This time of year I have to be heartless and start pulling up the many self-seeding flowers that would fill my garden beds if left alone.  I love these flowers and have intentionally brought them into the garden so they could do exactly what they are doing.  I just have never had a garden where they all self seed so prolifically.  It’s not just the calendula, foxgloves, borage and rose campions, it is also the cosmos – everywhere this year! – and nasturtiums, evening primrose, snapdragons, lupins and did i mention parsley.  There are only so flowers that I can move to better places – cause they have mostly found their way to the better places too – and so I have had to dig them in or pull them out before I could continue with the veggie planting.

But these flowers aren’t in the garden just because of their looks-although that is a big part of it for me-they also contribute to the health of the vegetable garden.    I always leave a couple of cosmos in with the corn and borage in with the potatoes.  Marigolds are tucked in everywhere-not just because of their cheery faces but also because they are outstanding performers and keep going strong until frost.  They also have pest repellant properties that make them a beneficial companion to tomatoes, peppers, carrots, beans, etc.   Alyssum is a nitrogen fixer that tucks nicely under my dwarf apple trees.  Again, good looks and a sweet scent along with benefits.  It is easy to look companion planting up on the internet and start from there, keeping in mind that some flowers can have quite large roots and will take more than their share of the water.  Or  flowers can grow quite large in that well tended garden soil so  be careful where they end up or, like me, be heartless and pull them up before they get too big.


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