Choosing the Right Plants
When planning a garden, selecting the right plants for your patio garden
depends on several factors. The amount of sunlight or shade your patio
gets, may also limit your selections.
Most people choose plants based on their visual appeal, as with flowers
i.e. color, bloom size or shape, or on their usefulness as with vegetables
and herbs. But consider this: choose plants that will help each other
grow and you will create a healthier, more abundant garden.
The theory is that certain plants can benefit others when planted in
close proximity. Plants offering some mutual benefit are called companion
plants and their interactions contribute to the creation of a balanced
eco-system in your garden.
Companion planting has evolved from historical observation, horticultural
science and gardeners’ ingenuity coupled with trial and error
experimentation. Early settlers were taught by Native American gardeners
to plant the “Three Sisters” – corn, beans and squash
– because of their symbiotic relationship. Corn provided the structure
for the beans to climb; the beans replenished the soil with nutrients;
the squash leaves conserved water and controlled weeds.
In our modern vegetable and flower gardens, there are many benefits
to be derived from the symbiotic relationship of companion plants: Plants
with strong odors attract, deter and even confuse certain insect pests.
Planting something that is particularly attractive to damaging pests
distracts these pests from the main crop.
Certain herbs both attract beneficial insects and repel insect pests,
making them ideal companions for both flowers and vegetables. Sage,
thyme, oregano, tansy, rosemary and mint protect neighboring plants
with their strong scents while their flower nectar encourages pollinators
to visit the garden. Dill attracts the tomato hornworm, so plant it
away from your tomato plants to keep them free of this hungry pest.
Dill is also a food plant for the swallowtail butterfly caterpillar.
In addition to attracting good insects and repelling bad ones, some
herbs actually improve the yield and flavor of other plants. Bee balm
with its showy flowers and aromatic leaves attracts bees and beneficial
insects as well as improves the flavor of tomatoes. Basil, a garden
favorite, improves the flavor of tomatoes and lettuce and repels flies
and mosquitos. Another common herb, marjoram, can be liberally planted
in the garden to enhance the flavor of vegetables and other herbs.
Harnessing the powerful benefits of companion plants will give you
a more diverse garden, which in turn means a stronger, more disease-free
garden. Why not let your plants get by with a little help from their
Below are a few types of plants that we recommend because we've grown them ourselves...and with GREAT results!
Fruits & Vegetables
Citrus (dwarf type)
Parsley - coming soon!
Chives - coming soon!
Tarragon - coming soon!
Thyme - coming soon!
Marigold - coming soon!