Edible Plants For An Attractive Mixed Border

What is your excuse for not growing your own? Everyone with any outside space should be growing at least some of their own food. You do not have to aim for self-sufficiency but any amount of organic growing will help you live better. Edible plants do not need to take a lot of energy or a large time commitment to grow. You do not need much money to get started. All you need is sunshine, rain, soil and a little bit of effort to get things going. You do not have to start by creating vegetable beds with rows of annual crops – you can create a beautiful garden using perennial edibles.

Espaliered apple treeThe backs of your borders will look wonderful with the addition of some fruit-bearing canes, shrubs or even trees, fanned out along walls or fences. Even one or two types of fruit can enrich your mixed borders and will require very little effort for a large edible reward. A few nitrogen fixing shrubs, especially if these also offer an edible crop, will help make sure that the border's ecosystem functions effectively.

Good King HenryIn front of these larger items, perennial brassicas and leafy greens will create some drama and offer foliage that is edible as well as being attractive. Plant nine star perennial broccoli, Good King Henry, everlasting cabbage, edible hostas, sorrels, chard and perennial kales, which come in a range of different colours and textures. Asparagus is a well-known perennial but there are plenty of others.

Walking OnionsYou can repel some common pests with the addition of some perennial alliums. If left to flower, some of these can also attract a range of beneficial insects. You can also attract beneficial insects with a range of herbs – borage, chives, parsley – all of these are very easy to grow.

NasturtiumsYou do not have to forgo flowers to make the most of your garden and enjoy a range of edible crops. Many common flowers are edible and make interesting additions to salads. Nasturtiums, for example, are an abundant food source as well as an attractive addition to a mixed border. Peas and beans flower nicely and, though they will have to be sown each year, are easy to pretty much leave to their own devices until harvest time. They will also add nitrogen to the soil for the benefit of other plants.

StrawberriesAt the front of your borders, strawberries can look great as well as providing tasty food. Placed on the edge of your borders, they will also be easy to graze on as you enjoy your garden during the summer months.

There are, of course, plenty of other beautiful and edible plants to choose from. Stop making excuses and plant your edible garden today.