growing season. Not only can they tolerate each other but they can definately help each other to beat the common enemies of those tiny black devils who call themselve ‘Aphids’.
Tagete’s grown alongside beans and peas deter aphids, Garlic planted around roses have a similar effect. When winter draws its long icy fingers over the land, not to many flowers will continue to give us a display but the humble cabbage or the tall rampant stalks of the brussel sprout will fiill the eye (and the stomach) of many a gardener. Colourful lettuce can be used to enhance any summer display and they also taste wonderful. Sweet peas grown beside the edible kind not only enhance the display but ultimately encourage the bees to polinate the edibles too produce an even better crop of sweet green balls of delight. (These are my second favourite veg after all) Potatoes can be grown in bags or sacks and their flowers are a delicate purple or white which I believe many gardeners miss out on simply because they are ’ veggies’. The humble beetroot has a vivid deep red foliage that any flower grower would be hard pressed to re-create and the likes of the simple tomato hung in a basket is as colourful as many other basket favourites and they can feed you for the whole of the summer as well.
Cougettes have he most delicious little flower and the fruit isn’t half bad to eat too. Onions produce tall ‘spears’ of foliage that are quite lovely to look at and dwarf runner beans, whilst needing no support, have an abundence of deicate litttle flowers that would look quite at home in the front of any bed. (and they keep coming back all summer) Purple sprouting broccoli adds depth and colour to any garden and globe artichokes are equally as nice in the beds other either type of grower.
I think, what I am trying to say is very simple, we can all gain from choosing to mix our beds and not discarding anything because it is a veg or a flower. By mixing both we can end up with the best of both worlds, beautiful flowers that are insect free AND the most delicious tasting vegetables that have very little in the way of insect damage. Sure there are some cases where these two just will not mix and it is impossible to grow both together, but with a little thought and planing it seems feasable that anyone can combine the benefits of both and enjoy lovely displays that will feed us as well.

PS. I still haven’t stopped smoking but don’t tell my doctor will you! Lol

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Comments

 

Well Ian, very impressive, I didn't know you had such a way with words! :~). In a life BC (before children) I had a very large garden and I grew almost every vegetable and fruit there was and loved it. 4 children in 5 years put an end to all that for 20 or so years and by that time I was too worn out for it all. Also had a much smaller garden by then and now it's wall to wall flowers for me!!

1 Aug, 2009

 

I don't blame you one bit Lily, veg do take a lot of time but no more than the time you spend on your flowers. Sorry I got carried away and started telling you how to run your beds....
I deleted it all and started again.
Thank you for the (back habded) compliment lol :~))

1 Aug, 2009

 

Not back-handed at all Ian, you're not just a pretty face and a great comedian! I must admit I did love the veggies when i grew them and first thing I did when I got in from work was go to say hello to them and admire their progress. I didn't pay much attention to flowers then.
My body is getting creaky now and there's less digging involved with flowers. Well there would be if I left them in one place! LOL

1 Aug, 2009

 

Great blog!

1 Aug, 2009

 

Oh thanks Sue, I just thought, as I'd spent so much time 'haranguing' flower growers, that I should show that I do think we can grow both, together, at the same time. Lol
Lily, sweet Lily, perhaps I should slow down with the veggies a bit, I'm not that old (45) but I certainly get creaky now and then. Lol :~))
Thank you for your compliment, which ever hand you held it in :~)))

1 Aug, 2009

 

Ian we grow both veg and our beloved alpines and woodland plants and are eyeing up an area of the field at the end of the garden to grow more in if the s__t hits the fan in 2012

1 Aug, 2009

 

Have I missed something? I know I don't watch the TV or listen to the radio but I'm sure I would have heard of anything serious. Lol

1 Aug, 2009

 

Welcome to world of flower power, Ian.
Earlier in life I used to be very veg orientated but have now swung the other way. As Moon grower says, we now grow both but flowers take priority.

1 Aug, 2009

 

What a great blog Ian, i must admit i'm a bit wary of veg not knowing when or what to plant, but this year i have grown potatoes in sacks, i have tomatoes in pots and a pepper plant (had 2 but the wind took one :( ) and i grew some lettuce this year, its the digging that i can't do and my husband is not at all interested in the garden, he hates cutting the hedge and thats all he does! he will do things if i ask though :) oh and i have some herbs but i must admit its the flowers and shrubs that do it for me!

1 Aug, 2009

 

That was a great blog Ian .
I know I've complained about my vegetables this year and I've had no success at all with them but I usually do. I prob will grow some next yr - I usually do. They do taste good, especially raw. ( except potatoes lol )
I like a mixture of things - herbaceous plants, shrubs, herbs, and vegetables. I suppose we all have favourites though. Mine are cacti.

1 Aug, 2009

 

Well thanks Bulbaholic and Sewingkilla, I haven't dug my beds since the first time (when I took the lawn up) I just add more organic mulch to it every year and plant through that in the spring. The only reason I know how and when to plant is by reading the back of the seed packets. Lol
I am looking to include some edibles IN with my flowery things next year, for instance, using the different types of lettuce to provide colour and texture, Onions will provide interesting leaf shapes and even carrets can produce a lovely frilly green foliage.
Thanks for your lovely comments and watch this space! :~))

1 Aug, 2009

 

Thanks Hywel, Since I was taken over by the flowery side I hope I can produce a multi function bed where both will help and support each other.
I have you to thank for this blog and my way of thinking ! ! !
Can you remember when I first started with my flowery things, it was you who told me that Tagetes were good for protecting veg from insects. That info plus what I already knew (but hadn't used before) is the basis of this and hopefuly my future successes. So thank you very much :~)))

1 Aug, 2009

 

hmmm

1 Aug, 2009

 

:-}

1 Aug, 2009

 

Oh thanks Ian. I'm glad to have been of some use. lol.
By the way I planted a bed of annuals - Lavatera and marigolds but there's a big potatoe growing in the middle of it lol. I don't know where it's come from.
Have I yanked it out - of course not ! I'm going to harvest a nice crop of spuds aren't I ?

1 Aug, 2009

 

hey hywel did your tatties in pots come to anything?

1 Aug, 2009

 

Most of the leaves have shrivelled up . I think they had some disease. Some are OK though. Shall I tip them out to see ?

1 Aug, 2009

 

yep u will find the leaves will do that , I bet anything u will have tattie

1 Aug, 2009

 

I'll have a look tomorrow. I'll let you know. Should I leave the one in my flower bed alone until the leaves die back ?

1 Aug, 2009

 

ye I would

1 Aug, 2009

 

Thanks Mac :o)
Sorry for hijacking your blog Ian lol

1 Aug, 2009

 

Your welcome anytime Hywel, and good luck with the potatoes :~))
And whats your problem then Maccrimmon? well..... out with it ...... come on ........... don't just stand there with your motor running....... Lol :~))

1 Aug, 2009

 

Im gonna tell your doctor!!
x xx

1 Aug, 2009

 

Who's his or mine ? LOL

1 Aug, 2009

 

Well Mr duggy I have looked over this blog and indeed showed it to my shrink .. who just happened to be in the area,he wasnt in to see me you understand , anyway both of us have looked and read this blog and reckon we can solve the issues no problem ..:---

1/ You have been hedging towards flowery stuff

2/ You are trying to stop smoking

3/ You like growing for consumption

4/ Fed up growing veggies

Tobbaco plants grow . . tobbaco plants

1 Aug, 2009

 

Ps the use of the word "hedging" was unintentional

1 Aug, 2009

 

hehehehehehehe

x x x

1 Aug, 2009

 

how about a "virginia" creeper!!

x x x

1 Aug, 2009

 

Very smart GoYs, Dont you start on me as well Mookins, I did think about growing tobacco plants last year but I thought it would be to difficult to dry and roll them..... Lol

1 Aug, 2009

 

The way that I look at all of this is to give the "plants" the absolute best chance and plant seeds or cuttings in the best organic medium that there is, and sit back and watch "mother nature" take over ... {grin}
It can be quite addicting to watch.. {chuckle}
Once any plant's soil is in balance, the plant will thrive and thrive well.. :-)
A common mistake of most gardeners is to treat the actual "plant" and NOT treat the soil imbalance that has caused the problem in the first place.. Plants may go into a "distress situation" because of lack of water, over watering, or other factors.. When a plant is in "distress", it will often produce "sugars" into the upper foliage.. The higher level of "upper foliage" secretion attracts insects, birds and other critters that want to take advantage of the plant that is in distress. Food for thought..:-)

2 Aug, 2009

 

As usual N2, your a mine of information :~)) Thank you very much :~))

2 Aug, 2009

 

Wow! I'm so impressed Digger! Brilliant blog!

2 Aug, 2009

 

Great blog, Ian. Like some others on GoY I have grown veggie in pots this year and had success with potatoes, spring onions, potatoes, carrots, potatoes and tomatoes! I can cope with a 'just flowers' garden but don't think I would enjoy a 'veg only' garden although I agree they do taste better :)

2 Aug, 2009

 

Some flowers taste pretty good too! I like nasturtiums in a salad!

2 Aug, 2009

 

Didn't you try any potatoes then Gee??? Lol
Afternoon then Hatter, and whats so suprising about me writing a serious blog (for once) Lol :~)))

2 Aug, 2009

 

Hi Digger!
Didn't say I was surprised, just said I was impressed! x

2 Aug, 2009

 

I told him that too Madperth....he's got hidden depths!

2 Aug, 2009

 

Well it suprised the hell out of me ! ! ! :~)))

2 Aug, 2009

 

You really don't want to dive into my murky depths, hidden or not Lily :~)))))

2 Aug, 2009

 

Speechless again!!!

2 Aug, 2009

 

Lol :~))

2 Aug, 2009

 

Doesn't bear thinking about! Lol!

2 Aug, 2009

 

Uniforms ..... Handcuffs ........ Flat soled shoes ..... Lol

2 Aug, 2009

 

To reiterate, You are a sick puppy!

2 Aug, 2009

 

Oh I know, I know :~)))))))))

2 Aug, 2009

 

Good, as long as you know! ;~))

2 Aug, 2009

 

I know :~))

2 Aug, 2009

 

I sent you a pm Hatter!

2 Aug, 2009

 

Ok, ta! (I think, haven't read it yet!) :~)))

2 Aug, 2009

 

Its not bad honest:~))

2 Aug, 2009

 

Yeah, I've read it! How're Holly & Carol?

2 Aug, 2009

 

Oh they're just fine. My intrenet.web.thingy is playing up as well

2 Aug, 2009

 

Is that a new website?

2 Aug, 2009

 

Funny :~))
I'm Back

3 Aug, 2009

 

Let joy be unconfined!!

3 Aug, 2009

 

Yeeeeeeeehaaaa Whooooooooooooooopieeeeeee hala,bloody,lulia

3 Aug, 2009

 

LMAO!!!!!!! :~)))))))))

3 Aug, 2009

 

:~))

3 Aug, 2009

 

Numpty! :~)))

3 Aug, 2009

 

Numpty dumpty sat on a wall,
Numpty dumpty had a great fall,
All the kings horses and all the kings men SAID,
Oh S**t not scrambled eggs for dinner again.
Lol :~))

3 Aug, 2009

 

Yep! Numpty! LOL.

3 Aug, 2009

 

what are you pair like

!!

xx x

3 Aug, 2009

 

I'm a Numpty and she wairs flat shoes and a uniform. Just between me and you, she carries handcuffs as well. :~))

3 Aug, 2009

 

mmmmm
thats more info than I needed :o/

x x x

3 Aug, 2009

 

:~))

3 Aug, 2009

 

He's also a blethering skite, Mookins!
I do not wear a uniform, & I don't carry handcuffs! Digger is just indulging in his own sick fantasy!
How are you? How's Cody?
Mxx

3 Aug, 2009

 

Arrrrrrr Hatter don't be spoiling the image now. :~))

3 Aug, 2009

 

Ocht! Wheesht man!
What're you up to, apart from missing your medication??
Have you noticed Mac BB & Toto are all conspicuous by their absence?

3 Aug, 2009

 

I have, I think they are keeping a low profile in case I push you to far and you explode all over. LOL :~))

3 Aug, 2009

 

As if!!

3 Aug, 2009

 

Lol, I knew you could keep a soft southener under control, mind you I'm not from round here, I know northumberland better than nottingham

3 Aug, 2009

 

I'm none the wiser!

3 Aug, 2009

 

Why am I not suprised? I never ask Carol to read the map. Lol
Northumberland is on the boundery with Scotland.

3 Aug, 2009

 

Its the northern most county of England. :~))

3 Aug, 2009

 

Ah, right! Anyone north of Newcastle & up to the Borders is a Scot with the brains kicked out! At one time in history you would've been Scottish!

3 Aug, 2009

 

Thankfully I wasn't (born at one time, Errrr does that make sense?)

3 Aug, 2009

 

Of course....................NOT!

3 Aug, 2009

 

Phew, I thought I'd gone all sensible then ! ! ! :~))

3 Aug, 2009

 

Lol! Nipping out, back in a wee while! Out of cigs.

3 Aug, 2009

 

ok

3 Aug, 2009

 

Back again! Can't have you going sensible too often!

3 Aug, 2009

 

You should mark this date on your calander..... Its not very often I do :~))

3 Aug, 2009

 

Do you still want a photo of Crocusmia lucifer? I've got one in my photos.
Go to my homepage (click on my lovely face) and click on my photos. There is one about four rows down slightly right of center pictured with a finial (stone carved thing) Lol

3 Aug, 2009

 

Ok, ta! I dont know how well the photo will grow tho! Lol! :~))

3 Aug, 2009

 

you never know until you try :~))

3 Aug, 2009

 

Are you winding me up, Digger? Can't find it!

3 Aug, 2009

 

No sweety, MY homepage, photos, wait................ Sorry I've just been and had a look. Its in my FAV.s not my photos, 3rd row down, 3rd from the left. Told you I don't make sense very often :~))))))))))))))))

3 Aug, 2009

 

See! I found it in Spritz's photos. You fool!

3 Aug, 2009

 

Great blog, Ian! It surprised me no end to see you could write something serious for once! I didn't know you had it in you!!!

I've grown potatoes & tomatoes, strawberries & peppers on my balcony - that's besides the 100s of "flowery things".

The potatoes didn't produce many potatoes but maybe I took them out too early - the foliage made it nigh impossible to move on the balcony. I shan't be growing them again - they occupy too much space for too little gain.

The peppers were planted too late I think, they need a much longer growing season & more warmth than we had here the last few years.

The strawberry plant came from my daughter but isn't doing as well this year as it did last year.

The tomato plants have grown tall & lanky this year & they have little fruit. Nevertheless, the one that cropped up in the hanging basket amongst the Fuchsias is doing very well & has several tomatoes the size of olives.

4 Aug, 2009

 

It looks and sounds like flower power rules on your balcony or maybe the veg just felt outnumbered!

4 Aug, 2009

 

It certainly does! No room for cabbages or spouts or broccoli! With the table & chairs & dozens of plant pots there's no room for veg that takes up so much room. If the tomatoes didn't produce so much fruit & can be trained vertically I wouldn't grow them either.

4 Aug, 2009

 

After seeing those lovely photos of your balcony, Balcony? I agree but tomatoes can be grown down as well as up! As for your strawberries, I don't know how old they are but they generally last about three seasons and then they really need replacing with new stock.
You have a fantastic 'garden' and your use of space and imagination are just out of this world.
Well done you :~))

4 Aug, 2009

 

I've just read that back and it could be considered patronizing, but that wasn't how I meant it, honest! :~))

4 Aug, 2009

 

I agree Digger!!! (not that you sound patronising). I just had a look at Balcony's pics- Wow!

4 Aug, 2009

 

arn't they just amazing?

4 Aug, 2009

 

Yes, I can't believe what he's done with such a small space! Must take a lot of looking after! The plants I had out front in tubs didn't do well at all, they got the extremes of the weather here, sun from noon, windy nearly all the time & the overhang meant they never got enough rain! I went on holiday for a week & they were all dead when I got back!

4 Aug, 2009

 

Bu***r, bad luck Hatter, You should get someone in, or not go on holiday LOl :~))))))))

4 Aug, 2009

 

Well, I thought they were beyond it, but I moved them to the back to see what would happen & put them in the ground. I've saved 1 rose bush (now in bud) 2 clematis or honeysuckle (not sure which lived!) & 1 gypsophilla, but that's out of loads! Even the geraniums there died!

4 Aug, 2009

 

Well its a learning curve all right, I've just put some Geronimo's in my new bed. I find it difficult figuering out what should go where and what shouldn't.

4 Aug, 2009

 

Me too! Don't have any Geronimos yet. Crazydi just did a blog about them tho! My mate John is even more clueless than me! He came to look at the garden, introduced himself to helping hand & said to me, "I like those german thingys"! "What german thingys"? "Those orange ones!" "Theyre nasturtiums you idiot!" He thought the nastys were geronimos!

4 Aug, 2009

 

I haven't seen Crazydi's blog about them but I have seen spritzhenrys???

4 Aug, 2009

 

It's called looking back, it's kinda about taking cuttings & stuff. Yeah, Spritzhenry's one is amazing!

4 Aug, 2009

 

I'll have to go and have a look then....... Thanks :~))

4 Aug, 2009

 

No probs, it's as informative as ever! God, this forum's good!

4 Aug, 2009

 

Bad luck, Madperth. Strange that your Geraniums should die as they can normally put up with very dry conditions & heat without problems, don't know about wind so much. I'm a little surprised that your climbers pulled through! I'd have expected them to be more affected after all they are originally woodland plants, protected from heat & wind in their natural habitat.

Roses can be very hardy (not just of cold) or tolerant with bad conditions. How many abandoned rose buses can be recovered after years of neglected?! They are not as soft as many people think.

Please tell us how the "survivors" get on, will you?

Thanks also for your nice (patronizing) comments, Ian. Glad you were able to follow my instructions & were able to see the photos in their original size.

5 Aug, 2009

 

I'm not that pc illiterate Balcony and I did apologise for the comments. I am sorry :~((

5 Aug, 2009

 

No need to apologize!

Ian, the explication on how to get to the photos was aimed at someone else who said they didn't know what to do!

5 Aug, 2009

 

Could you have a look at Swanky's new blog Ian? Your advice is sought!

12 Aug, 2009

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