Out of concern for the environment, purely for pleasure, to expand your healthy choices or to save some money: every reason is a good reason to make room in your garden for some vegetables. You can’t seem to find the space or time? If you have just one flowerbed, you have a vegetable garden!

Gourmet flowerbeds

Fruits and vegetables in the flowerbed? Why not! Some plants really are as tasty as they are attractive. Blueberry bushes, for example, produce beautiful flowers in the spring, colourful fruit in the summer, and leaves that turn to red in the fall. Cabbages simply look like great, big flowers. Climbing cherry tomato plants growing on a trellis are really impressive: pretty blooms transition into gorgeous red, yellow, orange or purple tomatoes. Dill plants are delicate wonders and flowering chives are so graceful.

If you have an existing flowerbed, look at it very closely: it may already include edible flowers. Daylilies, hostas, phlox, impatiens, pansies, gladiola, and tulips are all perfectly good to eat.

Sunlight

Sunlight is the stuff most vegetable plants crave. There are, however, plants that thrive with a little shade. Choose your plants wisely. Know the sun requirements of the plants you want and be aware of the sun exposure in your garden.

Full sun

Partial-shade

Shade

6 to 8 hours (and more)

sunlight per day

4 to 5 hours

sunlight per day

1 to 2 hours

sunlight per day

  • Tomatoes
  • peppers
  • chili peppers
  • eggplants
  • cucumbers
  • zucchini
  • squash
  • melons
  • strawberries
  • beats
  • turnips
  • asparagus
  • cabbage (kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, head cabbage)
  • lettuce
  • spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • leeks
  • potatoes
  • radishes
  • carrots
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • garlic
  • onions
  • shallots
  • raspberries
  • blackberries
  • blueberries
  • mint
  • parsley
  • chives
  • oregano
  • fuchsia
  • begonia
  • pansies
  • Lamb’s lettuce
  • cress

Soil type

Plants are not all created equal when it comes to the nutrients they require, which means some plants are well-suited to a particular kind of soil whereas other plants require the opposite. First things first: have your soil analyzed at a garden centre so you know exactly what kind of soil you have to work with.

Clay soil

Artichokes, eggplants, chard, cauliflower, headed cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes, rhubarb, chives, mint, spinach, beans, peas

Sandy soil

Carrots, beets, celeriac, turnips, radishes, potatoes, garlic, fennel, shallots, asparagus, beans, peas, strawberries, parsley, tarragon, cilantro, chives

Limestone soil (alkaline)

Moderate: garlic, carrots, beets, radishes, parsnips, beans, peas, tomatoes, lettuce, Jerusalem artichokes

Very alkaline: headed cabbage, cauliflower, savory, thyme, rosemary, melons, leeks, artichokes

Humus-rich soil (acid)

Squash, zucchini, cucumbers, melons, eggplants, peppers, chili peppers

Long-lasting pleasure

The main purpose of a flowerbed is to be decorative, so ensure the beauty in your garden extends to the fall by planting perennials. That way, you won’t be left with a bare patch after everything has been harvested!

  • Perennial vegetable plants: asparagus, rhubarb, artichoke
  • Perennial fruit and berry plants: strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, elderberry, blackcurrant, currant, grapevine
  • Perennial herbs: savory, sage, lavender, mint, oregano

A living environment

Vegetables in the flowerbed. Flowers in the vegetable garden. The idea is to bring biodiversity back to the garden by creating an environment that welcomes bees, butterflies, specific insects and even birds. Flowers attract insects that pollinate vegetable flowers. Others protect vegetables from destructive insect pests. Side by side in the garden, they make a winning team!

Garlic

Repels many insect pests

Dill

Flowers attract bees

Basil

Pest-repelling

Enhances the flavour of tomatoes

Nasturtium

Keeps aphids away from vegetables

Lavender

Pest-repelling (aphids)

Attracts bees

Mint

Pest-repelling (cabbageworm)

Aster

Attracts bees

Marigold

Repels several pests (cabbage and tomato worms, worms that attack asparagus, and pests on beans)

Attracts bees

Flavour first and foremost

There are plants we like to grow purely for their taste. Sweet, spicy, sour, juicy, or crisp: how will you describe the fruits of your labour?

  • Herbs : basil, chives, parsley, rosemary, coriander, oregano
  • Vegetables: tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, carrots
  • Fruit: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries
  • Flowers: bee balm, miniature carnations, phlox, platycodon, impatiens, gladiola

Style you can eat

Stop and stare! Some food plants are just stunning to look at. Admire the colours, shape and texture of the leaves.

  • Herbs: dill, parsley, purple basil, silver thyme
  • Vegetables: multicolored Swiss chard, curly green lettuce, red-leaf lettuce, two-toned lettuce, red cabbage, kale, asparagus, yellow zucchini, garlic
  • Fruit: yellow raspberries
  • Flowers: your favourites!