Beneficial flowers down at the allotment

I am trying to learn more about the beneficial effects of planting flowers amongst my vegetables down at the allotment, both to attract beneficial insects, and deter pests. The flowers look pretty too.

With a total of 16 square metres over two allotments space is at a premium but I’ve started to introduce a few flowers to attract good bugs, and repel bad.

Here’s a few flowers growing in my ‘lottie’.

Nasturtium

Nasturtium

The extra benefit of growing nasturtium is that you can eat the leaves and the flowers. The leaves have a peppery taste and the flowers add a bit of the exotic to a salad.

IMG_2631

Alyssum

I like to see alyssum growing in a border. My alyssum plants were bought from Bunnings nursery but I also planted a row of seeds to give me a little border. That was some weeks ago and the seeds have refused to germinate so far. Looks like Bunnings are going to make a few more dollars out of me as I buy another punnet.

Marigolds help deter root-eating nematodes in the soil, and add a nice bit of colour.

Marigolds

Marigolds

The community garden at the farm is scattered with flowers.  Here is a view taken recently across the community garden.

Flowers in the community garden

Flowers in the community garden

Liz, the co-ordinator in the community garden planted a whole bed of sunflowers. It’s great watching the bees going berserk on the flower heads, and the birds have a field day too on the seeds of the flower.

Sunflowers with bee ( in the top corner of the left flower)

Sunflowers

Cosmos flowers pop up, self seeded, all over the place.

Cosmos

Cosmos

I took this photograph of a flower border on the edge of the farm, near to the allotments and the community garden. We all feel the benefit of these flowers both in the pollination of our vegetables, and just for the pleasure of looking at them.

A flower border at the farm

A flower border at the farm

Happy gardening.

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13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. narf77
    Jun 16, 2013 @ 13:12:10

    What a lovely sight Jean! Here I am struggling to find a photo to put in my posts let alone a pretty one and again it seems sureal that we live in the same country when it looks more like Spring where you live 🙂

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Jun 17, 2013 @ 08:52:46

      Thanks Fran. My vegetables at the allotment are looking a bit blowsy at the moment, I need to get some new veggie plants in there, but the flowers looked lovely. It’s getting a bit nippy at nights here, but I am enjoying gardening in the middle of the day when it’s dry and warm.

      Reply

  2. Heidi @ lightlycrunchy
    Jun 16, 2013 @ 21:39:13

    We always plant sunflowers along the fenceline in our garden too. No particular reason – just for the ornament.

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Jun 17, 2013 @ 08:54:47

      Sunflowers are lovely. I don’t have the space for them in my little allotment so it’s great that they make room for them in the community garden. I tried to capture a picture of a bee on one of the flowers but he was too quick for me. But the insects love those flowers. On another subject, I hope you are feeling much better.

      Reply

  3. ryllpaul
    Jun 17, 2013 @ 19:06:15

    Love love all that cheery colour – what a way to have a bright and happy day 🙂

    Reply

  4. Tanya @ Lovely Greens
    Jun 17, 2013 @ 19:26:05

    I sowed Nasturtiums on my plot three years ago and have been trying to get rid of them ever since. It’s a lovely beneficial plant/flower but if you turn your back they’ll take over your entire plot! The flowers are nice in salads though 🙂

    I love the idea of a community garden space! Does the gal who organises it do all the work herself? And do you know what variety of Cosmos those are? They’re gorgeous!

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Jun 17, 2013 @ 20:12:39

      Hi Tanya. I know exactly what you mean about nasturtiums. I think their days are numbered on my tiny allotment as they are trying to take over but fortunately there are plenty of patches of nasturtiums growing around the farm. So I still get the benefit.
      Liz is the co-ordinator of the community garden assisted by a group of volunteers who gather together on Wednesday mornings and Liz tells us what needs doing that week and folk just get on with it in a community atmosphere. Jobs usually include weeding, sowing seeds, transplanting seedlings and harvesting produce for the share table. The harvest is shared amongst the volunteers at the end of the morning. It’s a wonderful community event. We always share morning tea at 10am.

      Reply

  5. Vix
    Jun 18, 2013 @ 02:54:08

    Goodness me, what a beautiful burst of colour in your community garden! Lovely to meet an ex-Black Country lass! xxx

    Reply

  6. Linne
    Jun 22, 2013 @ 12:14:42

    Gorgeous pictures! I love all of those, but especially the nasturtiums. I’ve grown the climbing variety and I eat the leaves and flowers right off the plants, but also add them to salads and sandwiches. Remind me of watercress. And the cosmos! My Mum used to grow it and later I did, too. I’d like to know what variety that one is; it’s different from any I ever had. I find it hard to believe you’re in the middle of your winter season. Lucky duck!!

    Reply

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