Edimentals Gardening: Edible and Ornamental Plants for Your Garden
ECO gardener

An “edimental garden” typically refers to a garden that focuses on growing plants that are both edible and ornamental. The term is a combination of “edible” and “ornamental.” In such a garden, the emphasis is on cultivating plants that not only provide food but also flower with potential medicinal properties or health benefits.

Edimental gardens may include a variety of herbs, vegetables, fruits, and other plants that are not only tasty but also have traditional or historical uses in natural medicine. People who cultivate edimental gardens often appreciate the dual benefits of growing their own food while also having access to natural remedies.

Common plants found in edimental gardens might include culinary herbs like basil, thyme, and rosemary, as well as medicinal herbs like echinacea, chamomile, and calendula. Vegetables, fruits, and berries with known health benefits may also be incorporated.

The concept of an edimental garden encourages a holistic approach to gardening, combining the pleasures of growing and consuming fresh, flavorful food with the potential health benefits derived from the plants cultivated in the garden.

Best Plants to Include in Your Edimental Garden Use

basil top view

Creating an edimental garden is a wonderful way to bring both flavor and beauty to your backyard. In simple terms, an edimental garden combines edible and ornamental plants, offering a mix of tasty treats, natural remedies, bounty, color and glamour to your landscape. Let’s explore some of the best plants to include in your edimental garden, keeping it simple and enjoyable.

Basil: Basil is not just a pizza topping; it’s a fantastic herb for your edimental garden. With its aromatic leaves, basil adds flavor to your dishes. It’s also known for its potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Thyme: This herb is like a tiny powerhouse. Thyme not only enhances the taste of your meals but has been used traditionally for its medicinal properties, believed to have antimicrobial and respiratory benefits.

Rosemary: Aromatic and flavorful, rosemary is a must-have in your garden. It’s not only great for seasoning your favorite dishes but has also been associated with improved digestion and memory.

Echinacea: Known for its immune-boosting properties, echinacea is a vibrant flower that can add beauty to your garden while potentially helping your health. It’s often used in natural remedies to support the immune system.

Chamomile: Chamomile is more than just a soothing tea; it’s a lovely addition to your garden. The flowers have calming properties, making them ideal for a relaxing herbal tea.

Calendula: With its bright orange or yellow flowers, calendula not only looks cheerful but is also known for its skin-soothing properties. It’s often used in salves and ointments for various skin conditions.

Lavender: The sweet fragrance of lavender can turn your garden into a sensory delight. Besides its calming scent, lavender is used in aromatherapy and may have mild relaxation effects.

Mint: Mint is a versatile herb that comes in various varieties, like peppermint and spearmint. It’s perfect for teas, desserts, or even to add a refreshing twist to your water. Mint is known for its digestive benefits.

Parsley: Parsley is not just a garnish; it’s a nutritional powerhouse. Rich in vitamins, particularly vitamin K, parsley adds freshness and nutrients to your meals.

Oregano: A staple in many kitchens, oregano is not just for pizza sauce. It’s rich in antioxidants and has antimicrobial properties, adding both flavor and potential health benefits to your dishes.

Garlic: Beyond its ability to ward off vampires, garlic is a culinary superstar. It’s not only delicious but is believed to have various health benefits, including cardiovascular support.

Lemon Balm: With a mild lemon scent, lemon balm is a delightful herb known for its calming effects. It’s often used in teas and can be a great addition to your relaxation routine.

Sage: Sage is another herb with both culinary and medicinal uses. It’s known for its antioxidant properties and has been traditionally used to support oral health.

Dill: Dill is more than just a pickling herb. It adds a unique flavor to dishes and is a good source of vitamins and minerals.

Lemon Verbena: This herb has a lemony scent that can brighten up your garden. Lemon verbena is often used in teas and desserts, contributing a refreshing citrus flavor.

Rose Hips: After your roses bloom, you can harvest the rose hips. These little fruits are packed with vitamin C and are often used in teas and herbal preparations for immune support.

Nasturtium: Nasturtiums not only add a pop of color to your garden but are also edible. The leaves and flowers have a peppery taste, making them a unique addition to salads.

Aloe Vera: Known for its soothing gel, aloe vera is a handy plant to have in your edimental garden. It’s commonly used to provide relief for sunburns and minor skin irritations.

Chives: Chives add a mild onion flavor to your dishes and are rich in vitamins A and C. They are versatile and often added to salads, soups, and more.

Quick Tips to Maintain an Edimental Garden

basil plant on the basket

Maintaining an edimental garden is simple and rewarding. Here are some quick tips to keep your garden flourishing:

  • Give your plants a drink when the soil feels dry, about an inch below the surface. Plants vary in water needs, so observe and adjust accordingly.
  • Sunlight: If you have limited sunlight, choose plants that thrive in partial shade.
  • Use well-draining soil enriched with compost. Good soil ensures your plants receive essential nutrients. You may also use soil amendment to improve soil texture.
  • Plant with space in mind. Crowded plants can compete for resources. Follow spacing guidelines on seed packets or plant tags.
  • Apply a layer of mulch around your plants. Mulch helps retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. You can also use Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric as an alternative to mulch. 
  • Regularly prune herbs like basil and mint to encourage bushier growth. Remove dead or yellowing leaves to keep the plant healthy.
  • Feed your plants with a balanced, organic fertilizer during the growing season. Follow package instructions for proper application.
  • Keep an eye out for pests. Remove them by hand, or use natural remedies like neem oil or soapy water. Healthy plants are more resistant to pests.
  • Harvest herbs and vegetables regularly to encourage continuous growth. Use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to avoid damaging the plants.
  • Explore companion planting to naturally deter pests and enhance growth. For example, planting basil near tomatoes can benefit both plants.
  • Pay attention to your garden. Notice changes in plant color, size, or any signs of distress. Early detection helps address issues promptly.
  • If possible, rotate your crops each season to prevent soil-borne diseases and maintain soil fertility.

The key to a successful edimental garden is to choose plants that not only taste good but also contribute to your well-being. Whether you have a large backyard or a small balcony, cultivating these plants can turn your space into a vibrant and beneficial oasis.

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