Edibles mixed into ornamental garden

Discussion in 'Garden Design and Plant Suggestions' started by 2annbrow, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. 2annbrow

    2annbrow Active Member

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    Location:
    North Bend OR US;Oregon coast, just N of Coos Bay
    I have always used herbs (especially creeping thymes and Corsican mint) as ground covers over my bulbs - so easy! My neighbor has an artichoke in her border, and this year I tried some "Bright Lights" kale plants in my shorty border - very nice! I also managed to keep a large lemongrass (bought at grocery store and rooted in sand & water) in a pot for 3 years. Anyone else have useful suggestions of edibles I can add into my ornamentals? I'm on the Oregon coast.
     
  2. stoneangel

    stoneangel Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout

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    Scarlet runners have nice orange flowers.
     
  3. 2annbrow

    2annbrow Active Member

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    Do they require a trellis?
     
  4. stoneangel

    stoneangel Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout

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    Either a trellis or the 3 pole support. They are not bush beans. They're edible.
     
  5. 2annbrow

    2annbrow Active Member

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    North Bend OR US;Oregon coast, just N of Coos Bay
    I've seen the flowers, and they are attractive. I'll bet a little "teepee" of them would make a very interesting addition to my western border. Do you think they would tolerate the west wind from the coast?
    Or what about the hyacinth bean? Have you tried growing them? The flowers look like sweetpeas, and supposedly every part of the plant is edible.
     
  6. 2annbrow

    2annbrow Active Member

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    What about rhubarb? Will it "take over?" Or is the foliage too coarse for a border plant?
     
  7. stoneangel

    stoneangel Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout

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    I've never heard of hyacinth beans. What are they?
     
  8. 2annbrow

    2annbrow Active Member

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    I've seen them by the names of Dolichos lablab, and just lablab
     

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  9. stoneangel

    stoneangel Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout

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    WoW! Those are spectacular.
     
  10. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    I have space issues here, so mix edibles with the ornamentals as a necessity.

    Red-leaved lettuce of the 'cut and come again' and oak-leaf types look great dotted among short ornamentals and near the front of borders. Some of the Pak Choi look good too and are ideal for putting in late summer gaps after something else has finished. You already mentioned herbs, my favourite is coriander (cilantro) which is superb in the garden with its feathery foliage and small white flowers, it grows about 2-2½ feet tall here.

    (They all taste good too).
     
  11. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Location:
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    Another consideration to add around your garden as a border plant would be some ornamental/edible hot pepper plants. They would add interest, appeal, color, and uniqueness to your garden.


    They come in all different heights, from 6" to 18" tall. Here's some ornamental/edible types I am growing, to give you and others, an idea...


    : )
     

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  12. 1950Greg

    1950Greg Active Member

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    Location:
    Langley, B.C. Stones throw from old HBC farm.
    Two possibilities could be Kale for colour and Leeks for texure.
     

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  13. 2annbrow

    2annbrow Active Member

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    Yes, I like all of these. As well as "elephant garlic" which the hummingbirds like. But a question for maf - my cilantro never gets that tall! I've tried growing it numerous times to use the fresh leaves in salsa, but it bolts within a week! Six inches tall, and it's gone to seed . . .
    Is there any way to treat it to prevent such rapid bolt? Or do you use a specific variety? If it's the weather here I'm stuck, but maybe there are other considerations?
     
  14. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    I don't know what variety of coriander I grow, the original seeds came free with something but grow well even past their use-by date.

    Interestingly, if I try to grow them in pots their whole life I have always been disappointed, quickly ending up with 9 inch twigs with seeds and no green leaves, especially in summer. The ones that got over two feet were started in cells inside in the spring and planted out when I planted out the first lettuces of the year. Good soil and plenty of sun and moisture. They didn't flower till mid summer and when they did there was still plenty of useful green on the plants.

    The late summer planted ones are about a foot tall at the moment and show no signs of flowering this year. I will soon find out if they are hardy enough to overwinter, in previous years the timing has been such that they have flowered and died before winter.

    I am no expert on growing coriander, but from personal experience sowing early and late in the season help to prevent premature bolting. I believe they will always flower and go to seed in summer, even when small. And avoid small pots at all costs, grown alongside ones in the garden you would hardly think they were the same species, let alone from the same sowing, after a few weeks.

    I love salsa and really should get around to making some, I have plenty of homegrown beefsteak tomatoes to go with the coriander. (I am a man which is probably why I never get around to it.) I use my coriander leaves in curries, added just before serving, absolutely delicious.
     
  15. NatGreeneVeg

    NatGreeneVeg Member

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    Scarlet Runner Bean is a must for any ornamental edible garden. I also highly recommend cardoon. We used cardoon for the center of our potager and now it's grown to be a signifigant centerpiece.

    As for coriander, it will work for cooler zones, but would require more attention on warmer zones, including my own which is zone 6.

    You might enjoy seeing our garden which pushes the combination of edibles and ornamentals by elevating edible to ornamentals themselves: Organic Kitchen Garden.
     
  16. 2annbrow

    2annbrow Active Member

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    Location:
    North Bend OR US;Oregon coast, just N of Coos Bay
    Dear Nat,
    I have been trying to watch this, & love the music, but I have dialup, and it's frustrating to the orbital level! Is there any other method available? PM me if you know.
    Many thanks!
     
  17. NatGreeneVeg

    NatGreeneVeg Member

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    Hi Ann,


    I may be able to snail mail you a CD if you want to PM me your address. It's nice of you to try!
     
  18. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Location:
    London, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
    Here's a nice ornamental/flowering plant, grown with my edible Aurora hot pepper plant, in a pot.

    The flowering plant started out as cuttings, but they have now rooted and begun to grow. The flowers will be yellow and red...

    : )
     

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  19. 2annbrow

    2annbrow Active Member

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    Location:
    North Bend OR US;Oregon coast, just N of Coos Bay
    OK, what's the plant? You [THL] already have me hooked on peppers as an edible ornamental! I also tried portulaca (the flowering one for gardens) in salad, but found it way too bitter. Which one is edible, anyone know?
     
  20. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Location:
    London, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
    The hot pepper plant is "Aurora". Here is more close-up shot...

    It's a great suggested variety to add in with your ornamentals because it's small enough that it won't take over, but it will just be a nice accent. Aurora is ornamental and edible ~ all in one.

    : )
     

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  21. NatGreeneVeg

    NatGreeneVeg Member

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    Ann,

    You usually don't want to use the ornamental variety of portulaca. The common variety used as an edible is Portulaca oleracea, what grows a weed in my area. Also known as poor man's lettuce. It has the highest amount of omega 3 of any plant which makes it a good source for vegetarians.
     
  22. 2annbrow

    2annbrow Active Member

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    Thank you both for quick reply! "Nat," I will try to find some seeds of the oleracera. I don't worry about weediness of this, as none of my portulaca have survived the winters here. I also remember some kind of similar plant that native Americans in CA used as a supplement; they called it "pickle plant," which indeed was what it tasted like - yummy! [BTW - I ate ants as a child; they tasted like a cross between dirt (don't ask) and sour pickles!] Does anybody know if that was a portulaca relative? It looked like one.
     
  23. NatGreeneVeg

    NatGreeneVeg Member

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    Hi Ann,

    I'd give you some if you were closer. I believe your pickle plant is Delosperma echinatum. Sounds interesting!
     
  24. Dana09

    Dana09 Active Member

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    Here's a Eucalyptus supporting a scarlet runner.
    Hummingbirds like the red flowers too.

    D
     

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