Back garden life saver

Not many back gardens can boast having their own life safer. But then not many gardeners have a special Buddy in their lives.

 

Buddy is 15—which for a Jack Russell terrier means he’s an centenarian.

Buddy the Jack Russell saves an 'edible' friend

Buddy, the life saver, guards an 'edible' friend

 

His owner, Sue, is a keen gardener. Not long ago, she, her husband and Buddy moved from a large property with lots of room for a big vegetable and herb patch to a townhouse where she’s niftily incorporating edibles—including a vertical vegetable garden—among the tropical greenery.

 

She wanted a water feature so now has an elegant 4 ft high terracotta pot with its own plants and two gold fish.

 

One day recently, she was inside when Buddy charged in, barking and insisting she follow him outside.

 

Buddy led her to the pot and barked at a squirming tiny gold body lying on the grass beside it. A gold fish had been a tad too exuberant in his swimming that day!

 

Sue soon had him back in the water with his friend thanks to the quick action of Buddy the Wonder Dog.

 

Not bad work for an old fella bred to hunt foxes!

 

 

 

Aussies win Chelsea

How wonderful to see the Australian gardening team win best in show at the fabulous and prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in London.

The $2 million display was led by Wes Fleming with the garden designed by Phillip Johnson and built by a team of 18 volunteers.

sustainable garden wins Chelsea Flower Show 2013 by Australia

Sustainability and creativity take out Chelsea's top award

We love Phillip Johnson’s garden design philosophy around sustainability. He believes in building productive spaces to store available on-site water, grow fruit and veggies, have composting and waste management areas plus chooks for fresh eggs.

The intricately-designed Chelsea garden featured one of Johnson’s trademark ‘billabongs’ as well as a lush gorge complete with giant boulders. It also hit the mark for promoting the use of water conservation, habitat creation, recycled materials, solar power and even bushfire suppression systems.

Wes Fleming, part of a well-known horticultural family, says he dreamed of winning at Chelsea since he was a boy.  He even lurked outside his Yarra Glen, Victoria home at night to tape frog calls to bring another touch of Australia to the London space.

No wonder the Chelsea garden was not only admired by all the judges and public, but by H.M. The Queen, who took time to explore it.

The garden certainly fulfilled Wes Fleming’s aim to challenge conventional garden design while incorporating top environmental practice in an urban environment.

Congratulations from all of us at Edible Garden Designs.

How to Grow Fruit Trees in Small Spaces

Here are some simple ways you can make the most of the space you have, even if it’s small, with some incredible edibles and smart garden design.

Most people believe if you have a small courtyard or balcony you have no space for fruit trees.

Well, times have changed.

Working in retail nursery over 20 years, I have seen a substantial change in the way in which fruit trees are grown. There are a lot of dwarf varieties, espaliered forms and multi-grafted possibilities, all suitable for small gardens or the potted garden. These can be incorporated into your garden designs so you can enjoy the freshness and taste of juicy flavoursome home grown fruit.

Here’s how.

1. Espaliered Fruit Trees

Espaliering achieves a “carpet” effect on the wall.

With this method, fruit trees can be trained flat against a structure such as a wall or fence. The branches are continually tied, so restricting the width of the plant.

Because it lies close to the wall, the espaliered tree doesn’t enclose you in a small space like a hedge would. It gives another dimension and creates depth within the garden by allowing layers to be planted in front.

Citrus or olive trees are particular good as espaliers because they provide that lush evergreen backdrop, with the benefit of fruit without taking up space.

2.         Miniature Fruit Trees

Growing miniature fruit trees doesn’t mean miniature fruit! The fruit tree is usually grafted onto a dwarf rootstock resulting in the plant size being reduced but the fruit remaining normal size.

Miniatures are great for pots on balconies, low hedges, in courtyards or even a small feature tree such a dwarf pomegranate.

dwarf pomegranate in fruit

Small space, big impact

Some miniature fruit trees are ‘self-fertile’ varieties, meaning no cross pollinator plant is required, which is great for the smaller garden.

Try a low hedge of a dwarf lemon. With these hardy trees, you’ll enjoy lush green foliage, white perfumed flowers, topped off such a versatile fruit.

If you have a narrow bed alongside a wall or fence try the ‘Ballerina’ apples. Their tall upright growth makes them resemble poles and when they fruit, they are laden with almost any apple variety you crave.

Plant a selection of apples to vary the varieties and lengthen fruiting time.

Potting Tip

If you plant miniatures into a pot remember the pots need to be largish. Don’t scrimp but use a quality potting mix with a water storing granule. And for the best results, don’t forget to that fruit trees need regular feeding, watering and pruning.

3.         Multi-Grafted Fruit Trees

How’s this for value in a small space?

These fruit trees have two or three varieties grafted onto the one rootstock. For example, on one plant you could get a double grafted peach with one yellow fleshed peach and one white fleshed peach. It also allows cross pollination if required, again saving on space.

When you can pick 2 varieties off the one tree, is that enough for a fruit salad?

Other Edibles Good for Small Spaces

Other ways to use fruiting edible plants in a small space include:

  • Groundcover with plants such as strawberries. They are also fantastic in pots and hanging baskets.
  • Shade with climbers such as fruiting grapes or kiwi fruit cascading over a pergola or archway. Not only will they produce edible fruit but they will create summer shade.
  • Barriers using berries with thorns or spikes. They can be a good barrier on the fence line to deter pests or the neighbourhood burglar from entering your property.

And as with incorporating any edible garden designs into your garden, THE RESULTS ARE DELICIOUS!

One Woman’s Garden Legacy

It’s said that smell is the last sense to fade at the end of life and so it seemed to be for Jean.

We filled her room with flowers that she couldn’t always see, but she could smell them. And we brought her bunches of lavender, basil, mint and other herbs. It always made her smile and she’d make the effort to say how good they smelt and rub them so she’d get the full flavour.

Jean had made gardens for six decades, from one that spanned an acre to her last which consisted of pots on balconies. They all had their challenges: she battled too much clay on one garden to too much rock and steep banks on another. But she managed to get them all blooming.

Gardenias were always special for Jean

The clay-based garden she filled with roses of many different types. Outside the backdoor was a magnificent gardenia which bloomed and bloomed when few others in the neighbourhood seemed to. The secret, she said, must be the tea leaves that were always emptied on it. And years later she really laughed to tell us they discovered a leak in a water pipe just near that gardenia bush!

Her first garden, in the 1950s when her children were young, was mainly an edible garden. She and her husband grew all sorts of fruit trees: plum, apricots, a big lemon, a walnut tree which disappointed her because it never bore many nuts, and a beautiful plum called a Wickson, which she’d never been able to find again.

Then there was the prolific vegetable patch.  Each year, they’d aim to have enough tomatoes to eat, for making sauces and chutneys and bottling.

All those fruits and many of the vegetables she’d transform into jams, sauces, chutneys or bottle so they’d have some in winter.

Like a true gardener, she was always a source of knowledge, a ready hand to help transplant or cut back a plant when needed and most of all, an enthusiast about the garden.

Gardens had been more than things of beauty and means of feeding your family to her. They’d been a place to escape and enjoy.

It’s not surprising that 2 of her 5 grandchildren are now directly involved in the garden industry and all of them enjoy the beauty of gardens and nature.

Among our prize plants are hydrangeas grown from cuttings from her father’s garden down to us via quite a few gardens in between.

People live on in the memories of those who cared about them. And in gardens they’ve started or inspired.

Vale Jean.

Jean passed away from breast cancer just a couple of weeks ago. As it’s October, internationally recognised as Breast Cancer Month, I’d commend the cause of research on this deadly disease when you next plan your philanthropic giving. This year, it is estimated that 1.3 million women around the world will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month so please support it and check your own health!

Nasturtiums—Great Companions in Any Garden

Are nasturtiums plants or herbs?

I don’t mind—but I do know that they always delight me. They’re such happy plants and were the only leaves I remember eating straight from the garden, unauthorised, when I was a child.

Nasturtiums are well known as excellent companion plants for their abilities to repel aphids and disguise cabbages from marauding white butterflies (see companion planting article). But in my current garden they’re a companion plant with a different role.

How could you not want these smiling faces in your edible garden?

They’re companions of a small newish Frangipani grove. They fill the ground beneath the Frangipani trees with thick green leaves and brilliant, happy shades of velvety golds and oranges during our mild sub-tropical winters when the trees are bare.

Bare Frangipanis look attractively sculptural. But they look even better with a Nasturtium carpet. Besides, where else could I fit those magnificent nasturtiums?

Creative Spaces for Edibles

Because we have limited space for our edibles, we look for creative garden design ideas to ensure we get trees or flowers we enjoy plus edibles, vegetables fruit or herbs.

Other than their smiling, cheerful nature, Nasturtiums are such great value in a garden as you can eat the leaves, flowers and seeds. How’s that for value! All parts have that peppery taste and are amazingly decorative.

I’ve used the leaves in salads and sandwiches. Use Nasturtium flowers in salads, too—and they really give flair many dishes, from fruit or vegetable platters to chicken dishes, from vinegars, to pastas and soups.

Recipes

One recipe that I found delicious was a zucchini loaf spiced with a few chopped leaves then ‘iced’ with cream cheese and decorated with Nasturtium flowers.

And I really have to share one from a site I enjoy where nasturtiums bloom—not only the opposite side of the world to me—but in a very different climate.

It’s Nasturtium Pesto and you’ll find it here on Marion Owen’s PlanTea site although it’s the creation of award-winning French chef Joel Chenet, who moved from New York to Kodiak Island, Alaska. And you can store the pesto in ice cubes to use anytime!

Versatile Sunshine

When I pick a bunch of flowers and leaves for eating, I always pick extra to put in a small vase in the kitchen. It really brings their sunshine inside and picking the flowers helps encourage more.

Growing them is very easy, everyone says. But I’ve had gardens they just didn’t thrive in—or like the current one, where they try to climb the 5 foot high fence!

As with any herbs or vegetables, be careful to choose organic sprays because you know you are what you eat J.

How good is the nasturtium—keeps away pests AND creates a wonderful pesto!

Can Gardens Help Children Learn? 3 Tips to Encourage Happier, Smarter Kids

How much do your children see of the ‘real’ world? And does it matter?

Could encouraging kids to enjoy gardens boost their school

Children love gardening even in pots

Do your children enjoy gardening?

success?

These questions occurred to me because of a fascinating book I’m reading—Gardens: An essay on the Human Condition by Robert Pogue Harrison. He’s a professor at Stanford University, not only a prestigious place of learning but a wonderful place and garden to visit.

It stopped me reading when he said that a great many young people ‘no longer see the visible world at all, except peripherally and crudely’.

He talks about students walking through wonderful gardens with their heads down, or not stopping to look up at a hooting owl. They don’t lack curiosity, Harrison states. When you point out some of the wonders, the young students are invariably impressed—but many are actually seeing these features they walk past every day in the university grounds for the first time.

The good professor admitted it could sound ‘curmudgeonly’ to say most young people are ‘much more at home in their computers, or in the fictions and skits that reach them on a screen, than they are in the three-dimensional world’.

But it’s true! What is real for young people?

I checked the Kaiser Family Foundation study from early in 2010 that showed 8-18 year-olds in the US spent an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes a day using entertainment media. That’s 53+ hours a week!

Here are a couple of other points from that study:

  • Only 3 in 10 young people say they have home rules about how much time they can spend watching TV, playing video games or on the computer.
  • Children with any media rules consume nearly 3 hours less media a day than those with no rules.
  • 64% of young people say the TV is usually on during meals
  • 45% say the TV is left on “most of the time” even if no one is watching
  • 71% have a TV in their bedroom

What About School Success?

Probably not surprisingly, about half of heavy media users get fair or poor grades (mostly Cs or lower), compared to about a quarter (23%) of light users.  While the researchers do point out they can’t prove a cause and effect relationship between media use and school success, the numbers make it worth examining. Hey, where’s the time for homework?

What About the Real World?

I read a study (again US) that children spent less than 10 minutes a day in unstructured outdoor activity on average. We know there’s far more emphasis these days on structured outdoor events but that doesn’t leave as much time for curiosity outside.

Is Time in Nature Really a Benefit?

In a word, YES! Paying attention to the natural world not only makes you feel better, it makes you behave better, according to a study published 2009 in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

“Stopping to experience our natural surroundings can have social as well as personal benefits,” says Richard Ryan, coauthor and professor of psychology, psychiatry and education at the University of Rochester, US.

The salubrious effects of nature are well documented, from increasing happiness and physical health to lowering stress, he says.

However, Ryan’s study shows that the benefits extend to a person’s values and actions. Exposure to natural as opposed to man-made environments leads people to value community and close relationships and to be more generous with money.

So What do You Want Your Children to be Learning?

Getting back to our gardens, Professor Harrison believes the visible world has become temporarily invisible—and that gardens ‘can help us rescue its visibility, provided we give them ample space and time to show themselves.

‘It would not be the first time that gardens have come to our aid in a time of need,’ he concludes.

What About My Experience?

I can’t prove anything scientific here but I do know that the children in my sphere who are encouraged to garden and to look at nature are well-rounded and enjoy learning. And maybe it’s also a coincidence that they do well at school.

More to the point perhaps, the older people I know who enjoy gardens and gardening are the fittest and their gardens. So let’s get our kids on that track!

So Here are My 3 Top Takeaways:

  1. Ensure you have rules about the time in front of electronics at home AND that you enforce them
  2. Take time in nature with your child, point out some of what you are seeing and share the experience together
  3. Get your child involved in gardening, whether it’s a few pots or their own vegetable bed.

We’d love to hear your experience.

More information:

  • Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition by Robert Pogue Harrison, Uni. Chicago Press, 2009. Quotes from Chapter 11.
  • Kaiser study
  • Ryan’s University of Rochester study

Edible Plants for Pets

When I arrive at client’s house I’m nearly always greeted by a friendly pet. The dog is overjoyed and looking for attention. The cat smooches my legs giving me the ‘approval’. I won’t even talk about the fur and slobber left on my black trousers after a day of consulting!

Sparky the cat loves kids and catmint

Sparky gets a treat. What's your pet's favourite garden edible?

But it makes me think.  These animals are like a family member—they like a varied, healthy diet to keepthem in the best possible shape. Their wellbeing is important to their owner.  So let’s incorporate edible plants that pets can eat or rub against to gain the essential vitamins and minerals needed for a shiny coat, good digestion and fewer allergies.

CATS

While we love our dogs, in my experience people spend much more on plants for their cat than for their dog.

Catmint, cat thyme and cat grass are the most common herbs used for cat health and wellbeing.

Catmint: This bears a spectacular lavender-like flower spike and has green to greyish foliage. It’s good as a low groundcover for hot dry spots. It’s extremely drought tolerant, too. Catmint looks great mass-planted under roses—I it creates a carpet effect. Cats love it because it has a hallucinogenic effect! Cats rub against it or nibble at it releasing a chemical called nepetactone. You will see the cat bouncing around, rolling on the ground and possible drooling. It’s a little like the behaviour you see in a human after a few glasses of wine!

Catmint is also great to repel mosquitoes. So plant it near your outdoor entertaining area.

Catgrass: This is a cereal grass which eliminates furballs by making the cat vomit. It is also high in vitamins and minerals. This is best kept in pots as it looks a little ‘weedy’.

Cat Thyme: The aromatic foliage on this 1 metre high growing plant is eye catching. It is very silver and likes a hot spot. It can be kept pruned to create a low hedge effect. It has dainty pink flowers. Cats love the aroma and you’ll see them smooching this plant.

This is a good herb to pick and dry. Place it into a breathable bag and put it on your cat’s bed. It is calm and soothing and will give your cat sweet dreams!

These cat herbs are all fantastic in pots. Leave them near the back door where cats are likely to hang around.

If yours is an indoor cat, the plants can also be kept indoors in a bright sunny room for short periods.  Just remember to use organic sprays only on plants your animals may eat.

DOGS

Unfortunately there are more toxic plants out there for dogs than edible ones. Dogs do enjoy eating ferns, especially those beautiful juicy sweet new shoots, and gnawing on bamboo, both mainly safely edible.

The number one favourite for dogs is Lavender—but watch out for the bees!

Lavender has a lemony taste to it. Lots of varieties are available for garden uses from Spanish, Italian, French to English. The English is commonly used for its striking grey foliage and is great in hedges and for potpourri. The others have showy flowers with aromatic foliage and look good planted in clusters of 3 or 5. They also do well in pots. As I mentioned, bees love them so they are great for bringing bees into your edible garden for pollination.

Lavender is a great aromatherapy product for dogs, as it is humans. It is commonly used in dog treats, for shampoo and to keep fleas at bay—and that’s just for starters.

Other Pet Products

Have you seen all the other edible pet products that are proliferating madly? I’ve heard of pet bakeries selling organic treats and some farmers’ markets sell gourmet pet treat concoctions, too.

Just the other day I also saw that some US airports, have ‘pet relief areas’. Philadelphia International has 7 of them, with features such as mulch, a faux fire hydrant and biodegradable waste bags.

No wonder the US pet market is set to hit almost $48 billion this year. In Australia, with 22 million people and 33 million pets, that market was worth $6 billion last year.

Oops—must go. Sparky is miaowing to me!

BTW, I’d love to hear your favorite pet plants. We’ll be doing an article on pet edible garden designs too—so please share what worked best for your pets in your garden.

Need Garden Mediation? 5 Steps to Solve Domestic Garden Disputes

You hear a lot about garden disputes between neighbours. But I’ve found a growing number of domestic garden disputes—where two people in a single home disagree about their garden design.

Peace lily or Spathiphyllum

I don't bring peace lilies to mediation sessions--just the peace part!

People always tell me how lucky I am to do the work that I do—and they are right. I enjoy fresh air and dealing with positive people who want to create or rejuvenate their garden. There is no illness or pain. Clients want to be inspired and get excited about a garden they can enjoy and use. It’s even better if the garden uses edible plants.

Negativity is rare in this job…except for the garden mediation session!

Gardens are supposed to be places of relaxation, beauty, pleasure and edible rewards!

I’ve mediated enough garden disagreements now to have developed a strategy to turn a garden dispute into positive energy with a suitable outcome.

The Mediation Signals

From the moment I answer the phone inquiry I know if a mediation session is needed. Comments go something like:

  • we can’t agree on an evergreen or deciduous screen to hide the new monstrosity next door
  • Or… I want a cottage garden, he wants a Japanese garden.
  • Or…My partner refuses to pull out the dead plants in case they magically come alive again (I refer to these people as ‘garden hoarders’—but more about that another time!).

I have even been offered cash bribes…which of course I politely refuse!

Armed with the given information, I prepare myself for the arguing and sometimes even hostility encountered in these consultations. But I think positively and tackle it as a personal challenge to get a positive outcome.

So here are the 5 Steps of my Garden Mediation:

  1. Identify
  2. Listen
  3. Solve
  4. Justify
  5. Reinforce

As I approach the front door I put on my happy face and greet my clients warmly, commenting perhaps on something fantastic in the front garden that has caught my eye. After general chit-chat I ask to view the area or subject of discussion and IDENTIFY the problem.

I give both parties the opportunities to express their solution to the given situation and LISTEN intently. I say there is no right or wrong and always try to point out a positive point for each side.

I then ask them to listen to my professional opinion and try and SOLVE the matter with the knowledge I have acquired over 22 years.

Most importantly I explain why I have made that choice. With JUSTIFICATION comes understanding and then respect. For example, there was the case involving where the entertaining and BBQ area should be located. My view was that it needed to be located near the back door. It is the natural progression or flow from the house and near the back door it’s easily accessible. Having a BBQ and table setting in the back corner of the garden doesn’t make good sense because it is too far from the kitchen to be functional and makes the garden design feel disjointed.

If there is still disagreement, compromise is the next best thing. It is not always the best solution and I make that known, but it keeps both parties happy.

And finally, I draw up my plan and REINFORCE what I have said on paper and again verbally as I explain my plan to both parties. By this stage I usually get the nod from both parties which makes me feel good.

So, I start on a positive and usually end on a positive note. And I hope the discussion after I leave the home is amicable!!!

I usually go home exhausted, have a glass of wine and think how lucky I am to be single and have no one to question the weird and wonderful things I do to my garden!!

Garden mediation now turns into garden meditation as I relax after a hard day’s work!

Here’s an Edible Garden Designed 900 Years Ago: A Different View of Westminster Abbey

Plants and herbs have always been used to cure ailments—and we know that an apple a day keeps the doctor away! Edible garden designs can easily include many medicinal plants.

Today I’d like to tell you about a special edible garden—it’s the oldest garden in England and has been under continuous cultivation for around a millennium.

Westminster Abbey's edible garden started 1000 years ago

Westminster Abbey is not just for pomp and ceremony. Where's your favorite edible garden?

More than 1 million visitors explore the amazing Westminster Abbey each year. Few know that the Abbey’s College Garden was started as the Infirmary Garden more than 900 years ago and provided medicinal herbs for the monks. Some herbs, such as fennel and hyssop, are still grown in the garden. It also provided vegetables and fruit for the Abbey.

I must confess that this is a special place for me. In my late teens I worked briefly next to the garden at Westminster School in a task quite relevant to edible plants. I had a second job washing dishes in a cubby off the historic, stone-floored College Hall dining hall to fund my European travels.

Abbey, College, School?

Now if the Abbey, College and School terms are confusing, here’s a quick run down. The Abbey’s real name is the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster. It was established by Benedictine monks in the middle of the 10th century. The then monarch, King Edgar, gave them a huge swag of land covering most of what is now the West End of London.

In the Abbey’s grounds is the highly-rated Royal College of St. Peter in Westminster—known as Westminster School. Parts of School’s buildings date back to the 11th century, older than the current Abbey. The school has a fascinating and colorful history, well worth a read. The School was re-founded by the impressive and intelligent Elizabeth I–check out the bit about how she attended the Latin plays there which Queen Victoria later called “very Improper”!

An 18th century school dormitory building marks a boundary of the College Garden.  And College Hall, the 14th century Abbot’s state dining hall, is one of the oldest and finest examples of medieval refectory in existence, and is still used as a dining room.

But back to that garden!

In charge of the garden in those ancient times was the Infirmarer, one of the Abbey’s senior monks. He directed the planting and cultivation of the various herbs needed for medicinal purposes in the Infirmary. He cared for sick and elderly monks and ran a dispensary for local people.

The original garden was mainly an area for growing herbs, fruit and vegetables. It was also where convalescing monks could get some open air for relaxation and gentle exercise.

Westminster Abbey's edible garden designs include a famous knot

Knot daunted to replicate this in your edible garden designs?

These days, there’s a knot garden, with its spaces filled with white and blue lavender, where the original herbarium was planted. Lots of others herbs make up borders and are grown in pots. They include rosemary, St John’s Wort, angelica, licorice, winter savoury and lots of mints.

But don’t eat their herbs now!

Sadly, because of high lead levels in the soil, many of the herbs growing in the garden today can no longer be used for medicinal purposes. However, by helping with charity fund-raising, especially medical and associated causes, the Abbey and its garden continues the link with the Monastic Infirmarer’s garden to promote health and welfare for the people of London and beyond.

We’d love to hear about some of your favorite edible gardens. Just send a note via the comment box.

PS: Check out more about the Abbey too.

Match Making In Your Edible Garden

Here’s a helpful list of companion plants for edible gardens. It follows the article on the benefits of companion planting ..

Over the years we’ve found that match making plants can take time to find out the best combinations.   To help save you some time and money in your garden, we’ve done some research and have come up with a list for you of beneficial plant matches to help your edible garden flourish and look beautiful. They cover vegetables, fruit and herbs:

  • Asparagus with peaches
  • Basil with tomatoes, asparagus, beans, grapes, apricots and peaches
  • Beans with potatoes and sweet corn
  • Borage with strawberries
  • Chives with
    Red geraniums add color and are useful companion plants

    Most geraniums are actually pelargoniums and their essential oil has many uses, too

    carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, grapes and apple trees

  • Citrus with guavas
  • Cucumbers with potatoes
  • Currant with pear trees
  • Garlic with roses, apples, apricots, pear, cherry and peaches
  • Geraniums with grapes
  • Grapes with mulberries and peaches
  • Horseradish with almost any fruit tree
  • Hyssop with cabbages and grapes
  • Irises with roses
  • Leeks with celery
  • Lettuce with carrots, onions and strawberries
  • Marigolds (French) with tomatoes, roses, potatoes, daffodils and beans
  • Melons with sweet corn
  • Mint with cabbages and other brassicas, and peas
  • Nasturtiums with cucumbers, zucchini, squash, apples, apricots, pear, cherry and peach trees
  • Onions with carrots, turnips, apples, apricots, pear, cherry and peaches
  • Parsley with roses, asparagus and tomatoes
  • Peas with carrots
  • Pineapple sage with fruit trees
  • Strawberry with fruit trees
  • Sunflowers with squash and sweet corn
  • Thyme with any Brassica
  • Wallflowers with apples

Now of course, with every good match there are those matches that are really not meant to be. Here are some plant combinations that just don’t seem to work out:

  • Apples with potatoes
  • Beans with garlic
  • Cabbages with strawberries
  • Mint with parsley
  • Sunflowers with any vegetable but squash
  • Wormwood with just about everything

Are there any other plant matches that you have found beneficial – or ones that didn’t work out? We would love to hear. Let us know how you get on as well.

We realise that a lot more can be said about companion plants – in particular how the association works between plants.   If you want to know more on this subject we recommend finding a book on companion planting for your geographic area because pest and predators vary geographically.