Although our main objective is to grow and harvest a bounty of quality produce, we always take time to plant annual and perennial flowers. I believe that a splash of color serves as an excellent complement to the rest of the garden. Other benefits include providing a source of nectar and pollen for bees, companion planting, insect deterrent and bringing a freshly cut bouquet to a loved one.
A brilliant display of color is always a welcome addition to any garden plot. I recently noticed that a neighbor would spend a few minutes observing the flower bed located at the front of our community garden. Of course, I walked over to introduce myself and to gauge his interest in becoming a Garden Member. Simply put, he told me that he stops by frequently to admire the garden and especially the flowers. Before he left, he expressed interest in becoming a fellow garden member.
I think that some gardeners, although they like flowers, they don’t want to give up garden space to non-edibles. This obviously makes sense, but I would add that there is always space for a few marigolds. Also, a nice splash of color can be introduced as a rotational crop.
As for attracting beneficial insects, which prey on several type of aphid species, it is a good choice to introduce the likes of alyssum, zinnia and calendula. These are annual flowers which can be sown by seed or plant starts. To prolong the productivity of zinnia and calendula, practice dead heading. Once flowering commences, remain vigilant about removing spent (dead) flowers. As for alyssum, they don’t require dead heading. As well, this annual will reseed itself in most growing areas in the U.S.