5 Plants to Have in Your Garden that Will Only Bring Benefits and Beauty
Probably the best trick in gardening is choosing the plants that will be as beneficial as they are beautiful in your garden plot. Choosing the right ones will not only provide you with healthy food on your table but will also bring benefits from an environmental standpoint. So forget about the chemicals, stop wasting gas running to the store before dinner, and take a look at plants that will reward your gardening efforts with their aesthetics and usefulness.
Flowers for Pest Problems and Biodiversity
Flowers are the foundation of beauty in every garden – when they start blooming in spring, it’s as if your garden has put on jewelry. If you’re about to say that they also bring allergies you should know that some have hypoallergenic qualities, meaning you can admire their beauty without all that sneezing and sniffing. But the aesthetics are just one of the benefits – they also deter pests and attract bees and pollinators, maintaining biodiversity in your garden.
Many flowers bring more than one benefit. For example, borage is like a beacon for bees and both its flowers and leaves have a subtle and cool cucumber flavor. Pot marigolds have a slightly bitter flavor, but nothing can light up the dishes like their golden orange color. While they repel pests such as tomato hornworms and beetles, they also attract aphids, meaning that they can be used as a trap crop – simply put them on the other side of the garden from plants that often suffer aphids’ attacks. Some flowers, like marigolds, will also deter pests below the ground – they can exude a chemical that terminates root nematodes in the soil. And if you put a ring of marigolds around your garden, you won’t have to worry about rabbits. Everyone knows how heavenly the fragrance of lavender is, but many don’t know that this flower is equally efficient for pest control, able to cut down the number of ticks in the area significantly.
Lemon Balm Instead of Chemicals
Spraying our gardens for mosquitoes has become a sort of tradition, but it’s time to think about butterflies and honeybees and eliminate chemicals from our surroundings. The truth is that many chemical treatments are actually modeled by natural plant properties. Lemon balm is one of those plant varieties that are a natural repellent to mosquitos. It is my favorite choice due to its citrusy fragrance that certainly beats any chemical bug spray. Just try to crush a few leaves and rub them on your skin. It’s also a great addition to many dishes and fruit drinks, which is certainly a plus.
Aloe for Soothing Sensation
Although any organic food grown in your garden will reward you with health benefits, nothing can compare with aloe vera, the ʽwonder plantʼ. Its use is impressively broad – from treating sunburn to constipation – and people have relied on its healing properties for centuries. Scientists are still working to confirm all of its medical benefits, but all who have tried applying its gel-like interior have no doubt about the soothing effect produced. If it’s only used to soothe insect bites and keep your skin moisturized, it’s certainly worth having it in your garden, always within reach waiting for you to cut it open and access its healing nectar within.
Herbs for Delicious Recipes
If you’re a passionate cook, then herbs are one of the most rewarding (and useful) plants to grow. The greatest recipes are a thing of momentary inspiration, so being able to snip a few stems for your cooking at any time is a blessing. There isn’t one herb that’s not useful out there, but thyme is probably the most rewarding one to grow. A teaspoon or two of this herb can enhance an incredible number of recipes, from pasta sauce to pot pie. This plant can grow well even throughout the winter and even if you live in a place that can become too cold, you can always plant in a pot and bring it inside. On top of that, there are also ways to preserve its freshness.
Tomatoes and Blueberries for a Rewarding Harvest
There’s nothing that can beat that sensation of plucking fruit and vegetables from your own garden right before consuming them, but not all of us have room in our gardens for significant diversity. If you’re in a situation where you can afford only one vegetable, then you should go for tomatoes. It’s one of the most prolific vegetables, and its taste, right off the vine, is incomparable. Tomatoes will almost always produce throughout the season and are quite easy to grow.
Blueberries are a similar story – if they’re cared for properly they are the most rewarding fruit plants there is. Their fruit is hardier and they’ll bear it from late July to early August. If you can plant a couple of bushes in different varieties you’ll be able to have a longer harvesting season also.
The plants on this list will bring beauty to your garden, maintain biodiversity, provide you with potential medical remedies, delicious recipes and a rewarding harvest. Nurturing some of the above will not only present you with a beautiful garden to be proud of, but it will ultimately bring you closer to Nature and all its rewarding splendors.